Suspect arrested in possible bias crimes
Two people found Molotov cocktails in their yards in Southeast Portland this week, prompting a bias crime investigation that resulted in the arrest of a 27-year-old man who lives in the neighborhood.
Jesse David Bennett was arrested by Portland police Wednesday afternoon and booked on two counts of possessing a destructive device and two counts of the unlawful manufacturing of a destructive device.
Court records reveal that Bennett has been arrested before — for identity theft and stalking.
Both Molotov cocktails were found outside separate homes in the 3900 block of Southeast 104th Avenue — one Monday afternoon and the other Tuesday morning.
The victim of the second Molotov cocktail also got text messages from an unfamiliar number saying they were targeted for their sexual orientation.
Before the arrest, a neighbor told KOIN 6 News he is filled with fear not knowing who is behind the actions.
"It's a hate crime thing all that," neighbor Curt Erickson said. "That's unusual for this neighborhood. We know everybody. We all hang. So where does that come from?"
Others say they all know each there and are keeping watch and installing cameras. Some have also put up signs of support for their neighbors.
No one has been injured but police believe there may be more victims and encourage anyone to contact Det. Meredith Hopper at 503-823-3408.
"We recognize that these incidents can generate fear in our community," Chief Danielle Outlaw said in a statement. "These cases are taken seriously and I am proud of Detective Meredith Hopper's resolve and swift apprehension of the suspect."
KOIN 6 News is a news partner of the Portland Tribune. You can find their story here.
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