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Officers Hospitalized After Rioters Hit Them With 10-Pound Boulder

Portland, OR – Two Portland police officers were hospitalized after a rioter allegedly hit them with a nearly 10-pound rock on Saturday night, according to police.

It was one of many attacks the officers endured over the weekend.

Sunday marked the 80th consecutive night of rioting in Portland, according to KDVR.

The weekend chaos began on Friday night, as Portland police stood guard outside the Portland Police Association (PPA) building on North Lombard Street in an effort to deter rioters from attacking and burning the union building yet again, the Portland Police Bureau said in a press release.

Hundreds of activists blocked traffic as they marched to the PPA building.

When they arrived, they began “launching paintballs and other projectiles” at the officers, leading police to declare an unlawful assembly, according to the press release.

Despite being warned that they could be arrested or “subject to the use of tear gas, crowd control munitions, or impact weapons” if they refused to disperse, most of the rioters stayed put and continued to throw projectiles at the officers, according to police.

Officers began dispersing the crowd at approximately 10:20 p.m.

The mob responded by using slingshots to launch “commercial grade fireworks, golf balls, large river rocks, palm sized chunks of concrete, glass bottles, and ball bearings” at officers, the PPB said.

A rioter viciously punched an officer in the head multiple times, leaving him with minor injuries, according to police.

The attacker was apprehended.

Another officer suffered minor injuries after a rioter attacked him with a bat or a stick, and multiple officers had green lasers pointed at their eyes, police said.

Several of the laser-wielding rioters had the word “press” emblazoned on their clothing.

The mob ignited dumpster fires throughout the area, some of which were “set close enough to traffic that several cars had to swerve to miss them,” the PPB said.

A motorist who was unaware that the rioters were blocking the roadway ended up crashing and suffering minor injuries after encountering the mob, according to the press release.

Police blocked the crowd from heading towards the PPB North Precinct, which they have set on fire multiple times in the past.

A group of rioters managed to vandalize some areas of the PPA, but had all but dispersed by 3:45 a.m.

Police arrested four people as of early Saturday morning.

Black Lives Matter demonstrators clashed with counter-demonstrators in the downtown area on Saturday afternoon, stretching the PPB’s resources even further.

The department’s Crisis Negotiation Team and Special Emergency Reaction Team were already tied up with an armed standoff in another area of the city at the time, the PPB said in a press release.

“At times, during and after the demonstrations downtown, groups apparently used weapons against one another, including paintball guns and mace or bear repellent,” the department said.

One person was injured after being struck in the face by a paintball fired from a paintball gun, police said.

Someone allegedly discharged a firearm in the area of Southwest Yamhill Street and Southwest 4th Avenue, although there were not any reports of any injuries.

At approximately 8:20 p.m. on Saturday, a 2008 Porsche Cayenne crashed into the front of the PPA building, according to the PPB.

The driver, identified as 27-year-old Nicholas Zadrozna, was cited and released on charges of driving under the influence and reckless driving.

Zadrozna was uninjured in the crash, and the damages to the PPA building appeared to be “minor,” police said.

Less than an hour later, hundreds of rioters marched from Laurelhurst Park to the Penumbra Kelly Building on East Burnside Street, blocking all lanes of traffic in the area, the PPB said in another press release.

“Some of the crowd chants included, ‘kill a cop, save a life’, ‘What do we want? Justice! When do we want it? Now! If we don’t get it, burn it down!’” according to the department.

Police warned the mob that they would be subject to use of force and potential arrest if they chose to be violent or to participate in any criminal activity.

“The crowd continued blocking the street, chanting and socializing for almost two hours,” the PPB said.

They started launching mortars at officers and vehicles in the Penumbra Kelly Building parking lot shortly after 11 p.m., in addition to hurling various other objects at police.

Members of the crowd then began trespassing onto the Penumbra Kelly Building property.

“People in the crowd continually threw large river rocks at officers” as police repeatedly warned them that force would be used against them, the PPB said.

“For the next twenty minutes people in the crowd increased their violent actions toward police officers who were standing behind cars fifty feet or more away from the crowd,” according to the press release. “Officers reported having rocks, frozen eggs, glass bottles, and frozen water bottles thrown at them. Officers reported people were shining green lasers at them, which is against the law in Oregon.”

