A violent incident rocked Portland's Old Town district over the weekend, resulting in a man facing serious charges including assault and hate crimes. On the afternoon of February 10, fire and police responded to reports of a man igniting a blaze and launching an unprovoked attack on a bystander.
When Portland Fire & Rescue reached the fiery scene at Northwest 6th Avenue and Northwest Glisan Street, they discovered a male subject setting ablaze some clothing. While containing the fire, they turned their attention to the same individual who was in the process of assaulting another man with a pair of scissors and biting that was nothing short of savage, augmented by a tirade of racial epithets, Portland Police reported.
Portland Police officers arrived swiftly at the chaotic scene at 1:47 p.m., less than sixty seconds after being summoned, and apprehended the suspect. Nonetheless, the aggression didn't cease as the suspect proceeded to spit on one of the officers attempting to take control of the volatile situation.
Following the attack, which left the victim with injuries classified as non-life threatening, the Portland Police Major Crimes Unit dived into the investigation. Charged with Assault in the Second Degree among other offenses, 42-year-old Corey A. Nesenson, a local Portland resident, was processed by the authorities. According to a statement made available by Portland Police, Nesenson's litany of charges also includes Bias Crime in the First Degree and Aggravated Harassment.
The racially charged nature of the assault, as well as the accompanying physical violence, has led authorities to investigate the matter as a biased crime. The suspect allegedly targeted the victim, instilling fear of imminent harm, based on prejudiced perceptions of the victim's racial identity. The case continues to be an active investigation as Portland confronts yet another episode of racially motivated violence cleaving through the city's sense of community.