A man pepper-sprayed a family in northeast Portland on Tuesday night and he remains at-large.
According to police, the suspect was riding a bicycle and the family was in and around their car at the time of the incident.
The case is being investigated as a bias crime because the victims – some of which were children – are black and the suspect is described as white or Hispanic. The suspect also allegedly made a racial slur during the incident.
Please read the police statement below and contact them with any information.
On Tuesday September 13, 2016, at 9:16 p.m., North Precinct officers responded to a residence in the 5500 block of Northeast 9th Avenue on the report that several children were pepper sprayed by an unknown male riding a bicycle.
Officers and medical personnel arrived and treated the three male victims, ages 12, 11 and 7, for exposure to pepper spray. None of the victims required transport by ambulance to a hospital and were treated at the scene by medical personnel.
Police spoke with 62-year-old Patricia Garner and her daughter 32-year-old Foia Frazer, the grandmother and mother of the three victims.
Garner and Frazier told officers that they were getting the kids into the car as a man on a bicycle rode by southbound on 9th Avenue. The suspect turned around northbound, riding back by the car and sprayed the kids with pepper spray. Garner reported to police that the man yelled a racial epithet at them as he pepper sprayed the kids then rode away. The three victims, as well as Garner and Frazier, are African American.
The victims described the suspect as a white or Hispanic male in his mid-20s, 5’9″ tall, 160 pounds, wearing black spandex-style bicycle clothing and a grey and black helmet. The suspect was riding a road-style bicycle (not a mountain bike), with a white box on the back of the bicycle.
Officers searched the neighborhood but did not locate anyone matching the suspect’s description. Frazier found the white box in the neighborhood and turned it over to police. The box contained various tools but no identifying information.
Due to the nature of the report, a detective assigned to investigate Bias Crimes is conducting the investigation.
Anyone with information about this incident or the identity of the suspect is asked to contact Detective Jeff Sharp at 503-823-9773, firstname.lastname@example.org
— Jonathan Maus, (503) 706-8804 – email@example.com
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