Portland protesters assault driver of crashed truck downtown
(Update: More details)
PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) -- Protesters punched and kicked a man to the ground in Portland after he crashed his truck onto the sidewalk on Sunday night near otherwise peaceful demonstrations.
Portland police said they received a report around 10:30 p.m. of protesters chasing a truck a few blocks from the downtown federal courthouse. The driver crashed and was then assaulted, authorities said.
Video posted online of the incident showed the man sitting in the street next to the truck. A crowd gathered around him and repeatedly punched and kicked him in the head until he was bloody. It wasn’t immediately clear what led to the crash or the confrontation.
Portland police said their response to the assault was “complicated by a hostile group.” Authorities made no arrests and are investigating the incident.
The man was later loaded into an ambulance and taken to a hospital with serious injuries, Portland police Sgt. Kevin Allen told The Oregonian/Oregon Live. The truck was towed.
Prior to the assault, police described the demonstrations in Chapman Square and Lownsdale Square parks as peaceful.
Earlier in the evening, a crowd had gathered to listen to speeches and marched toward the police precinct.
Police reported that items were thrown at the building, but officers did not interact with the crowd, other than making the “area safe for employees getting in and out of the building.”
In another area, Letha Winston, whose son Patrick Kimmons, 27, was fatally shot by Portland police in 2018, led a group of marchers downtown. The demonstrators ended outside the federal courthouse, where people left flowers and candles beside a photo of Kimmons.
During Sunday’s protests, there were no arrests and no tear gas was deployed, police said.
Overnight Saturday a riot was declared and police used crowd control munitions, including smoke, to disperse a gathering outside a law enforcement building.
Authorities said people had thrown “softball size” rocks, glass bottles and other objects at officers. Two police officers were treated at the hospital after being hit by rocks. Eleven people were arrested.
Demonstrations that often turn violent have gripped Oregon’s biggest city for more than two months following the police killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis. Participants have repeatedly broken into the offices of a police union headquarters building miles from the federal courthouse.
Portland Police Bureau news release:
Protest Complicates Police Response to Assault Calls
Portland Police Bureau - 08/17/20 2:18 AM
At about 7:00 p.m. protesters gathered in Chapman Square and Lownsdale Square parks began entering Southwest 3rd Avenue at Southwest Main Street, blocking vehicular traffic. There was a peaceful rally and speeches. A march began around the building to the 2nd Avenue side, which is the main entrance to Central Precinct. The crowd mingled in the streets for several hours, blocking traffic on Southwest Main Street and Southwest 2nd Avenue. Participants vandalized and threw objects at the building. Other than making the area safe for employees getting in and out of the building, officers did not interact with the crowd.
Police received reports of a group committing assaults in the area of Southwest 4th Avenue and Southwest Taylor Streets. Police response was complicated by a hostile group, requiring additional officers to safely investigate.
At 10:27p.m., Central Precinct officers responded to a report of an injury accident at Southwest Broadway and Southwest Taylor Street. The report said protesters were chasing the truck before it crashed, and they assaulted the driver after the crash. Officers encounters a hostile crowd and a squad from the Rapid Response Team (RRT) responded to help secure the scene while the investigation was underway. The driver was transported to the hospital by ambulance with serious injuries. The incident is under investigation and no arrests have been made.
By about 1:00a.m., the majority of the crowd had left the area.
No arrests were made and no CS gas was deployed.
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