Man punches father, child in suspected anti-Asian bias crime

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — A man punched a father and his 5-year-old daughter riding bikes on Portland’s Eastbank Esplanade near the Hawthorne Bridge in an alleged anti-Asian bias crime July 2, 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 the daughter on her bike helmet numerous times before bystanders intervened, police said.

Officers found the suspect nearby as he was trying to leave and arrested him, The Oregonian/OregonLive reported.

Dylan J. Kesterson, 34, was booked into the jail on suspicion of bias crimes.

The man and his daughter were hurt but didn’t need medical attention, police said. Police didn’t publicly identify the family.

Reports of Anti-Asian bias increased last year at a higher rate than other calls to the state bias hotline, according to a report released last week.

On July 4, 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.”

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