Huge police/SERT callout blocks SE 82nd Avenue for hours

SEE EXCLUSIVE VIDEO | Here’s why this major East Portland thoroughfare was shut down through morning rush hour on the border of the Lents neighborhood on Tuesday morning …

Looking north along closed-off SE 82nd Avenue of Roses, dozens of officers – and three Portland Police SERT armored vehicles – amass, as they search for a fleeing burglary suspect.

Story and photos by David F. Ashton

A manhunt searching for burglary suspects – first spotted by Clackamas County Sheriff’s Office (CCSO) deputies, at daybreak on October 24 – closed down SE 82nd Avenue of Roses throughout Tuesday morning, diverting traffic through the side streets of the Lents and Brentwood-Darlington neighborhoods.

It started just before 6 a.m., when the Clackamas deputies spotted a “suspicious vehicle” – one matching the description of a van believed to be involved in recent burglaries at various businesses – in a parking lot on 82nd Avenue of Roses, near SE King Road.

Near the intersection of SE 82nd Avenue of Roses and Flavel Street, officers stand guard at a point at which the fleeing suspects had crashed into another vehicle.

When deputies attempted to contact the driver, the man sped off northbound along the Avenue of Roses blowing through red traffic signals.

The deputies didn’t pursue — but they did radio ahead, asking for help from Portland Police Bureau (PPB) East Precinct district officers who responded at 6:07 a.m.

A PPB SERT armored vehicle rolls into position along SE 82nd Avenue of Roses at Bybee Boulevard.

Near the SE Flavel Street intersection, the swiftly-fleeing driver smacked into another vehicle – but kept on driving. The female driver of the victim vehicle wasn’t seriously injured, according to a CCSO official.

Here’s what could be seen as PPB SERT officers massed; including exclusive video not seen on any other news outlet:

When the deputies found the suspect’s vehicle, a white Ford Econoline van, they saw two occupants scramble out of their smashed up truck and run in opposite directions.

The driver, later identified as identified as 33-year-old Gary Duane Harrison, a resident of Washington, bolted northbound. He ducked into the tightly-packed southern lot of Global Auto Motors, just south of Bybee Boulevard.

Believing that the suspect may be armed, these PPB SERT officers take cover behind their armored vehicle, near the parking lot where the man is hiding.

Several blocks of SE 82nd Avenue of Roses were soon filled with the support vehicles of the PPB’s Special Emergency Reaction Team (SERT), including three armored ones, as well as their Drone Team, Canine officers, and their fixed-wing plane overhead, providing aerial surveillance. A total of 32 officers were involved in this callout.

Using a loud-hailing system, officers commanded Harrison to surrender several times – at first, to no avail.

The standoff continues for hours. A PPB SERT officer keeps watch from the turret of an armored vehicle.

Finally, at about 11:20 a.m., SERT team members found Harrison hiding in a car on the lot (they’d noticed the parked car’s windows were steamed up from somebody breathing inside) and took him into custody, without incident.

Hoping for a reprieve from immediate jailing, Harrison told officers that he’d taken drugs just before being arrested, so he was taken to a local hospital as a precaution.

Later that day, Harrison was booked into the Clackamas County Jail on charges of Attempt to Elude Police Officer, Unauthorized Use of Vehicle, Possession of Stolen Vehicle, Reckless Driving, and Failure to Perform Duties of Driver. Several of the charges were dismissed at his arraignment; but Harrison is still in jail in lieu of $75,000 bail.

Soon after this photo was taken, the male suspect is taken to a hospital in this Portland Fire & Rescue ambulance, closely guarded by police officers.

Meantime, the female passenger who fled the van, later identified as 35-year-old Hannah Melanie Thompson, ran southbound and was found at a nearby business.

Thompson complained of injuries suffered in the crash and was taken to a local hospital. However, Thompson was soon released from medical care and was also booked into the Clackamas County Jail, where she’s being held, without bail, on a Washington State Fugitive Warrant for Escape.

© 2023 David F. Ashton ~ East Portland News™

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