Suspected thieves, drunk, pitch beer bottles at pursuing police

What was all the ruckus in the Mill Park neighborhood, a couple of nights ago? It’s hard to believe, but read this and find out …

Police close SE Market Street, after an alleged drunk driver hits a median and drives away.

Story and photos by David F. Ashton

A melee broke out in the typically quiet section of the Mill Park neighborhood just before 10:00 p.m. on December 29, after a car crashed into a median at SE Market Street and 119th Avenue.

“The sound of a crash and ‘thud’ brought us out to look,” resident Mary Oswalt told East Portland News, the day after the incident. “It looked like a car ran down a sign in the median, and got stuck there. A couple of guys got out of the car, and were staggering around, and yelling.”

Oswalt and other neighbors called the 9-1-1 Center to report the incident.

Portland Police Bureau (PPB) East Precinct officers soon arrived to find an odd commotion taking place in outer East Portland.

“As officers were on their way, a caller reported that the males got back into the car and were driving away westbound on Market Street,” PPB Public Information Officer Sgt. Pete Simpson said. “Neighbors said the car pulled into a driveway just west of Portland Christian Grade School.”

After a suspect starts throwing beer bottles at a police officer, more units move in to capture the duo.
An officer arrived in the area and spotted two males running – then reported that they were throwing bottles of beer. “None of the bottles struck the officer, who coordinated the arriving cover units,” Simpson said.

In addition to pitching beer bottles at the police, Simpson said that the vehicle “revealed several car stereos and a rifle.”

Although released from jail, 26-year-old Eric Rodriguez still faces multiple charges. MCDC booking photo

At 12:49 a.m. on December 30, 26-year-old Eric Rodriguez was booked into the Multnomah County Detention Center (MCDC) on charges of Driving Under the Influence of Intoxicants (DUII), Reckless Driving, Failure to Perform the Duties of a Driver (Hit & Run), and Interfering with a Peace Officer. Other charges relating to the contents of the car may follow.

Rodriguez was released later that day “On Own Recognizance” – but will still be required to appear in Multnomah County Court to answer the charges.

22-year-old Fernando Garces Junior will go before a judge to explain why he attempted to assault a cop – with beer bottles.

The passenger, 22-year-old Fernando Garces Junior, was charged with three counts of Attempted Assault on a Public Safety Officer, Disorderly Conduct in the Second Degree, and Interfering with a Peace Officer, when he was booked into MCDC at 12:52 a.m.

Garces was also released later that day, remanded to “Pretrial Release Services”.

© 2015 David F. Ashton ~ East Portland News

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