Powellhurst-Gilbert “SERT call” ends without injuries

After nearly 7 hours, police patience pays off, as Washington County SERT officers take an armed outer East Portland man into custody …

For several hours, traffic on outer SE Foster Rd. came to a standstill, while police formulated a plan to take an armed man into custody.

Story and photos by David F. Ashton
A resident in an adult foster care home on SE 128th Ave, a block south of Foster Road, was having a very bad day on September 20, according to his caregiver.

That was when a 60-year-old resident, said to have mental health issues, allegedly pointed a gun at his caregiver. She quickly escaped, called police, and slipped out of a window to make her escape. Other residents and workers at the home were also safely evacuated.

“The call about the initial confrontation was called in at 11:50 a.m.,” is what Det. Paul Dolbey told us on scene.

Nearby, Gilbert Park Elementary and Alice Ott Middle School were put into “lockdown”. Traffic on outer SE Foster Road came to a standstill.

From a block away, neighbors could hear police officers “loud-hailing” the man, asking him to pick up the telephone, answer the cell-phone delivered to him, or just come to the door.

The troubled man was refusing to cooperate.

With Portland’s SERT unavailable, the team from Washington County drove deep into outer East Portland to assist with this standoff situation.

Because the Portland Special Emergency Response Team (SERT) officers were in training, the Washington Count SERT responded to the call. And, because East Precinct Commander Michael Crebs was out of town, SE Precinct Commander Derrick Foxworth took charge of the situation.

“In a situation like this, time is on our side,” explains Det. Dolbey. “We can take all the time we need to exhaust all of our communication efforts, and to carefully plan an entry if necessary.”

When school let out, only the students living north of Foster Rd. were allowed to walk home. Those living within the police-taped area to the south were held in a safe area until a parent could pick them up.

Rosanne Jackmond, waiting to return to her home in the cordoned-off area with her daughter Jasmine, spent hours in the Dairy Queen parking lot at the corner of SE 128th Ave and Foster Rd. “I’d rather be here ‚Äì and safe,” she explained. “We’re warm and dry in the SUV.”

Over the PA system, we heard a Washington County negotiator, and even a friend of the man who was holed-up inside the home, calmly asking him to give up and come out.

Late in the day, a loud bang rang out. “The bang was a ‘less lethal’ round the SERT team fired earlier to break out a window,” Darbey informed us, “to give them better visual access into the home.”

Able to walk to the police car under his own power, the man who caused the day-long standoff appears to be uninjured.

In custody
About 6:30 p.m., the SERT team rushed into the home. They challenged him; we’re told he did have a weapon. He gave up, was handcuffed, and was taken into custody.

“No one was injured,” Dolbey confirms. “We’ve had a successful and safe ending to a six-and-a-half hour standoff. Washington SERT and negotiation teams deserve credit. They did a great service for us here, today.”

Although Dolbey confirmed the man was armed when the SERT made entry, he said he didn’t know if criminal charges would be filed.

Riding in the back seat of this police car, the subject of the day-long standoff is taken to a nearby hospital for mental and physical evaluation.

“It is always a good day,” Dolbey concluded, “when everyone leaves the scene, uninjured.”

¬© 2006 David F. Ashton ~ East PDX News

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