Man smashes patrol car window, pepper-sprays Portland cop, police say

A Portland resident was arrested and charged with a slew of felonies


By Nelson Oliveira
New York Daily News

PORTLAND, Ore. — A heavily armed Oregon man smashed the window of a parked patrol car in broad daylight Sunday and pepper-sprayed an officer who was doing paperwork inside, authorities said.

The cop was sitting in the vehicle around 9:40 a.m. when 41-year-old John Russell broke the back window, deployed his pepper spray and ran to his own car in a random and disturbing attack in Portland, according to police.

These weapons and tools pictured were among items taken as evidence after a man broke a police patrol vehicle window and pepper-sprayed the officer who sat inside. (Photo/Portland Police Bureau)
These weapons and tools pictured were among items taken as evidence after a man broke a police patrol vehicle window and pepper-sprayed the officer who sat inside. (Photo/Portland Police Bureau)

The officer managed to broadcast the suspect’s description through his radio and the assailant was caught just six blocks away, the Portland Police Department said in a news release.

Inside Russell’s car, police found throwing knives, rocks, a laser pointer, a slingshot, window punch tools, pepper spray and other items, according to the release.

The Portland resident was arrested and charged with assaulting a public safety officer, aggravated harassment and first-degree criminal mischief, all felonies. He was released hours later after posting bond, jail records show.

[READ: Roundtable: Preparing to prevent police ambush attacks]

The attack happened in a city that has seen some of the worst clashes between police and protesters since the in-custody death of George Floyd in Minneapolis more than four months ago.

It was not immediately known if Russell has previously attended any protests or attacked cops in the past.

“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,” Police Chief Chuck Lovell said in a 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.”

©2020 New York Daily News

McClatchy-Tribune News Service

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