06/13/2024

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Zachary Hay

Pit bull owner sicced dog on Black security guard and yelled racist slur in alleged bias crime: Cops

Zachary Hay, left, allegedly yelled a racial slur and ordered his dog to attack a Black man in Portland, Oregon. He faces bias crime and assault charges. (Portland Police Bureau)

Police in Portland, Oregon, arrested a 29-year-old white man for allegedly yelling a racial slur and siccing his dog on a Black man on the street.

Zachary T. Hay is facing charges of felony assault and bias crime in the first degree in relation to a May 12 incident in downtown Portland. According to the Portland Police Bureau, Hay was in the 1300 block of Southwest Alder Street when called a Black man whom he knew as a security guard at a nearby grocery store a racial slur, police said. Hay then allegedly ordered his dog, a pit bull, to attack him.

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    The victim reportedly suffered “significant” injuries to his chest and hand. A second victim also suffered injuries, police said.

    On Monday, one of the victims saw the suspect and called 911. Detectives with the Major Crimes Unit who were investigating the case responded and took Hay into custody. Multnomah County Animal Services took possession of the dog.

    The Oregonian newspaper reported that Hay told cops his dog attacked the men because they were being aggressive.

    Police believe there is another victim who suffered injuries during an interaction between Hay and the dog.

    According to Oregon law, a bias crime in the first degree is a class C felony. The law states:

    (1) A person commits a bias crime in the first degree if the person:
    (a) Intentionally, knowingly or recklessly causes physical injury to another person because of the person’s perception of the other person’s race, color, religion, gender identity, sexual orientation, disability or national origin;
    (b) With criminal negligence causes physical injury to another person by means of a deadly weapon because of the person’s perception of the other person’s race, color, religion, gender identity, sexual orientation, disability or national origin; or
    (c) Intentionally, because of the person’s perception of another person’s race, color, religion, gender identity, sexual orientation, disability or national origin, places another person in fear of imminent serious physical injury.

    According to police there were 138 bias crimes in 2023.

    Hay remains at the Multnomah County Detention Center without bond. His next court date is scheduled for May 30.

    Local authorities have asked anyone with information to contact Detective Matthew Brown at [email protected] and reference case number 24-116932.

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