On Jan. 25, the Multnomah County District Attorney's Office announced that it will pursue charges in two bias crime cases—the first such cases of the new year.
On the evening of Jan. 22, prosecutors say, 43-year-old Brian Miller entered a Chevron gas station in Southeast Portland and began yelling about "you unholy immigrants," Osama bin Laden and al-Qaida at the employee, a 68-year-old Muslim man who is from Afghanistan.
He then proceeded to throw objects at him, and followed the victim behind the counter after threatening to shoot him. The victim hid in a storage room, where he spoke to a 911 operator, prosecutors say.
In the second incident, also on the evening of Jan. 22, prosecutors say, Peter Eschright, 39, walked up to a 44-year-old Asian American woman and her teenage son on a TriMet bus in Southeast Portland and kicked them both in the shins.
"All Chinese persons have the virus and gave it to us," Eschright reportedly said to the family, according to a probable cause affidavit.
Both Miller and Eschright face charges of bias crime—the first such charges in the new year. In 2020, the district attorney's office issued 31 bias crime cases, and 35 in 2019, according to spokesman Brent Weisberg.