Armed, bearded men in camo force bridge closure

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by Cheryl Calm / KGW

KMOV.com

Posted on August 30, 2012 at 11:33 AM

Updated Thursday, Aug 30 at 11:36 AM

PORTLAND, Ore. -- The Burnside Bridge in Portland was closed for nearly an hour after police got a report of men in camo with ballistic vests and an assault rifle. Police then learned the men were part of a breast cancer awareness group.

Callers driving by reported two men in a Jeep with the gun under a blanket. When police arrived at the bridge, they found a group of 13 bearded men dressed in camouflage on foot.

All thirteen were ordered to lay prone on the bridge deck. One by one they were ordered to their feet and walked toward police with hands in the air. That process took nearly an hour.

A real assault rifle was recovered from the group. Police said it was not loaded. The group told police they were all dressed in military gear and had the rifle to go to a photo shoot to benefit breast cancer awareness.

The group told police they are part of a group "Beards for Breast Cancer Awareness." They claim they were going on the bridge for a military-themed photo shoot for a breast cancer charity calendar. They wanted to get the "Portland Oregon" White Stag sign in the background of their photo.

In spite of the charitable nature of their effort, Portland police Lt. Robert King said two will be charged with disorderly conduct for handling an assault rifle in public and causing alarm to people.

Names of the arrested have not been released.

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