PORTLAND, Ore. – A man who is accused of a racially motivated attack at a Portland Iraqi restaurant is an active duty Marine who reportedly has post-traumatic stress disorder.
KGW reports the owners of DarSalam in Northeast Portland said two men walked into the restaurant Friday.
Owner Ghaith Sahib said the men were acting bizarre and refused to order food for close to a hour. He claimed there were racial slurs and profanities before one of the men grabbed a chair and assaulted a server.
Police later arrested Sergeant Major Damien T. Rodriguez for the attack.
Rodriguez served two tours in Iraq and Afghanistan, according to a Marine Corps biography. He also told jailers he had PTSD and was on medication for the condition.
The Marine was originally charged with harassment and second degree disorderly conduct and intimidation, a hate crime under Oregon law.
Portland Police said the hate crime charge has since been dropped.
Officers said they’re aware of Rodriguez’ military status, but they say it will have no bearing on the investigation.
What do you think? Join the discussion on our Facebook page.
© 2024 KOBI-TV NBC5. All rights reserved unless otherwise stated.