The Time Is Now

Support local, independent reporting.

Help the city we love by joining Friends of Willamette Week.


Molotov Cocktails Thrown in Portland Yards Spark Bias Crime Investigation

One victim allegedly received texts targeting them for their sexual orientation.

The Portland Police Bureau is investigating what might be bias crimes after molotov cocktails were thrown in the yards of two Southeast Portland homes.

Police responded to the reports of molotov cocktails in the yards of two separate residences on Southeast 104th Avenue first on Monday, Aug. 12, and then on Tuesday, Aug. 13.

Officers said the resident at the second home had received threatening text messages from an alleged suspect, which said they were targeted for their sexual orientation. The victim did not recognize the number the text were were sent from.

No injuries were reported, but PPB said in a statement it believed there may be additional victims related to the case.

PPB spokesman Officer Carlos Ibarra tells WW the incidents are still being investigated as bias crimes. Anyone who has information, or who has been targeted, is urged to file a police report.

Update, Aug. 14, 9:17 pm: Police have arrested a suspect, 27-year-old Jesse David Bennett, who lives in the same neighborhood as the victims and has been charged with two counts of possession of a destructive device and two counts of unlawful manufacture of a destructive device.

The investigation is still on-going. Police chief Danielle Outlaw said in a statement, "We recognize that these incidents can generate fear in our community."

She continued: "These cases are taken seriously and I am proud of Detective Meredith Hopper's resolve and swift apprehension of the suspect."