‘Hit, hit, hit-and-run’: Knife-welding driver arrested in Lents

See how a wildly-driving tow truck operator, a shooting, and a knife combined to create a major ruckus in outer East Portland on Thursday …

This bizarre incident ended here, in Lents Town Center on SE 92nd Avenue; it started not far away, about four blocks east. PPB image

By David F. Ashton

Portland Police Bureau (PPB) officers are called to deal with unusual and complicated circumstances nearly every day – but the incident that occurred midday on February 18 in Lents Town Center is one they’ll surely remember for some time.

The summary: After committing multiple hit and run smashes, the driver of a tow truck was arrested after someone fired a gun at him and the suspect attempted “assaulting with a vehicle”.

PPB East Precinct officers were sent, that morning at 11:47 a.m., to a “Disturbance” call SE 97th Avenue near Woodstock Boulevard. Officers on their way there learned that someone had fired a gun at a suspect vehicle, somehow related to a crash nearby. Soon, other reports of hit-and-run crashes involving several vehicles started to be dispatched as well.

After snaking through Lents residential and business streets, officers “boxed in” the tow truck on SE 92nd Avenue, just off Foster Road. PPB image

“Officers made contact with the person who fired the shots [at the tow truck], and he was detained; no one was injured,” a PPB spokesperson said.

Officers were able to locate the hit-and-run suspect vehicle – a yellow tow truck – and attempted to stop it. However, the driver kept going, and drove off recklessly. Officers didn’t pursue the suspect – but later found it four blocks west of the first incident’s location, at SE 92nd Avenue and Woodstock Boulevard.

Several blocks of Lents Town Center are blocked off while officers calm down the tow truck driver. Image courtesy of KOIN-TV News

This time, the tow truck driver couldn’t escape; officers used their patrol vehicles to “box in” the truck, and prevent it from again speeding off.

“The driver initially refused to comply with officers who were asking him to get out of the driver’s seat; and he held a knife to his throat while taunting officers,” the PPB official said. Enhanced Crisis Intervention Team members were dispatched to assist, but officers at the scene managed to convince the tow truck driver to put down the knife and surrender.

“Officers then connected the suspect to previous calls from previous days in which he had violated a restraining order protecting a family member,” the spokesperson said.

Facing numerous Felony and Misdemeanor charges is 30-year-old Dolphus Maurice Creer, Jr. MCDC booking photo

Officers arrested 30-year-old Dolphus Maurice Creer Jr., who was booked into the Multnomah County Detention Center (MCDC) at 5:47 p.m. that afternoon, on charges of Attempted Assault in the First Degree (3 counts), Attempted Assault in the Second Degree (2 counts), and three counts of Violation of a Restraining Order.

At his arraignment, Creer learned he’d face all five Felony charges, carrying a combined bail of $70,000. An additional $15,000 bail was set for the three Misdemeanor Restraining Order Violations. Creer was still behind bars at MCDC in lieu of bail, at this writing.

© 2021 David F. Ashton ~ East Portland News ™



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