PORTLAND, Ore. (KPTV) — There was a tense scene in the Lents neighborhood late Saturday night as the Portland Police Bureau attempted to defuse a possible explosive device that was thrown at a food truck on Southeast 82nd Avenue.
Tim Turcotte owns Esan Thai Eastport at the Eastport Food Cart Pod. He said he walked out of his home late Saturday night and saw a group of suspicious people near his cart. Turcotte watched as one of them lit a device and threw it at his shop, then ran off with more items, which he said were also pipe bombs.
After the group fled the area, Turcotte approached to see what was being thrown.
“It was probably a metal tube three inches long, probably four inches long, with clay on the sides,” Turcotte said. “You typed ‘five point zero’ over the device.”
Realizing it could be an explosive device, Turcotte called 911. PPB arrived and began examining the object lying on the ground.
“The policeman who came said, ‘We have to bring everyone back,'” Turcotte said. “They pinched off the entire 82nd (Avenue.)”
Cellphone video shows officers carefully removing the device from the grocery cart. An official at the scene told Turcotte that it was indeed a pipe bomb, but PPB has not confirmed this with FOX 12 at this time.
“It just blew me away, no pun intended,” Turcotte said. “It was kind of crazy.”
With propane tanks hooked up to many of the food trucks, a potential explosion could have been catastrophic. Turcotte was able to scare the group away before anything like that could have happened.
“They blew up the carts of the homeless and the RVs in the area,” he said. “They’re making a gnarly situation, not to mention what you might do with a food truck hooked up to a 100-gallon propane tank.”
Turcotte said he would never move his food truck and loves being part of the Eastport Food Cart Pod. He said the customers are great and his neighborhood takes care of each other.
He said when the sun goes down, crime starts to happen. To prevent crime across Portland, Turcotte said the community must have each other’s backs.
“Be neighborly and everything will be fine,” he said. “You just have to watch out for those who don’t live in your neighborhood.”
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