Hatchet-welding carjacker captured

See how police nabbed this carjacker, and his double-bladed hatchet. He faces very stiff penalties for such a short joyride …

Police converge outer East Portland in the Hazelwood neighborhood, looking for a stolen car – and a Hatchet-welding carjacker.

Story and Photos by David F. Ashton

It would have been much more economical for 46-year-old man to have hired a cab, or hailed a ride-sharing service, just before midnight on August 8, instead of allegedly carjacking a vehicle in the Gateway Neighborhood Business District.

Portland Police Bureau (PPB) East Precinct officers were called to NE Halsey street near 111th Avenue, and found the carjacking victim.

While an officer spoke with the victim, additional officers searched the area for the stolen vehicle.

Officers begin their search for the suspect.

“As the officer interviewed the victim, he learned the male suspect threatened the victim with a double-bladed hatchet, while demanding the victim’s car and car keys,” said PPB Public Information Officer Sgt. Sergeant Chris Burley.

With keys in hand, the carjacker drove off, heading south into the neighborhood along NE 110th Avenue.

“Shortly after beginning the search for the stolen vehicle, officers located the vehicle near NE 109th Avenue at Hassalo Street, and established a perimeter around where the stolen vehicle was found,” Burley reported. “A team of officers, with the assistance of Police K9 Jager, searched the neighborhood, and located the suspect hiding in bushes near the NE 108th Avenue and Halsey Street.”

Police arrest 46-year-old John Paul Lewis for this carjacking. MCDC booking photo

The suspect, 46-year-old John Paul Lewis, was taken into custody – less than three blocks from where he started – along with a double-bladed hatchet found near where he was hiding, which was seized as evidence.

Lewis was lodged in the Multnomah County Detention Center (MCDC) at 5:41 a.m. on August 9 on charges of Robbery in the First Degree, Attempt Assault in the First Degree, Unlawful Use of a Motor Vehicle, and a Post-Prison Supervision Violation related to a prior conviction of Burglary in the Second Degree.

Officials say it is unlikely that the suspect’s double-bladed hatchet will be returned to him. PPB photo

After his arraignment Multnomah County Court judge upheld all three charges, two of them being felony counts; Lewis remains in MCDC in lieu of $275,000 combined bail.

© 2017 David F. Ashton ~ East Portland News

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