Manhunt closes down Lents Town Center

Here’s why ‘downtown Lents’ was shut down for hours, on Friday, September 24th …

In outer East Portland, SE 92nd Avenue is closed while Portland Police Bureau officers hunt for a wanted suspect in Lents Town Center.

Story and photos by David F. Ashton

Both the residents in the area, and those passing through Lents Town Center on the evening of September 24th, couldn’t help but notice the commotion as emergency first-responders responded to the area.

SE 92nd Avenue, from SE Foster Road to Ramona Street, was clogged with vehicles from the Portland Police Bureau (PPB), Portland Fire & Rescue – as well as an ambulance – all of them dispatched to Lents Town Center at 6:11 p.m. that evening.

Officers take cover behind a patrol vehicle along SE 92nd Avenue, after a man threatens to shoot at them.

“It looked like a car was coming [westbound] on SE Foster Road, from [east of] the freeway, and whipped around into SE 92nd, grazed a BMW [facing southbound] at the light, and then was stopped halfway up block,” Earnest Helmes, told East Portland News.

The driver of the car jumped out and fled running eastbound, through the vacant lot just north of the El Pato Feliz restaurant, with officers in hot pursuit.

At the edge of a building on SE Ramona Street, officers look for the man – the subject of weapons warrants, who bailed out of a car and ran from them.

The man ran east through backyards, and then climbed on the roof of house on the south side of SE Ramona Street – about halfway down the block, between SE 92nd Avenue and the street’s dead end into the TriMet MAX Light Rail station.

Because the suspect was believed to be armed, PPB commanders called in help from the Bureau’s Special Emergency Reaction Team (SERT) officers. A total of 18 police cruisers, as well as “Air 2” – their “eye in the sky” – were involved in the effort to locate the wanted man.

These officers wait and watch the suspect from afar, as the incident unfolds.

From a distance, the man could be heard taunting the officers, demanding that they shoot him, and hollering threats that he would “shoot any cop I can”.

The standoff lasted for about two hours. Officers eventually managed to talk the man into clambering down from the top of the home, and allowing himself to be taken into custody.

After the incident, PPB Public Information Officer Lt. Nathan Sheppard filled us in on the details: Police were after an individual with multiple warrants. He confirmed that, “The suspect was taken into custody without force.”

28-year-old Michael Joseph Thompson was arrested on two warrants for weapon offenses, and a parole violation. MCDC booking photo

After being taken to a local hospital for a medical evaluation, 28-year-old Michael Joseph Thompson was arrested, and booked into the Multnomah County Detention Center (MCDC) at 3:29 a.m. on September 25 on two warrants for weapon offenses and a parole violation out of Clackamas County.

Thompson was released from MCDC on September 27, into the custody of the Clackamas County Sheriff’s Office, for his outstanding warrants.

© 2021 David F. Ashton ~ East Portland News™



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