Burnt backpack blamed for bus shelter blast

An explosion, in front of the Midland Regional Library, may have been accidental. Yet, a man was arrested in the case …

In the Mill Park neighborhood of outer East Portland, police investigate a blast at a TriMet bus shelter on SE 122nd Avenue near Morrison Street.

By David F. Ashton

An explosion in the Mill Park neighborhood scared those in the area, but did little damage, in the late afternoon of Sunday, June 28.

Portland Police Bureau (PPB) East Precinct officers were dispatched at 5:16 p.m. to investigate reports that a man left a backpack in a TriMet bus shelter, near the Midland Regional Library – and that an explosion had followed, as he walked away from the rucksack.

“Officers arrested a subject believed to be involved; and, fortunately, no persons were injured,” reported PPB Public Information Officer Lieutenant Tina Jones.

It’s not known why the man let his backpack on fire, at this bus stop.

Not long thereafter, Jones elaborated, “Investigators determined the subject involved in the incident had placed a backpack in the bus shelter and then lit it on fire.

“At this time, it does not appear that there was any explosive in the backpack, but that some items inside the backpack burned, which potentially caused a reaction from the heat.”

Facing a Class A Misdemeanor charge in connection with this incident – but also released the day he was booked – is 43 year-old Russell William Brunette. MCDC booking photo

The man arrested was 43-year-old Russell William Brunette; he was booked into the Multnomah County Detention Center that evening at 6:46 p.m. on one charge of Disorderly Conduct I. A judge released Brunette later that evening. Release Reason: “Released on Own Recognizance”.

© 2020 David F. Ashton ~ East Portland News™


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