Posted by Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) on July 14th, 2008 at 12:45 pm
A 21 year-old man has been arrested after a road rage altercation in Southeast Portland last night.
A Portland Police Bureau press release says that James F. Millican, who was driving a Ford Escort, chased down 37 year-old Jason Rehnberg after Rehnberg “yelled at Millican to slow down.”
Millican has been arrtested on one count each of Attempted Assault in the Second Degree (felony), DUII, Criminal Mischief in the Third Degree and Reckless Driving (all misdemeanors). He is being held by the Multnomah County Sheriff’s Office on $11,000 bail.
The incident occurred in the area of Southeast 58th Avenue and SE Washington Street. Here’s how it reportedly went down (emphasis mine):
“Rehnberg, who admitted that his remarks may have included profanity, stated that he rode his bicycle into the neighborhood in an effort to get away from the suspect.
When he thought Millican had driven away, the victim drove back out onto Southeast 58th Avenue. A short time later, the victim saw the suspect who was now back in his car and ahead of the victim. The victim stated that the suspect then backed up in an attempt to hit him with the car.
The victim jumped off the bike just before the suspect hit the bike, damaging it.
Rehnberg and two other witnesses then stood in front of Millican’s car stating that they wanted to get the number of his license plate.
As they did so, the suspect drove his car toward the three people. The two witnesses were able to get out of the way, but Rehnberg ended up on the hood of the suspect’s car.
With the victim hanging on to the suspect’s windshield wipers, the suspect drove northbound on 58th at a high rate of speed. When the suspect reached Southeast 60th Avenue, he slowed down enough for the victim to get off the car.”
The police say they’ve got a video of the incident that they are holding as evidence. (UPDATE: The Portland Mercury claims this is the video.)
This comes one week after another headline-grabbing road-rage incident in southeast Portland. Not surprisingly, the local media are sure to pay close attention to this case. In a post to their blog, the Willamette Week writes, “…last week’s battle between a motorist and a cyclist may turn into an all-out war.”
Despite what is sure to be another onslaught of “Car vs. Bike” coverage, let’s hope cooler heads prevail.