Grand jury indicts man found in possession of explosive device

Today, Multnomah County District Attorney Rod Underhill announced that a grand jury has indicted 27-year-old Tyler Scott Whitney after Portland Police found him in possession of a pipe bomb. 

Whitney is charged with one count of unlawful possession of a destructive device and one count of giving false information to a peace officer.

According to court documents, this investigation started on April 5, 2020 when a Portland Police officer received information about an unwanted person inside a hotel on Jantzen Beach and locked inside a bathroom.

The officer contacted the person and asked for his name, according to court documents. The man provided an identification card from Alaska. The officer told the man that he needed to leave.

According to court documents, during the officer’s follow up investigation, he learned that the physical description on the ID card from Alaska did not match the person with whom he spoke to inside the bathroom. The officer attempted to locate the individual and found him at another nearby hotel.

There, according to court documents, the man admitted he gave the officer a false and fictitious ID card to avoid detection of an outstanding warrant. The officer placed the man, later identified as Whitney, into custody. During the arrest, the officer conducted an inventory of the man’s backpack and found uncapped needles, according to court documents.

In order to not be injured by any of the needles, the officer dumped out the bag’s content, court documents state. When the officer dumped out the bag, a heavy objected fell from it onto the ground. Based on the officer’s training and experience, he believed the object to be a pipe bomb.

The pipe bomb was approximately three inches long and had caps on both ends, according to court documents. The device was wrapped in silver duct tape and had a green corded material coming out from one end. The cord was approximately one inch long.

The Metropolitan Explosive Disposal Unit (EDU) responded to the scene and seized the item.

A photo of the device seized is being included with this press release. The photo was included as part of the probable cause affidavit filed in this matter.

Additional investigative photos of the device are currently exempt from disclosure.

This case is being investigated by the Portland Police Bureau

Like in all criminal and civil matters, electronic copies of court documents, which are not subject to a protective order, are available to the public through the Oregon eCourt Information (OECI) system.

No additional information can be released by the Multnomah County District Attorney’s Office at this time pursuant to the Oregon Rules of Professional Conduct.

A charging document is only an accusation of a crime. Whitney is innocent unless and until proven guilty.