A man punched a father and his 5-year-old daughter riding bikes on the Eastbank Esplanade near the Hawthorne Bridge in an alleged anti-Asian bias crime Saturday afternoon, Portland police said.
The suspect approached a family from California on the bike path south of the bridge about 3:45 p.m. and started making comments about what he thought was their Japanese descent, police said.
He then punched the 36-year-old father in the head and punched the daughter in her bike helmet numerous times before bystanders intervened, police said in a statement.
Officers found the suspect nearby as he was trying to leave and arrested him, police said.
Dylan J. Kesterson, 34, was booked into the Multnomah County Detention Center on suspicion of first-degree bias crime and second-degree bias crime, police said.
The California man and his daughter were hurt but didn’t need immediate medical attention, police said. Police didn’t publicly identify him, his daughter or his wife, who was with them riding bikes.
Reports of Anti-Asian biasincreased last year at a higher rate than other calls to the state bias hotline, according to a report released last week.
On Monday, the president of the Oregon Chinese Coalition, Hongcheng Zhao, called the incident “extremely alarming.”
“The threat to Asians is a threat to the entire community,” Zhao wrote in a statement. “No one should live in fear in our community and in this great country.”
Chinese father and daughter beaten up