Oregon man on bike pepper sprayed 3 children as they sat in car

PORTLAND, Ore. -- A man riding a bicycle pepper sprayed three children in their mother's car Tuesday night, police said.

The 7, 11 and 12-year-old boys said they were waiting for their mom and grandma in the car when a man on a bicycle approached them.

"A guy on the bicycle rode past us and asked us, 'Are we OK?'" said 12-year-old Leonard.

Leonard replied "yes" and said the man rode off, staring at them. The boys didn't know he would circle around and sneak up to their car, hitting them with the spray.

"I was mad, angry and traumatized at the same time," Leonard said. "I couldn't breathe and my body felt like it was on fire. It was burning very bad."

The children said they jumped out of the car, screaming.

"He pepper sprayed me in my eye and I got out of the car and ran into a tree," Nehemiah said. "I was scared."

In the midst of the chaos, the suspect sprayed at the boys' grandma and mom - who only wanted to share her last name, Frazier - yelling the N-word at them.

Frazier works in the medical field, but said she felt helpless.

"How could this happen and I can't save my kids?" Frazier asked. "It literally felt like it was eating my face off. I got in the shower 5 times and my skin was still burning."

Leonard, who was hit the hardest, had to go to the hospital. Medical professionals told the family they suspected they were hit with "bear spray."

Neighbors showed support for the family after the incident.

"Absolutely disgusting, horrible incident," neighbor Laurel Carrasco said. "I think we all have to look out for each other's children."

The boys described the suspect as a white or Hispanic man in his mid-20s.

A Bias Crimes detective with Portland Police Bureau is investigating the attack because the victims are all African-American.

"I'm very disappointed someone would do this," Frazier said. "My kids are good kids."

KOIN reports that Frazier's insurance company said her car may be a total loss.
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