Wanted man crashes, bolts; arrested nearby

Pursued through outer East Portland, a fleeing felon crashes and runs – only to be caught by officers and a K-9 …

After careening through Lents, and wrecking his Toyota Tacoma in front of Woodmere Elementary School in the Brentwood-Darlington neighborhood, an armed suspect makes a run for it.

Story and photos by David F. Ashton

Deputies from the Clackamas County Sheriff’s Office were in hot pursuit of a wanted suspect Friday evening, January 7 – and, at 9:34 p.m., they put out a call for backup to Portland Police Bureau (PPB) officers.

After careening through often-narrow neighborhood streets in both the Lents and Brentwood-Darlington neighborhoods, the suspect – driving a dark grey 2013 Toyota Tacoma was eastbound on SE Duke Street when he smashed into a Toyota Corolla sedan at SE 78th Avenue. Fortunately, the driver of the struck car was uninjured.

A Clackamas County Sheriff’s Office deputy looks into the smashed truck – and finds ammunition.

Leaking fluids and dropping parts, the pickup truck lurched over the curb, flattened 35 feet of steel chain-link fence at Woodmere Elementary School, and ground to a stop, facing north.

“Shortly after the crash, the suspect exited the vehicle and ran into the neighborhood,” reported PPB Public Information Officer Sgt. Chris Burley.

A PPB district officer told East Portland News that another individual in the truck had stayed behind, and had cooperated with law enforcement officers from both jurisdictions.

The “PPB Mobile Precinct”, with flashing lights on and siren blaring, pulls up to the perimeter area.

From the passenger, officers and deputies learned that the suspect was likely armed; ammunition found inside the truck underscored the likelihood that an armed man was rampaging through the neighborhood.

“Because the suspect was reportedly armed with a firearm and had made threats to harm officers, members of the Special Emergency Reaction Team (SERT) and Crisis Negotiation Team (CNT) were dispatched to perform a neighborhood search for the suspect,” Burley told us.

A police dispatcher put out an all-points-bulletin for the wanted man, who by this time had been confirmed as 32-year-old Andrew J. Hernandez.

SERT and CNT officers park on the closed-off SE 82nd Avenue of Roses to prepare to search the neighborhood.

It wasn’t long until 35 police units had arrived to search – including two Canine Teams, and the PPB Air One “eye-in-the-sky” plane circling overhead. For a little over three hours, SERT officers made a coordinated and meticulous search, street-by-street and yard-by-yard, between SE Duke and Cooper Streets, between SE 80th and 82nd Avenue.

Streets are closed off, and neighbors advised to “shelter in place”, as SERT officers comb the area for the fugitive.

Finally, at 12:45 a.m., a police K-9 sniffed out Hernandez hiding in a basement about two blocks due south of the crash site, in the 8100 block of S.E. Glenwood Street. “Preliminary information suggests Hernandez unlawfully entered the residence and was hiding, when members of the SERT team found him,” Burley said.

Andrew Joseph Hernandez was booked into the Multnomah County Detention Center at 4:15 a.m. that morning on multiple charges, including Assault in the Second Degree-Domestic Violence, Unlawful Use of a Weapon, two counts of Strangulation, and two counts of Menacing.

Facing both felony and misdemeanor charges is 32-year-old Andrew Joseph Hernandez. MCDC booking photo

At his arraignment later that day in Multnomah County Court, Hernandez learned he’d face the charges on which he was booked, with combined bail set at $280,000; but the bail is irrelevant in this case, because he is also being held without bail in Multnomah County’s Inverness Jail for Parole Violation.

© 2019 David F. Ashton ~ East Portland News™


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