Portland, OR

Monday in Portland: Woman arrested after allegedly trying to strangle dinner hosts in NE Portland

Emily Scarvie

Photo by(Christopher Furlong/Getty Images)

(PORTLAND, Ore.) Hello Portlanders! It's Monday, March 20 - Here's your daily round up of all the news happening in the City of Roses.

1. Portland making 'critical fixes' to dangerous stretch of 82nd Avenue

The city of Portland is making “critical fixes” to Southeast 82nd Avenue based on safety and maintenance needs. Zachary Lauritzen, of Oregon Walks and its 82nd Avenue Coalition, told FOX 12 that knowing the road’s history helps understand its current safety concerns.

“It used to be the big bypass on the east side of town. And so, it was straight, and it was wide, and it was meant to move people quickly,” Lauritzen said. “It changed from a high-speed corridor to a dangerous high-speed corridor to now, what we’re hoping is a community corridor.”

The city says those changes are in the works. As part of the road’s “critical fixes,” the Portland Bureau of Transportation said it will make urgent improvements to a two-and-a-half mile stretch of 82nd Avenue. Draft concepts include new or upgraded crossings, medians, trees, ADA ramps, street lights, sidewalk improvements and more.

2. Woman arrested after allegedly trying to strangle dinner hosts in NE Portland

A 25-year-old woman was arrested over the weekend after allegedly attempting to strangle two neighbors who had invited her to dinner in their northeast Portland home. According to the family, they invited Byanca Lezama, who lives across the street, over for dinner at their home because it seemed like she needed some financial help. At around 8 p.m. on Friday, Portland police responded to a disturbance report from the home at Northeast 10th Avenue and Emerson Street. The person who called was a 10-year-old boy.

According to police, the boy called them while hiding in his room, fearful for the safety of his mother and grandmother after Lezama allegedly tried to strangle them. One of the victims, the boy’s mother, said Lezama attacked her soon after she entered the home. She said Lezama pulled her hair, choked her and said the house did not belong to them. The victim also said Lezama assaulted her mother and yelled threats at her son, who called the police.

When police arrived at the scene, Lezama was “uncooperative” and attacked the officers. She now faces charges of assault, strangulation and burglary after refusing to leave the victim’s home.

3. Hundreds gather for Holi Hai over weekend, marking arrival of spring

Hundreds gathered at Opaline in northwest Portland on Sunday, dressed in all white, to celebrate Holi Hai. The dance party was hosted by DJ Prashant and Bollywood Dreams Entertainment in Old Town Chinatown. People gathered in the courtyard before the color throw, where attendees tossed colorful powder into the air.

Holi is a Hindu festival that celebrates the triumph of good over evil, as well as the divine love of the god and goddess Krishna and Radha. It also marks the arrival of spring.

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