Portland police have identified a suspect in the harassment of an Asian woman and her children Monday afternoon on Forest Avenue.

The man, Troy Sprague, 47, of Portland, faces a criminal mischief charge, according to a news release Tuesday evening by the Portland Police Department.

Portland police said the attack was racially motivated and the incident is being investigated as a hate crime.

The 38-year-old woman and her children were sitting in her vehicle around 2 p.m. when an agitated man made eye contact with her and started yelling at her to “go back to where she came from,” police said. When she tried to move her vehicle away, he kicked her driver side mirror, snapping it from its bracket and leaving a large hole, police said.

The woman called police and waited near 471 Forest Ave. for police officers to arrive. She told police she frequently sees the man walking along Forest Avenue.

“I would commend the cooperation and assistance of the witnesses, along with the perseverance of our officers and detectives in quickly identifying this perpetrator,” Portland Police Chief Frank Clark said in a statement. “The investigation remains ongoing and we will be conferring with the District Attorney and the Attorney General’s Office on the appropriateness of hate crime or other charges.”


Officers had contacted the suspect, but his name was not released earlier Tuesday because of mental health and privacy issues, said David Singer, a police spokesman. That changed Tuesday evening after Sprague was charged.

“To be the target of such a racist and hate-induced crime cuts directly against everything we stand for in the city of Portland,” Clark said.

The incident drew a swift response from the newly formed Portland organization Unified Asian Communities.

“Our hearts go out to the victim and her family. No one should ever have to face such violence and hatred, especially about their race,” the group wrote in a Facebook post. “We are so sorry this happened to you, and we hope you get the justice you deserve.”

Similar reports of assaults and harassment targeting Asian Americans have surged nationally during the pandemic, fueled by rhetoric blaming the coronavirus on China or Asian Americans. Stop AAPI Hate has recorded 3,795 incidents targeting Asian American and Pacific islanders between March 19, 2020, and Feb. 28. Most of the incidents have been aimed at women, and range from verbal harassment to physical assaults.

A recent report by the Center for the Study of Hate and Extremism said anti-Asian hate crimes increased 149 percent in American’s largest cities last year.

Anyone with information about such incidents in Portland is asked to call police at 874-8575. Anonymous information can be left on the Crime Tip line at 874-8584 or sent by text with the keyword PPDME to 847411.

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