2 Molotov cocktails found, SE Portland man arrested

Crime

One victim got texts saying they were targeted for their sexual orientation

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — 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 lived in the neighborhood.

Jesse David Bennett was arrested by Portland police Wednesday afternoon and booked on 2 counts of possessing a destructive device and 2 counts of the unlawful manufacturing of a destructive device.

Court records reveal that Bennett has been arrested before — for identity theft and stalking.

Jesse David Bennett, August 14, 2019 (Multnomah County Sheriff’s Office)

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.

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.”

Copyright 2019 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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