A man is accused of swinging a chair and punching a gay man in the face at a Fairview RV park in a case police are calling a possible bias crime.
Police received a report of food stolen from a gas station at Fairview Parkway and Northeast Sandy Boulevard at 11 p.m. Sunday.
The same suspect was then involved in as assault at Portland RV Park on the 21400 block of Sandy Boulevard, according to police.
Officers responded to the RV park and contacted a man who said Matthew Jay Holt, 26, approached him and asked if he had drugs for sale.
The man, who said Holt identified him as being gay, told Holt he and his family do not use drugs. Holt walked away, but the man told officers he was concerned about what Holt might do next, so he followed him.
The man told police Holt picked up a chair from an RV site and when he told Holt to put it down, Holt swung the chair at the man.
Police said Holt then punched the victim in the face, causing a minor injury.
Holt left the scene and was later located by police and arrested.
Investigators said Holt made statements to the arresting officer that led the officer to believe the assault was motivated at least in part by the victim's sexual identity.
Follow-up investigation supported a basis for that presumption, according to the Fairview Police Department.
Holt was booked into the Multnomah County Jail and is facing charges of fourth-degree assault and second-degree intimidation, according to police. The case is being referred to the Multnomah County District Attorney's Office for prosecution.
Fairview police publicly thanked the victim and witnesses involved in the case for providing clear statements and descriptions to officers leading to an arrest, adding, "It is not always easy for people to report crimes when they have been victimized and their courage is commended."
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