Portland’s tour guides, the band of perky young people who help tourists navigate the city’s historic downtown, apparently won’t need extra protection.

On Wednesday, Portland’s Downtown District, an organization representing merchants, sought to ease concerns raised this week when it asked first-floor retailers to provide temporary refuge to tour guides if they ever felt “accosted or threatened by street people.”

The alert, sent Monday by board Chairman and acting CEO Michael Mastronardi, referred to “a few incidents” and said they had been reported to police. It also said that one guide had resigned because of the harassment.

But Wednesday, the organization said in a written statement that the alert stemmed from one incident involving a tour guide. The statement did not detail that incident.

“Recently, we had an incident that involved one of our guides,” the group said. “We took this opportunity to send an email reminding merchants of our program and asking for their support should our guides ever feel uncomfortable in any way.”

The Portland Police Department has noted that nuisance crimes, such as aggressive panhandling, are actually down from the previous year.The city received a black eye last year when the production manager for British singer-songwriter Elvis Costello was assaulted in Congress Square after refusing to give a panhandler money shortly after noontime. The assailant was arrested five hours later in Monument Square.

Portland’s Downtown District, a nonprofit that is funded through a special tax on businesses, employs guides during the summer to help tourists find their way around town. The guides wear brightly colored T-shirts and have a kiosk in Tommy’s Park, a popular hangout for young people.

Mastronardi, who is filling in as the organization’s CEO while Steve Hewins is on medical leave, met Wednesday with the executive committee to discuss Monday’s email alert. Other members could not be reached or declined to comment.

In addition to referring to incidents involving guides and to “aggressive beggars and thieves,” Mastronardi said in his email Monday that police would issue an alert and a photograph of someone named Pete Johnson, whose address is unlisted.

Police said they have received no complaints about tour guides being threatened, and have not issued the alert. However, police did arrest Johnson this week on a charge of violating a criminal trespass warning for Monument Square.

Police Chief Michael Sauschuck said Johnson has 14 active criminal trespass orders against him. Police could not immediately provide information about what led to those notices. Johnson was still in the Cumberland County Jail on Wednesday afternoon.

Stonewall Kitchen, which is across Middle Street from Tommy’s Park, had run-ins with Johnson, said Fiona Brooks, the store’s assistant manager. Brooks said Johnson entered the store about six times, gave off a “strange vibe” and frightened employees.

The last time Johnson entered the store, in late May, he showed an interest in the store’s knives, Brooks said. The encounter prompted Brooks to call police and store the knives in the basement as a precaution.

Sauschuck described problems with Johnson as an “isolated case.” He cautioned against citing the actions of one person to generalize about others who may be homeless and asking for help.

“We don’t like to paint with that broad of a brush,” he said. “It’s just not appropriate.”

While some merchants believe that aggressive panhandling is becoming more of a problem, Sauschuck said nuisance complaints downtown are actually down 8 percent over the previous year. Such complaints are down 14 percent citywide. Overall, crime is down 11 percent citywide, he said.

Mastronardi said in an interview that he has not received any negative feedback from the alert and that it was welcomed by the group’s members.

Although his email Monday asked merchants to post welcome signs for tour guides who feel threatened, Mastronardi said he doesn’t plan to pursue that plan any further.

“We’ve had an incredible response from our 50 merchants in support of welcoming the guides to their premise,” he said.

Staff Writer Chelsea Diana contributed to this report.