6/10/2013 1:25:00 PM Man ignites small cross downtown
Police are investigating a possible hate crime that took place just a block from St. André Bessette Church in downtown Portland June 10.
Shortly before 6 a.m., witnesses saw a man ignite a 3-foot-tall cross on the sidewalk at the intersection of Burnside and Broadway, one of the city's key junctions at rush hour. Firefighters responded and doused the cross, which was made of branches. No buildings were damaged and no one was injured.
The cross had been surrounded by cones and closure signs from the weekend's Rose Festival Grand Floral Parade. Witnesses say the man who lit it was between 30 and 50, medium build, about 6 feet tall, wearing a hat and blue jeans.
Burning crosses have long been a symbol of the white supremacist Ku Klux Klan.