Portland, OR - Erratic Behavior Call - Police Found Him Running In The Street - Steals Portland Patrol Car - Drives On Sidewalk - Hits Tree - Breaks Leg

September 19, 2014


A man suspected of being high on some sort of drug is accused of stealing and then crashing a Portland Police Bureau patrol car, officers said Friday.

The front passenger side of the police car suffered to most damage (KOIN)

A 911 call was placed at 4:53 a.m. from the area of Northeast 137th and Northeast Sacramento, police said. The caller told dispatchers that there was a man in the street screaming at the top of his lungs.

Officers said the man claimed he was being followed, but the 911 caller never saw anyone else.

When police responded, they found the man running across NE Sacramento near NE 143rd, police said.

Additional units, including paramedics, were called to the scene because of the man’s erratic behavior. The paramedics were told to stay back until the scene was safe, officers said.

Dominic Abaria, who lives across the street from where everything happened, said police were on foot chasing the suspect. He said the man was able to double back and get into an officer’s squad car and drove off at a high rate of speed.

“He was aggressive. He was screaming up a storm, trying to get away from the cop,” Abaria said.

The 33-year-old suspect jumped the curb, drove on the sidewalk, hit a stop sign and eventually crashed into a tree and fence near the intersection of NE 142nd and NE Sacramento.

The woman whose property was damaged only gave her first name, Karen.

“It was quite a wakeup call this morning,” she said.

The stolen police car had to be towed out after the suspect crash into a fence (KOIN)

Karen said another police car immediately parked behind the crashed patrol car so the suspect couldn’t drive in reverse.

She said the man was screaming incoherently.

Abaria said firefighters had to use straps so paramedics could treat the man.

“He was complaining about a broken leg,” Abaria.

As other neighbors cleaned up the trash cans and yard debris that spilled when the suspect drove into them, Karen commended police on their handling of the situation.

“The police responded, they did a fabulous job,” she said. “They did exactly what they were supposed to do, and now I just have to get a new fence.”

An officer assigned to the Forensic Evidence Division responded and took photos of the crash site.

The patrol car, which became part of the bureau’s fleet in 2009, was totaled. Officials said it is standard for officers to leave their patrol cars running. They determine on a case-by-case basis whether to leave the car on or turn it off.

Police have not released the name of the suspect, but confirmed the case would be sent to the District Attorney’s Office after the man was released from the hospital.