Portland Man, Who Broke Police Patrol Car Window And Pepper-Sprayed Officer, Arrested


  • An officer was inside the vehicle doing some paperwork when the man attacked him
  • The suspect fled in his own car and was detained six blocks away from the scene
  • The motive for the attack was not clear

A Portland man, who broke the window of a police bureau patrol vehicle and set off a pepper spray inside the car that was occupied by an officer, was arrested Sunday.

The man, identified as John Russell, 41, approached the marked police vehicle and broke the rear window before setting off a pepper-spray near the unsuspecting Portland Police Bureau (PPB) patrol officer. He then fled the scene in his own car. The motive behind the attack was not clear.

The incident occurred at around 9.00 a.m. EDT when the unidentified officer was doing paperwork inside his patrol car in the area near South Corbett Avenue and South Lane Street, Portland police said in a press release. Following the attack, the officer broadcast Russell’s description on radio and the police were able to stop his vehicle six blocks away from the scene and arrest him.

Police found window-breaking tools, pepper spray, throwing knives, a laser pointer, a slingshot, rocks, and other items in his vehicle, the press release said. The victim officer recognized the vehicle as one that had been following him before the attack.

Russell was charged with assaulting a public safety officer, aggravated harassment, and first-degree criminal mischief and was booked into the Multnomah County Detention Center.

“As police officers, we know that the vast majority of community members who approach and contact us do so with no intention to do us harm,” PPB Chief Chuck Lovell said in the statement. “However, attacks like this one remind us all that there is the potential for people to try to take direct violent action against police officers. I applaud the officer for remaining calm and locating the involved subject and thank our investigators for furthering this investigation.”

The PPB said the officer who was pepper-sprayed was recovering.

This incident comes months after a Texas man assaulted a U.S. Marshals Service deputy with a hammer. In July, Jacob Gaines managed to gain entry into the Mark O. Hatfield U.S. Courthouse in downtown Portland during racial injustice protests by damaging a barricaded entrance as law enforcement personnel were deployed inside to guard the facility against the demonstrators.

He then struck the officer with the hammer at least three times in the left shoulder, lower neck, and upper back. Gaines was arrested on the scene and charged with assaulting a federal officer. 

Patrol Car Dashcam footage shows Texas officer getting run over twice. In this photo, patrol cars block Lamar street as Police Headquarters was put in lockdown due to a threat in Dallas, Texas, July 9, 2016. Photo: Getty Images/ LAURA BUCKMAN


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