Police in Portland, Oregon have taken a juvenile male into custody on suspicion of attacking a free speech protester with pepper spray during Sunday’s Pride Parade.
According to police, officers responded to reports of a disturbance on Northwest Broadway near West Burnside at about 12:15 p.m. They found a person who had been pepper-sprayed by a juvenile male. Police treated the man for exposure to pepper spray.
As police interviewed the man and witnesses, who were part of a group participating in a free speech protest, they were able to identify the teenage male suspect. But the suspect moved through the crowd gathered for the parade and was able to flee the area, police say.
At about 3 p.m., during the Waterfront Pride Festival at Tom McCall Waterfront Park, a young man approached the Portland Police recruitment booth and began tearing apart items from the booth and throwing them on the ground. According to police, an officer at the booth requested the man stop destroying the items and littering. After he refused, the officer sought backup.
When other officers arrived, they identified the man as the suspect from the pepper-spray attack earlier. Officers attempted to take the suspect into custody; however, a friend of the suspect interfered. After warning both several times, both juveniles were arrested.
The juvenile male who was involved in the pepper spraying incident was lodged at the Donald E. Long Detention Home on charges of assault in the fourth degree, unlawful use of pepper spray, disorderly conduct in the second degree and resisting arrest. The second juvenile male was charged with resisting arrest and interfering with a peace officer. The second male was released to a guardian.
Police are asking anyone with information, including cell phone video footage, of either incident to contact the non-emergency line at 503-823-3333 and reference case number 42-17-680760.
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