July 5, 2022
Elisabeth Shepard, Communications Director
DA Mike Schmidt announces seven charges issued in weekend bias crime
PORTLAND, Oregon – Today, Multnomah County District Attorney Mike Schmidt announced Dylan Kesterson, 34 has been charged with Attempted Assault in the Second Degree, Assault in the Fourth Degree, two counts of Bias Crime in the First Degree, Attempted Assault in the Third Degree, Bias Crime in the Second Degree and Harassment.
The charges stem from an incident on Saturday, July 2, in the area of the Southeast Bank Esplanade. Kesterson allegedly approached a family including a mother, father, and five-year-old daughter recreating on the Esplanade, and commented on their race. The family is of Japanese descent. Kesterson then lodged an unprovoked physical attack and yelled racial slurs. He struck the father multiple times in the head area and subsequently struck the daughter once in the head area. The daughter was wearing a helmet at the time and did not sustain injuries from the attack. The father sought medical care at an area hospital after the incident.
Responding Portland police officers identified Kesterson in the area of the incident based on eyewitness reports and arrested him. After he was booked at the jail on multiple counts of Bias Crime, pursuant to the terms of the controlling Multnomah County Presiding Judge Order, Kesterson was released on pretrial supervision prior to this afternoon’s arraignment. The Multnomah County District Attorney’s Office has filed charges, including an offense for which Oregon law permits pretrial detention, and is requesting that Kesterson be returned to custody and held without bail.
Under the direction of Multnomah County District Attorney Mike Schmidt, the office has developed and published a Bias Crimes Data Dashboard to raise awareness about bias crime and bias crime prosecution with the aim of reducing the occurrence of these crimes.
A charging document is only an accusation of a crime. Kesterson innocent unless and until proven guilty.