Gunman, with hidden dagger, attacks police

Find out why the officers stopped the this trio out in the dead of night in the Centennial neighborhood – and the potentially deadly struggle that took place …

Police officers stand by, after a suspect – with a handgun – fights with other officers.

Story and photos by David F. Ashton

It seemed odd, to Portland Police Bureau (PPB) East Precinct District officers, when they came across two men and one woman loading and unloading items from the truck, at about 4:00 a.m. on January 10.

Officers approached the trio in the outer East Portland intersection of SE 143rd Avenue and Stephens Street, a block south of SE Mill, believing they might have had something to do with the report of burglars in the area.

First, officers checked the identification of the 62-year-old male driver of the 1993 Dodge pickup-truck – who cooperated. and was later released from the scene – and they turned to the man and woman.

“As one officer was checking their names in the police car, the other officer began checking them for weapons,” recounted PPB Public Information Officer Sgt. Pete Simpson.

It was then that second male, later identified as 35-year-old Joshua Lee Crocker, bolted from the officer – but he didn’t get far.

“Crocker turned and swung a fist at the officer, and the two got involved in a violent struggle,” Simpson said. “During the struggle, the second officer came to assist his partner.

After a dangerous struggle, officers get the suspect in custody.

“During the struggle, one of the officers saw that Crocker was clenching a handgun between his thighs,” continued Simpson. “The officer grabbed the gun and threw it away from the struggle, as officers continued to work to get Crocker into custody, at one point using pepper spray – which had little effect.”

An East Precinct sergeant arrived and helped get the “combative” Crocker in custody. “Once in custody, officers discovered that Crocker was wearing a camouflaged tactical vest under his jacket, which contained a large dagger knife,” revealed Simpson.

With the suspect disarmed, he’s secured in an ambulance for treatment, before being taken off to jail.

“Due to the officers’ concerns that Crocker was high on some kind of stimulant, and for visible injuries he suffered during his fight with the officers, Crocker was transported by ambulance to a Portland hospital for treatment,” Simpson reported.

The suspect’s loaded handgun was seized as evidence.

Both officers were driven to a Portland hospital for a precautionary exam, but were treated and released.

For being a felon caught with a loaded gun, and for fighting with police, 35-year-old Joshua Lee Crocker is facing numerous charges. MCDC booking photo

After Crocker was released from the hospital, he was booked into the Multnomah County Detention Center (MCDC) at 9:16 a.m. that morning. His charges included: Felon in Possession of a Firearm, Possession of a Loaded Firearm, Assaulting a Police Officer (two counts), Resist Arrest, Interfering with a Peace Officer, Felon in Possession of a Restricted Weapon, and Carrying a Concealed Weapon.

When he was arraigned in Multnomah County Court on January 11, the judge released several of the lesser charges, but upheld the Felon in Possession of a Firearm, the two counts of Assaulting a Police Officer, and the Resist Arrest charges. Crocker remains in MCDC in lieu of $10,350 combined bail.

Also arrested, 36-year-old Nicole Marie Williams is being held on outstanding warrants. MCDC booking photo

The female contacted by the officers, 36-year-old Nicole Marie Williams, was booked into MCDC at 5:18 a.m. the same morning on outstanding warrants for Child Neglect in the First Degree and Manufacturing/Delivery of a Controlled Substance in the Third Degree.

Williams is being held, without bail, at Multnomah County Inverness Jail.

© 2016 David F. Ashton ~ East Portland News

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