Portland Police Take Man Into Custody After Standoff in Downtown Parking Garage

By Maxine Bernstein, The Oregonian, Friday, February 10, 2012

Portland police received reports of a man acting strangely and holding a screwdriver in a garage in the 300 block of Southwest Montgomery Street near the RiverPlace Marina.

Portland police received reports of a man acting strangely and holding a screwdriver in a garage in the 300 block of Southwest Montgomery Street near the RiverPlace Marina.

Portland Police used tear gas to get a man out of a parking garage after an afternoon standoff.

Officers took the man into custody shortly after 2:30 p.m.

Earlier police had responded to reports of a man acting strangely and holding a screwdriver in a garage in the 300 block of Southwest Montgomery Street near the RiverPlace Marina. Additional reports indicated that the man walked up to someone holding a crowbar and a knife, police said.

Officers on the scene said the man refused to come out of the parking garage. Crisis negotiators and members of the Special Emergency Reaction Team were summoned.

Sgt. Pete Simpson said the man had been holed up in a maintenance room inside the garage, and officers were trying to talk him out.

Three people in one vehicle had reported to police that the man had threatened or “menaced,” them, Simpson said.

The garage was closed to the public, and traffic around the area on Southwest Montgomery Street between River Drive and Harbor Way was affected.

Marvin Shalberg, manager of the City Center parking lot at Riverplace Marina, said he spotted the man go into a convenience store on River Drive and come out with a “couple of bottles of booze” about 11 a.m.

The man then went into the parking garage and sat against the east wall, Shalberg said.

“He said ‘Let’s get it done,” Shalberg recounted.

Shalberg said other patrons came out of the garage to the cashier’s pay booth and told him the man had approached them, asked for a light and threatened them. One garage employee said the man was holding a broken bottle.

That’s why, Shalberg said, he called the non-emergency line. He said there’s been some cars broken into in recent days.

Dean Lukowicz, who was working inside the garage’s maintenance/storage room, said the man first came by this morning about 10:30 am. He was holding a broken bottle and asked Lukowicz for a light. Lukowicz said he didn’t have one and the man left.

About a half hour later, the man returned holding a knife and a prybar, Lufkowicz said.

“He was agitated. I knew something wasn’t right,” Lufkowicz said. “He said, ‘I’m just looking for…and he got all frustrated.”

That time, Lufkowicz left the man in the storage shed, a room about 10 feet by 25 feet large, he said.

The bureau’s Special Emergency Reaction Team used two canisters of gas to get the man to come out, Simpson said.

The man is in custody now and likely to face three counts of menacing.

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