MAX rider and driver rescued from knifeman, on train near airport

INCLUDES VIDEO | Here’s why a massive law enforcement presence gathered on NE Cascade Parkway, just east of the Portland Airport on Tuesday. This incident also stopped all TriMet MAX Light Rail trains to and from PDX …

Portland Police Bureau and Multnomah County Sheriff’s Office specialty teams – plus a lot of officers and deputies – are called to a hostage situation, just west of the Parkrose neighborhood at a TriMet MAX station near Portland International Airport.

Story and photos by David F. Ashton

There are many incidents related to TriMet that bring a response from the Portland Police Bureau (PPB) and the multi-agency Transit Police Division teams. However, most of these situations are quickly resolved, once an officer arrives.

Not so with an incident on the afternoon of May 24, when, at 2:19 p.m., Transit Police Division officers were dispatched to the Mount Hood TriMet MAX Red Line Station, at 9299 NE Cascade Parkway – the “other end” of the street from IKEA and the Cascades Shopping Center.

The number of officers and Multnomah County Sheriff’s Office deputies called to the scene quick rose from a dozen, to 20, and to 30 – topping out at 41 units.

Officers and deputies work to calm an agitated man aboard a MAX train who was holding hostages with a knife and a skewer.

This “TriMet Incident-Priority” call was based on a report of someone causing “a disturbance”. When officers arrived, they found that the subject had armed himself with a knife in one hand, and what appeared to be a BBQ meat skewer in the other, and was holding a rider hostage on the train.

The subject was shouting, and grasping the hand of a male passenger near the front of the train, not allowing him to exit the car.

The MAX train operator took refuge in the train’s security-hardened driver’s cabin.

Transit Police Division officers activated the PPB Special Emergency Reaction Team (SERT) and Crisis Negotiation Team (CNT) which both arrived together with an armored vehicle.

More and more officers arrive to contain the situation and work toward the release of the hostages.

PPB North Precinct Commander Tina Jones speaks with reporters at the scene.

After getting briefed, SERT officers set off “flash-bang” devices to distract the subject. “SERT officers quickly boarded the train and took the subject into custody, then helped the passenger and train operator exit the train safely,” PPB North Precinct Commander Tina Jones told reporters after the incident was over.

“Neither the operator nor the passenger were harmed during the incident,” she added.

The top of the head of the subject, 41-year-old Marcus Dwaine Tate, can be seen near the patrol car door.

About the massive law enforcement callout, Jones remarked, “This is a very busy area, with the retail that’s around – it’s a difficult place to contain, and keep people safe, so it took a lot of resources to be able to manage this area and to set up some solid communication with the subject.”

Watch as the Transit Police Division and Portland Police officers at work during the investigation:

Just released from a “Mental Health Hold”
Even some of the seasoned reporters at the ad hoc press conference looked surprised to learn from Commander Jones that police had “encountered” and “struggled with” the suspect just the day before – Monday, May 23.

He had then been medically sedated and placed on a “mental health hold” at a local hospital, but was released on the day of the standoff at the MAX station.

The subject was later identified as 41-year-old Marcus Dwaine Tate, after he was booked into the Multnomah County Detention Center (MCDC) at 5:59 p.m. that evening.

Why isn’t there a booking photo of this suspect? Wouldn’t it be a good idea to know what he looks like when he is again released? CLICK HERE to learn why you’re forbidden to see it.

Tate’s charges include: Robbery in the first degree, Robbery in the second degree, Coercion, Menacing (two counts), Unlawful use of a weapon (two counts), Harassment (two counts), and Interfering with public transportation.

At his arraignment, Tate pleaded not guilty. However, Tate remains in custody in the MCDC in lieu of $285,000 combined bail.

Deputies and officers in the Transit Police Division continue to gather evidence at the scene.

The continuing investigation is being led by the Transit Police Division, which is managed by the Multnomah County Sheriff’s Office.

© 2022 David F. Ashton ~ East Portland News™



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