A press release sent out by the Portland Police Bureau a few minutes ago describes the arrest of man accused of menacing construction workers he believed were Latino and, presumably, working without documentation.
Sounds bad on its own, but things easily could have gone horribly awry—thanks to, according to the cops, a dangerous confluence of a loaded assault rifle, (alleged) xenophobia, and (alleged) intoxication. Luckily, it didn't. No one was shot, by a gunman or the police. But this sounds razor-thin.
On Wednesday, October 24, 2012 Portland Police officers assigned to North Precinct responded to a call of a man armed with an AK-47 assault rifle threatening construction workers at Northeast 11th and Church.
Arriving officers observed the suspect in a white truck on 11th Avenue. As officers were positioning themselves around the truck it drove away. An officer on scene yelled for the man to pull over and give up. The suspect pulled over and gave up with out incident.
Officers recovered a loaded AK-47 assault rifle at the scene. The suspect was identified as 43-year-old Charles E. Larson. Larson apparently came to the construction work site to threaten construction workers that he believed were Hispanic. Larson objected to Hispanic people getting construction jobs.
Larson was booked in the Multnomah County Jail on Driving under the Influence of Intoxicants, Intimidation in the Second Degree, Menacing, Reckless Driving and Unlawful Use of a Weapon. Larson is being held on $15,000 bail.