Welcome to police-defunded Portland: Man arrested for pushing elderly woman into traffic, fighting police, setting fire

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PORTLAND, OR – A 39-year-old man is reportedly facing numerous charges in relation to a string of offenses, which authorities say include shoving an elderly woman into traffic, fighting with police, and setting a power pole on fire.

Portland Police were called out to the area of Southeast 36th Avenue and Southeast Hawthorne Boulevard slightly before 3:00 p.m. on May 13th after having received reports of a man showing an elderly woman into traffic.

Investigators say that the 67-year-old woman who was shoved into the street had broken her wrist during the fall.

By the time responding units arrived at the scene of the incident, officers were informed that the same individual had reportedly tried to grab passing vehicles and also threw trash cans into the street.

Officers later learned that the suspect, later identified as Kenneth Church, had also set a power pole on fire. Locals nearby had extinguished the power pole fire.

Kenneth Andrew Church mugshot
Kenneth Andrew Church mugshot – Portland Police

When officers caught up with Church, police say that he’d fought with officers who were trying to take him into custody. Reportedly, Church had bitten two of the officers and attempted to break another officer’s finger.

Additional officers responded after the alleged combative instances and Church was subsequently taken into custody.

Church was booked into jail under charges of attempted assault, assault, reckless endangering, criminal mischief, attempted assault of a police officer, interfering with a police officer, resisting arrest, reckless burning, and disorderly conduct.

The Multnomah County District Attorney’s Office has confirmed that their office will be pursuing criminal charges against Church.

Bail for the defendant has been set at $250,000 according to jail records. It is unclear when the next scheduled court appearance is for Church.

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In other news related to Portland, we at Law Enforcement Today shared a report about a disturbing video that surfaced on Twitter where a masked individual launched a disturbing threat against the Portland mayor. 

Here’s that previous report. 

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PORTLAND, OR– According to reports, Portland’s resident terrorists, Antifa, have allegedly posted a threatening video cautioning the Mayor, Ted Wheeler to resign or next time blood is “spilled” it may be “his own.”

In the video, there was a screenshot of the mayor’s registered home address that seemingly has been confirmed by voting records. The video is more than an escalation, it is a threat against a sitting politician. 

The reports of the video come shortly after Wheeler issued a plea for the community to assist in “unmasking” rioters and members of Antifa. In the video, a masked person threatens the Democrat mayor. The person concluded by saying:

“Ted, we are asking for the last time that you resign. If you ignore this message outright, the destruction to your precious way of life is going to escalate. Blood is already on your hands, Ted. The next time, it may just be your own.”

The Oregonian reported that police are now investigating the video. Jim Middaugh, a spokesman for the mayor, said that he and his office learned of the video on Wednesday evening, April 28th. 

Middaugh added that the city’s police bureau also notified the Federal Bureau of Investigation. The news outlet reported:

“Middaugh said the mayor’s office has seen a dramatic uptick in messages following the press conference, most of them critical of Wheeler and the remarks he made. Some claimed the mayor’s comments would encourage right-wing vigilantism while others said the hardline approach was too-little, too-late.”

Reportedly, Wheeler’s comments rattled some civil rights groups as well. The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of Oregon condemned Wheeler’s request in a statement:

“His comments are inappropriate, irresponsible, and dangerous. After more than four years as police commissioner, Ted Wheeler must finally recognize the role that unchecked police violence has in escalating tension in Portland.”

Commissioner Jo Ann Hardesty, Wheeler’s colleague on the Portland City Council and a longtime police critic, said the mayor’s comments had “escalated community tensions” during a week that also saw former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin found guilty of murdering George Floyd. Hardesty said in a statement:

“Last summer’s mass protests called for a transformation of our systems of community safety and criminal justice. This moment in history is not calling for increased punitive action.”

In the beginning of April, Fox News reported that Antifa members lit a fire outside of the police union headquarters amid ongoing unrests between law enforcement and anti-police protesters. 

Police said that some 40 people gathered outside the Portland Police Association (PPA) headquarters and lit wood debris on fire. In photos that were shared on social media, the words “Nazis work here” can be seen scrawled on the side of the building. 

That night, Portland police said some people were periodically blocking traffic on North Lombard St. near North Campbell Ave, but no arrests were made and no injuries were reported.

Back in January, the day after a New Year’s Eve riot broke out in downtown Portland, Wheeler very unapologetically laid out the “who, what, when, where, and why” of the riot. He said:

“The who: violent antifa and anarchists. Why? This is the hardest question to answer. Why would a group of largely white, young, and some middle age men destroy the livelihood of others who are struggling to get by?”

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