Fire investigators say man intentionally left suspicious backpack at transit center
A 59-year-old man was arrested Friday evening after Portland Fire and Rescue investigators said he intentionally left a suspicious device at the Hollywood Transit Center.
Wilfredo Reyes was booked into the Multnomah County Jail on charges of filing a false report, second-degree disorderly conduct, interfering with public transportation and possession of a hoax device. He will be arraigned on Monday, June 12.
Investigators said evidence at the scene led to Reyes' arrest. Investigators believe Reyes left a backpack that had the appearance of a suspicious device on a TriMet Green Line train then called emergency dispatchers to report the backpack as suspicious.
Reyes was found by Transit Division officers near West Burnside Street and Fifth Avenue shortly after investigators determined that the item did not pose a danger to the public.
Shrine to stabbing victims
The location is significant because it was at the Hollywood Transit Center that three men were seriously injured May 26 when they were stabbed during a confrontation with 35-year-old Jeremy J. Christian, who was shouting at two young African-American women on a crowded Green Line train. Two of the men, Rick Best and Taliesin Myrddin Namkai-Meche, died in the attack. Micah David-Cole Fletcher is recovering from his serious injuries.
The station has become a sort of shrine to the men, with flowers and other items placed near the platform.
The suspicious package closed the transit center for nearly four hours as police and fire bureau investigators tried to determine if the backpack contained an explosive device.
The emergency call came in at about 12:20 p.m., June 9, prompting the transit center's closure and closing of Interstate 84 near Interstate 205. The Metropolitan Explosive Device Unit checked the backpack and discovered the hoax device.
The highway and the transit center returned to normal operations at about 3:45 p.m.