August 14, 2019 21:19
This afternoon, the Portland Police Bureau's Arson Detectives identified and arrested 27-year-old Jesse David Bennett in connection with this case. Investigators followed up on leads and learned that Bennett lived in the same neighborhood as the victims. Bennet was booked into the Multnomah County Detention Center. At this time, Bennett has been charged with two counts of Possession of a Destructive Device and two counts of Unlawful Manufacture of a Destructive Device. This is an ongoing investigation and no additional updates will be available at this time.
"We recognize that these incidents can generate fear in our community," said Chief Danielle Outlaw. "These cases are taken seriously and I am proud of Detective Meredith Hopper's resolve and swift apprehension of the suspect."
On Monday August 12, 2019 at 3:26p.m., East Precinct officers responded to the 3900 block of Southeast 104th Avenue on a report of a molotov cocktail that was found in the resident's yard. Arson investigators responded and assisted with the investigation.
On Tuesday August 13, 2019 at 9:37a.m., East Precinct officers responded to another residence in the 3900 block of Southeast 104th Avenue on a similar report where a molotov cocktail was found in the yard.
After the officers cleared the scene in the second incident, the resident received intimidating text messages from the alleged suspect stating that they were targeted due to their sexual orientation. The text messages were from a phone number that the victim did not recognize. At 11:38a.m., officers received a call with the additional information about the text messages and returned to the location to investigate. Arson investigators responded to the scene to assist.
There have been no reported injuries as a result of these incidents. Investigators believe there may be more victims related to this case. Victims are encouraged to file a police report as soon as possible by calling the non-emergency line at (503)823-3333.
Both incidents are being investigated as bias crimes. The Portland Police Bureau's Detective Division is continuing the investigation. Anyone with information, including video surveillance footage of these incidents should contact Detective Hopper at 503-823-3408.
The Bureau investigates all reports of bias-motivated crimes and encourages any member of our community who is the victim of such a crime to contact law enforcement. Under Oregon law, bias crimes are defined as any criminal act that targets a victim based on the suspect's perception of the victim's race, color, religion, sexual orientation, disability, or national origin. Detectives work to determine whether or not bias elements are present during the reported crime that align with Oregon law as defined in the Oregon Revised Statutes (ORS):
* ORS 166.165 - Intimidation in the First Degree - https://www.oregonlaws.org/ors/166.165
* ORS 166.155 - Intimidation in the Second Degree - https://www.oregonlaws.org/ors/166.155
If you have been the victim of a bias crime assault or you are witnessing one, immediately call 9-1-1. If you have been the victim of a different bias crime and the suspect is no longer present, such as vandalism or graffiti, please call the non-emergency line at 503-823-3333.
To learn more about bias crime investigations and reported bias/hate crime statistics within the City of Portland, please visit https://www.portlandoregon.gov/police/77066
Additionally, the City of Portland is a partner in Portland United Against Hate, which is a community initiated partnership of Community Based Organizations, Neighborhood Associations, concerned communities and the City. To learn more, please visit https://www.portlandoregon.gov/oni/72583
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