Portland, OR – A suspect smashed out the window of a Portland police officer’s marked patrol car and doused the interior of the vehicle with pepper spray during an unprovoked attack on Sunday morning, according to police.
The incident occurred in the area of South Lane Street and South Corbett Avenue at approximately 9:39 a.m. on Oct. 4, as the officer was sitting his patrol vehicle completing paperwork, the Portland Police Bureau (PPB) said in a press release.
The suspect, later identified as 41-year-old John Russell, suddenly approached the marked unit and shattered the back window, according to police.
He then deployed pepper spray into the vehicle before running to a getaway car and speeding off, the PPB said.
The officer managed to alert other officers over the radio and provided a description of the suspect.
Police apprehended Russell approximately six blocks away from the scene of the attack.
The officer said that the vehicle the suspect was driving had been following him earlier in the day, the PPB said.
Investigators found pepper spray, window punch tools, a laser pointer, throwing knives, a slingshot, rocks, and various other objects inside Russell’s vehicle, according to the press release.
Russell was booked into the Multnomah County Detention Center on charges of first-degree criminal mischief, aggravated harassment, and assault on a public safety officer.
PPB Chief Chuck Lovell said that although officers are well aware that “the vast majority” of people who approach them “do so with no intention to do us harm,” they cannot let down their guards.
“Attacks like this one remind us all that there is the potential for people to try to take direct violent action against police officers,” Chief Lovell continued. “I applaud the officer for remaining calm and locating the involved subject and thank our investigators for furthering this investigation.”