‘Disappointed, annoyed’: Portland business owners clean up after Thanksgiving Day vandalism


PORTLAND, Ore. (NewsNation Now) — Police in Portland arrested three people early Thursday following damage to at least 10 businesses.

Police say they responded to reports of a group of people smashing windows and spray-painting graffiti on buildings.

NewsNation affiliate KOIN reports Portland Police came across the group around 1 a.m. Thursday. Most of the graffiti was about Thanksgiving, colonizers and capitalism, with many profanities spotted as well.

Businesses sustaining damage include banks, an auto service center, a shipping store and other storefronts, police said.

Taken into custody were 24-year-old Chester Hester, 38-year-old Nicole Noriega and 23-year-old Bailey Willack. They were booked into the Multnomah County Jail, and each face 10 counts of first-degree criminal mischief. It’s not clear if they have attorneys.

Several business owners worked to clean up the mess on Thanksgiving Day. Some were painting over the graffiti or scraping it off of storefront windows.

“It’s a day to be thankful — unfortunately, things like this happen and that’s not going to deter me from being thankful for a lot of things in this world,” said one business owner whose building was vandalized. “Am I frustrated? Yeah. Am I disappointed? Yeah. Am I annoyed? Yeah. I just wish that people who spend time vandalizing or spray painting or doing any sort of destruction would spend their energies towards trying to change the things that they are feel are unjust in a positive way.”

A woman passing by told KOIN the damage is “just sad.” Meanwhile, Bill Levesque, the president of the Hawthorne Boulevard Business Association, was out on Thanksgiving afternoon to help business owners with the cleanup.

“It’s been a tough year, the damage here is horrible and these businesses are trying to survive,” said Bill Levesque, the president of the Hawthorne Boulevard Business Association. “There’s a lot of emotions around a lot of issues, it’s sad and so impactful to these businesses just trying to make it day-to-day.”

Levesque estimated the damage to some businesses to cost thousands of dollars.

“There a lot of people who have dreams just like everybody else and they go and start businesses that we can all visit and enjoy,” said Levesque, who urged people to support small business owners by shopping local.

Police say that, based on statements from witnesses, more people were likely involved, and they plan to continue investigating.

The Associated Press and KOIN contributed to this report.

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