The PPB declared a riot at midnight, and began dispersing the crowd “all the way back to Laurelhurst Park,” the PPB said.

Officers ultimately disengaged the mob, hoping that they would “make the decision to act lawfully,” according to police.

Within the hour, hundreds of rioters had returned to the Penumbra Kelly Building and resumed hurling bottles, rocks, and other projectiles at police.

While officers were again breaking up the mob at approximately 12:36 a.m., one of the rioters threw a rock that shattered the window of the police public announcement vehicle, according to the PPB.

Members of the crowd also shattered windows and dented multiple residents’ vehicles during the melee.

At one point during the chaos, a rioter wearing the word “press” on his clothing threw a nearly 10-pound rock at police, injuring two officers, the PPB said.

Both officers were transported to the hospital for treatment.

Police were unable to respond to more than 60 other calls due to the rioting, according to the press release.

They arrested a total of 11 people during the overnight attacks.

The crowd reconvened on Sunday, blocking traffic in the area of Southwest Main Street and Southwest 3rd Avenue, the PPB said in another press release.

For the next several hours, they vandalized and threw objects at the PPB Central Precinct, but officers “did not interact with the crowd” other than to ensure employees could enter and exit the building, according to the release.

Officers also received reports of rioters assaulting people in the area of Southwest Taylor Street and Southwest 4th Avenue, but no one was arrested.

According to journalist Drew Hernandez, members of the group “began to harass and physically assault” a motorist and a woman he was with after the motorist tried to defend someone else who the group had allegedly robbed.

Video footage showed the motorist’s female companion being tackled to the ground at one point during the confrontation.

“He then began to drive away to evade them,” Hernandez tweeted.

Video footage showed the driver repeatedly honking his horn as members of the group punched and kicked his vehicle.

One rioter positioned near the rear passenger side of the driver’s white truck fell to the ground just before the driver rapidly accelerated through an intersection.

Rioters screamed for someone to “get his license plate” as they chased down the street after him, the video showed.

“He crashed into a building!” someone shouted a moment later, as other rioters began laughing.

The group quickly converged on the crashed vehicle.

“Come here, mother–ker!” one member of the group ordered, just before the clip ended.

Another video showed the rioters pushing the driver away from his vehicle as he tried to leave the area yet again.

The violent mob shoved him to the ground and circled around him.

“You’re not leaving, bro. You’re not going nowhere,” someone said when the driver tried to get back onto his feet. “Sit your -ss down.”

They demanded that he hand over his keys as he sat bleeding from the head while asking to speak with his wife, the video showed.

Another clip showed members of the group as they repeatedly punched the driver in the head and told him to “go to sleep.”

A rioter wearing a vest emblazoned with the word “security” delivered an “execution style drop kick to the head” from behind, severely injuring the victim, Hernandez tweeted.

A video clip captured the moment when the suspect delivered the ruthless kick.

The motorist appeared to be immediately knocked unconscious.

A later video showed the bloodied victim lying motionless on the ground.

“That n—–r’s dead,” one bystander commented.

Rioters began rummaging through his truck as the woman he’d been with began wailing and screaming.

“He got beat up because he tried to run people over when he was saving you, okay?” a masked man told her.

The camera then panned back over to the injured assault victim.

One bystander asked for someone to call 911 just before they rolled the driver onto his side, exposing the gaping wound in the back of his head.

“Shouldn’t try to run people over, n—-r,” one person said.

Police in riot gear encountered a “hostile crowd” when they arrived at the scene, Portland Police Sergeant Kevin Allen told The Washington Post on Monday.

“The report said protesters were chasing the truck before it crashed, and they assaulted the driver after the crash,” Sgt. Allen said.

The severely injured victim was rushed to the hospital by ambulance, the Portland Police Bureau (PPB) said in a press release.

His condition is unclear.

Police said the crash and the assault remain under investigation, and that they have not made any arrests in connection with the incident.

Earlier in the night, rumors alleging that someone was driving around the downtown area trying to hit rioters began circulating online, but there has not been any evidence to support those claims, The Washington Post reported.

Written by
Holly Matkin

Holly is a former probation and parole officer who is married to a sheriff’s deputy. She is a regular contributor to Signature Montana magazine, and has written feature articles for Distinctly Montana magazine.

View all articles
Written by Holly Matkin

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