Bullet-riddled car brings police to dead-end street

Here’s why police were swarming SE Clinton Street in the Powellhurst-Gilbert neighborhood on Sunday evening. It ended with an arrest …

Portland Police Bureau East Precinct District squad cars park on SE Clinton Street, as officers investigate a “shots fired” call.

Story and photos by David F. Ashton

Under the thick cloud cover on the evening of August 30, darkness shrouded the area near SE 92nd Avenue and SE Clinton Street, as Portland Police Bureau (PPB) East Precinct District officers drove in at about 7:30 p.m.

In this area of outer East Portland, SE Clinton Street is only a short “stub” of a road, between SE 92nd Avenue and the Interstate 205 freeway. The Clinton Apartments border the south side of street; individual houses are to the north.

Officers look for spent bullet shells and other evidence near where shots were reportedly fired.

When they arrived, PPB officers reported finding a vehicle with numerous fresh bullet holes in the side, and at least one tire shot out.

“Based on the initial call it appears that some kind of disturbance between known parties took place,” said PPB Public Information Officer Sgt. Pete Simpson. “The situation escalated to the point that gun shots may have been fired by one of the involved parties.”

The search for evidence continues.

Officers radioed that they believed they’d been in contact with all those involved, Simpson said, but they secured the scene and looked for additional potential suspects.

“It not believed that anyone has been hit [by bullets] at this time,” Simpson said.

More police units come to the area, looking for suspects and witnesses.

Bill Bethelinsky watched the commotion from the edge of his yard on the west side of SE 92nd Avenue. “There is a lot of ‘action’ going on at the apartments and, I believe, at some of the houses back there [on SE Clinton Street]. I didn’t see any ambulances go there, so I guess no one was shot up, but I think at least one car has bullet holes.

“It seems there are more and more gangs moving into the area,” Bethelinsky told East Portland News. “We’ve lived here for a long time, and we feel less safe every day.”

Even more police join the search for evidence at the scene.

Following the investigation, Simpson told East Portland News, “It was determined that this was not a gang incident. It was the result of a dispute between known parties, resulting in gunfire.

“A yellow Nissan Xterra had bullet damage to driver’s side tires, bumper, and front quarter panel,” Simpson confirmed.

20-year-old Louie Aguilar faces several charges as a result of the incident, officials say.

Arrested for multiple felonies and misdemeanors was 20-year-old Louie Aguilar, who was booked into the Multnomah County Detention Center at 12:13 a.m. on August 31.

At his arraignment the following day, many of Aguilar’s charges were dropped. However, he will appear in court for one count of Unlawful Use of a Weapon, and Felon in Possession of a Firearm – both Class C Felonies – and one count of Discharging a Firearm in the City, with a combined bail amount of $12,500.

However, Aguilar is currently in Multnomah County Inverness Jail, being held without bail, pending the outcome of his previously-scheduled Parole Violation hearing.

© 2015 David F. Ashton ~ East Portland News

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