Bomb scare shuts down Stark Street in Montavilla

While officials say it wasn’t real, see why they took no chances in taking a man into custody who had what looked like two sticks of explosive and a detonator …

Police block of SE Stark Street, as other officers prepare to deal with a man allegedly armed with a bomb.

Story and photos by David F. Ashton
It’s the kind of call police say they’d rather not get: A man at an apartment building, threatening others with a bomb.

“A caller to 9-1-1 said a man had threatened him, and said he was armed with an explosive device,” Portland Police Bureau Public Information Officer Sgt. Peter Simpson told East Portland News.

Officers suit-up to confront a person they believed to be troubled – and possessing an explosive device.

On August 9, starting about 7:45 p.m., SE Stark Street was closed off at Interstate 205. Officers and command staff swarmed the area, getting ready for a potentially deadly confrontation at the Jamboree Apartments, just west of the Motel 6 campus.

“There’s a lot of strange stuff that goes on at those apartments,” remarked Shawna Grifford as she watched the police activity. She told us she walks on the south side of SE Stark Street to avoid the building. “It seems there’s always trouble around there.”

> This isn’t the first such incident that shut down SE Stark Street – read our story about a similar incident at this location last December: CLICK HERE.

Officers approach the apartment building, tucked away from view behind the Motel 6.

Although some people outside Stark Street Pizza Company gather on the corner to watch the activity across the street, police shoo them away and cordon off the area. Other officers suit up with helmets, weapons – lethal and non-lethal – and with at least one ballistic shield.

With officers in place, loud-hailing of the subject inside the apartment house began at 8:19 p.m. Tense moments pass as they await a response, but to no avail. At 8:28 p.m., they again call for the individual to come out and surrender.

Officers escort the suspect after taking him into custody.

Minutes later, two officers walk the suspect around the corner – with no explosion, no shots fired.

“The explosive device turned out to be two road flares and a cell phone taped together,” Simpson reported.

This man, 41-year-old Rashid A. Salaam, is accused of making a fake bomb, and menacing. MCDC photo

The man Simpson said was arrested, 41-year-old Rashid A. Salaam, was charged with Possession of a Hoax Destructive Device, Menacing, and Disorderly Conduct. MCDC records show that Salaam also had a “Failure to Appear” charge, and is being held in lieu of $2,500 bail.

As it turns out, Rashid Salaam was previously the victim of the sword-swinging apartment resident in the previous incident, as a result of an “ongoing dispute” at this same apartment building last December.

© 2011 David F. Ashton ~ East Portland News

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