A young Japanese man studying English in Portland, Oregon, has come forward to accuse Dylan J. Kesterson of attacking him last month.
Kesterson, 34, is currently facing 19 charges for attacks he allegedly committed against a Japanese father and his 5-year-old daughter on July 2 and a Filipino woman on April 17. Those charges include counts of assault, harassment and bias crime.
Kaito Nakajima, 21, said Kesterson approached him near the Safeway store at Southwest 10th Avenue and Jefferson Street on June 25. He recalled his assailant yelling before physically assaulting him.
“Maybe the F-word, so dirty words, and after that I was slapped, [on] my cheek two times,” Nakajima said in an interview with KGW. “My hat was stolen after that and the guy go away, somewhere. He ran off.”
Nakajima said he did not hear what his assailant yelled because he was wearing earbuds. But he quickly recognized Kesterson when he made the news after his arrest over the July 2 attack.
“Me and my friends saw the guy’s face, so me and my friends realized — [it was] both,” he said of Kesterson’s involvement in the incidents.
The July 2 incident involved a Japanese man, his wife and their 5-year-old daughter who were biking along the Eastbank Esplanade. Kesterson allegedly punched the man and his daughter multiple times because they were Japanese.
Last week, Tyra Blackmon, who is Filipino, came forward to accuse Kesterson of assault. Blackmon said she was targeted by Kesterson on April 17 when she and her friends tried to help a teenage boy being chased by Kesterson.
“He sees me and starts walking up to me really fast. He said, ‘Are you Filipino?’ and I just froze immediately,” Blackmon told FOX 12. “He grabbed the back of my head extremely hard and gripped as hard as he could and threw me on the back of our car. I fell to the ground and he kept yanking and yanking.”
Nakajima, who shrugged off his attack when it happened, has now filed a police report. His case is being investigated as a possible bias crime, Oregon’s equivalent of a hate crime.
Nakajima is reportedly halfway through his six-month language program. He said he wants to continue enjoying Portland, but he’s been afraid of going out.
“I feel so afraid. If I have to go, maybe I go to downtown, but [I’m] so afraid,” he told KGW.
Many people might not know this, but NextShark is a small media startup that runs on no outside funding or loans, and with no paywalls or subscription fees, we rely on help from our community and readers like you.
Everything you see today is built by Asians, for Asians to help amplify our voices globally and support each other. However, we still face many difficulties in our industry because of our commitment to accessible and informational Asian news coverage.
We hope you consider making a contribution to NextShark so we can continue to provide you quality journalism that informs, educates, and inspires the Asian community. Even a $1 contribution goes a long way. Thank you for supporting NextShark and our community.