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A Portland man was arrested with a stockpile of riot weapons after allegedly ambushing a police cruiser and pepper spraying an officer inside.
John B. Russell, 41, of Portland, was booked into the Multnomah County Detention Center for felony assault of a public safety officer, felony aggravated harassment, and felony criminal mischief in the first degree. He was quickly bailed out. His arraignment is set for December 7.
On Sunday morning, a Portland Police Bureau officer was parked in a marked patrol car, completing paperwork near South Corbett Avenue and South Lane Street. Russell reportedly approached the vehicle, smashed in the back window, pepper sprayed the interior, and then drove away in an escape vehicle.
The officer inside the cruiser broadcasted information about the suspect over the radio. He and responding officers were able to locate and arrest Russell approximately six blocks away. The injured officer recognized Russell’s car for following him earlier before the alleged premeditated attack.
Inside the suspect’s vehicle, cops found riot weapons commonly used by Antifa, including window punch tools, pepper spray, throwing knives, a laser pointer, a slingshot, and rocks, among other belongings seized as evidence.
"As police officers, we know that the vast majority of community members who approach and contact us do so with no intention to do us harm," Portland police chief Chuck Lovell said in a press statement. "However, attacks like this one remind us all that there is the potential for people to try to take direct violent action against police officers. I applaud the officer for remaining calm and locating the involved subject and thank our investigators for furthering this investigation."