Portland man charged with hate crimes for hitting 5-year-old girl and her dad for being ‘Japanese’

A man has been charged with bias crimes in Portland, Oregon after he allegedly attacked a man and his 5-year-old daughter because he thought they were Japanese.

The victims, who traveled from California, were riding their bikes along the Eastbank Esplanade at around 3:45 p.m. Saturday when Dylan J. Kesterson, 34, approached them and “commented on his perception that they were of Japanese descent,” Portland police. said.

After making the remark, Kesterson allegedly began punching the 36-year-old in the head. He then punched the man’s 5-year-old daughter in her bicycle helmet “numerous times”.

Witnesses in the area immediately intervened, according to reports. Kesterson, who walked away, was arrested nearby soon after.

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The victims were reportedly injured but did not require medical attention. The man’s wife, who was also riding a bicycle and witnessed the incident, was not allegedly assaulted.

“I am outraged and disgusted by the assault that occurred on the Eastbank Plaza. We will not tolerate this type of behavior in our community and I will ask the District Attorney to pursue the maximum penalty,” said Mayor Ted Wheeler in a statement.

Commissioner Carmen Rubio apologized to the family in a statement on Sunday. She said everyone, especially children, deserved to feel welcome in a Portland free from racial prejudice and hatred.

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“I am truly sorry that our guests fell victim to this terrifying event and would like to personally apologize to them. No one should ever have to fear for their safety and security, whether visiting our city or living here. “said Rubio.

Kesterson was incarcerated in the Multnomah County Jail on one felony count of first degree bias and two misdemeanor counts of felony second degree bias. He has since been released, with his arraignment scheduled for Tuesday.

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Image selected via bikesharedude

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