Possible explosive device thrown at a food cart in southeast Portland

PORTLAND, Ore. (KPTV) — It was a tense scene in the Lenten neighborhood late Saturday night as the Portland Police Department attempted to defuse a possible explosive device that had been thrown at a food cart on South 82nd Avenue -is.

Tim Turcotte owns Esan Thai Eastport in the Eastport Food Cart. He said he left his house late Saturday night and saw a group of suspicious individuals near his cart. Turcotte saw one of them turn on a device and throw it at his business, then run off with other items he said were also pipe bombs.

Once the group fled the area, Turcotte approached to see what had been thrown.

“It was probably a three-inch metal tube, probably four inches long with clay packed into the sides,” Turcotte said. “They wrote ‘five points zero’ on the device.”

Realizing it might be an explosive device, Turcotte called 911. PPB arrived and began investigating the object which was lying on the ground.

“The police officer who came said, ‘We have to get everyone back,’ Turcotte said. “They taped the whole 82nd (Ave.)”

Cellphone video shows officers carefully removing the device from the food cart pod. An officer at the scene told Turcotte it was in fact a pipe bomb, but PPB has not confirmed this with FOX 12 at this time.

“It just blew my mind, no pun intended,” Turcotte said. “It was a little crazy.”

With propane tanks hooked up to many food carts, a potential explosion could have been catastrophic. Turcotte managed to scare the group away before something like this happened.

“They blew up homeless carts and RVs in the area,” he said. “These create an awkward situation, not to mention what you could do to a food cart hooked up to a 100-gallon propane tank.”

Turcotte said he would never move his food cart and loves being part of Eastport’s food cart pod. He said the customers are great and his neighborhood looks out for each other.

He said when the sun goes down, crime starts to happen. To help prevent crime throughout Portland, Turcotte said the community needs to support each other.

“Be neighbors and everything will be fine,” he said. “You just have to watch those who don’t live in your neighborhood.”