TriMet mini-bus hijacked in Hazelwood; driver arrested

Learn more about the odd theft of a TriMet LIFT para-transit bus, and how it ended up crashed in the Mill Park neighborhood …

The thief’s driving skills in this TriMet LIFT bus were poor – which was made apparent after he T-boned an SUV in a major outer East Portland intersection, even though he was not being pursued by police. PPB provided image

Story and photos by David F. Ashton

Traffic came to a standstill along SE 122nd Avenue and Division Street on Thursday morning, March 19, when a TriMet LIFT bus – used for transporting mobility-limited riders – crashed in the middle of the intersection

At 10:24 a.m. that morning, Portland Police Bureau (PPB) East Precinct officers were dispatched to the Gateway district, near NE 102nd Avenue and Halsey Street, to look into the theft of the TriMet LIFT bus. Fortunately, no passengers had been on board at the time.

Officers block off the intersection of SE 122nd Avenue and Division Street after the stolen bus causes a smashup.

“Officers located the bus, and attempted to stop it; but the driver eluded from officers, driving in a reckless manner,” reported PPB Public Information Officer Carlos Ibarra.

“Officers did not pursue the bus, but it ultimately crashed into another vehicle in the intersection of SE 122nd Avenue and Division Street, where officers took the suspect into custody.”

This bus may be a total loss, after smashing into this SUV. PPB provided image

Before being taken to jail, the suspect was conveyed by ambulance to an area hospital for treatment of minor injuries.

At 2:07 p.m. the same afternoon, the suspect, 31-year-old Marco Antonio Martinez-Menchaca, was booked into the Multnomah County Detention Center (MCDC) on charges of Unauthorized Use of a Motor Vehicle, Possession of a Stolen Vehicle, Attempted Elude by Vehicle, Reckless Driving, Failure to Perform Duties of a Driver (hit and run), and Interfering with Public Transportation.

Facing numerous felony and misdemeanor charges stemming from his joyride is 31-year-old Marco Antonio Martinez-Menchaca.

At his arraignment that afternoon, Martinez-Menchaca learned that he’d face the three felony and three misdemeanor of which he accused. Currently, Martinez-Menchaca remains lodged at the MCDC in lieu of $22,500 combined bail.

© 2020 David F. Ashton ~ East Portland News™

 

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