Mysterious visitor identified, says he wasn't posing as cable employee

Mysterious visitor identified, says he wasn't posing as cable employee

PORTLAND, Ore. – A mysterious visitor going door to door in a Portland neighborhood has been identified.

Some neighbors he called on thought he was lying, trying to scam them and kept coming back.

After a KATU story Monday, the TV station got more calls from folks who said they had seen the same man at their door.

He's been seen asking for money in a Southeast Portland neighborhood. KATU has tracked him down. It turns out that he collects money for the United States Mission to help out veterans.

But somehow not everybody got that message, and he scared one woman enough to call police.
Latrina Denson said the man showed up at her door three times in three weeks. She said the first time he claimed to be a cable guy, offering free cable for a few days. Latrina said no.

She's legally blind but can see well enough, she says, to know that the man came back a couple more times and wasn't leaving her alone. She called police and contacted KATU.

Police were looking into the report and wanted help identifying him. Meanwhile, other neighbors KATU spoke with gave him money.

One man gave him $10 and received a receipt that had the United States Mission contact information on it.

So a KATU News reporter called United States Mission and sent a supervisor a picture of the man taken from Latrina's surveillance camera outside her home. The supervisor identified the man as Joel Hume, who is assigned to collect donations.
Hume also got on the phone and said it's their policy to return a second time to a home if no one answers at first. He denied ever claiming to be a cable worker and said there must have been a misunderstanding.

According to police, it doesn't sound like he's doing anything wrong, but that doesn't mean folks like Latrina can't file a complaint if they feel harassed by someone even if they're collecting charity donations.

The secretary general for the United States Mission said he's taking this seriously and they've thoroughly interrogated Hume and believe he is telling the truth and that he didn't do anything wrong.

But just to make sure, they will be sending someone out to the neighborhood to speak to all the neighbors to make sure that every conversation he had with them was a good one and that he did everything right.

Several people sent in news tips to help us identify the mysterious visitor. If there's news in your neighborhood, we want to know about it. Email us at Your email goes straight to our newsroom.