Wanted: Man on bike pepper sprayed, yelled racial slur at childr - KPTV - FOX 12

Wanted: Man on bike pepper sprayed, yelled racial slur at children in NE Portland

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Portland Police Bureau (File image) Portland Police Bureau (File image)

Police are searching for a man on a bicycle who pepper sprayed three black children and yelled a racial epithet at them in northeast Portland.  

Officers responded to a home on the 5500 block of Northeast 9th Avenue at 9:16 p.m. Tuesday.

The mother and grandmother of three boys – ages 7, 11 and 12 years old – said the children were getting into the car when a man rode by on a bike, heading south on 9th Avenue.

The family said the man turned around, rode back by the car and sprayed the boys with pepper spray as he used a racial slur. He then rode away.

Police said the family is African-American.

The boys were treated at the scene by medical personnel for exposure to pepper spray, but they did not require transport by ambulance to the hospital, according to officers.

The suspect is described as a white or Hispanic man in his mid-20s, 5 feet 9 inches tall and 160 pounds. He was wearing black spandex-style bicycle clothing and a gray and black helmet. He was riding a road-style bicycle, not a mountain bike, with a white box on the back.

Officers searched the neighborhood, but did not find anyone matching his description.

The mother of the boys found the white box from the bike in the neighborhood and turned it over to investigators. It contained various tools, but no identifying information.

Due to the nature of the report, a detective assigned to investigate bias crimes is conducting the investigation.

Police said bias crimes are defined as any criminal act that targets a victim based on the suspect's perception of the victim's race, color, religion, national origin or sexual orientation.

Anyone with information about this incident or the identity of the suspect is asked to contact Detective Jeff Sharp at 503-823-9773, jeff.sharp@portlandoregon.gov.

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