Arrest made in new road rage incident

Posted by on July 14th, 2008 at 12:45 pm

James F. Millican

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.

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toddistic
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toddistic

hey! maybe the Oregonian will put this on the front page too! w! t! F!

Russell
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Russell

Hm, hopefully the DA will up the charges a little bit here, but right now the MCSO inmate data is saying that this guy is only being held on one Felony – Attempted Assault II (Felony C). If you actually hit someone with anything isn\’t that no longer an attempt to assault?

Ethan
Guest

Come on Todd, how is trying to drive over someone with a Ford Escort any different than hitting them with a 30lb bicycle?

toddistic
Guest
toddistic

Well my wife has a Ford Escort, good point.

J
Guest
J

Damn holding on to the wipers while driving on the hood? Sounds like some hollywood stuff.

Russell makes a good point, it doesn\’t sound like he just attempted assault, it sounds like he succeeded?

Forseti
Guest
Forseti

Yeah, this is going to be front page, above the fold in tomorrow\’s O, right?

Brad
Guest
Brad

T.J. Hooker rides a bike?

lyle
Guest
lyle

Gee, you drive your car at a group of pedestrians, you get a second degree attempted assault charge. You drive your car at a police officer, you get your head ventilated by bullets.

Don\’t you just love the consistency?

Don\’t get my wrong… I have a lot of respect for cops, but I just really hope that ATTEMPTED assault is not the best they can come up with to nail this guy.

benschon
Guest
benschon

T.J. Hooker!

Paul Souders
Guest

Geez I just posted a comment on the \”Oregonian Responds…\” thread which is weirdly appropriate here as well:

\”Imagine a drunk standing on a busy street corner waving a pointed stick at passerby.

\”Now imagine a drunk on the same corner waving a loaded gun.

\”These are not morally equivalent acts.

\”And which one would be featured (with nearly 100% of the space) above the fold on at least two editions of the Oregonian?\”

The Machine
Guest
The Machine

Wow.

This reminds me of the moral of the Yates story:

If you attempt to police the general public by yelling at them, you could possibly provoke this type of reaction.

jeremy
Guest
jeremy

I dare someone to try and run over my 50+ lb dutch work bike.

Especially in a ford escort.

Dave
Guest

Yeah, while the actions of the guy in the escort are totally inexcusable, I have to say the blame in this case isn\’t *entirely* on his side. It\’s probably a good general rule to not shout profanity at strangers. Not that it\’s an excuse at all for someone to come after you with their car, but still… not the smartest move.

chris
Guest
chris

Why does Mr. Maus always post mug shots of drunk car drivers but not drunk bicyclists? (ie. Steven McAtee)

West Cougar
Guest
West Cougar

I believe it was Heinlein that said, \”an armed society is a polite society.\”

KT
Guest
KT

Machine @11: You are correct about the moral of the story.

The real question is: who will learn from this lesson?

There is no excuse for violence. We\’re all, presumably, adults and should be able to restrain our impulses better. Ha! Ha! Ha!

Adams Carroll (News Intern)
Guest

\”Why does Mr. Maus always post mug shots of drunk car drivers but not drunk bicyclists? (ie. Steven McAtee)\”

there\’s no conspiracy Chris. it just so happens I never published McAtee\’s photo. there is no calculated effort to somehow paint people who drive in a bad light (or to protect the image of people who bike).

The Machine
Guest
The Machine

I agree KT.

Yelling at someone is no excuse for a violent reaction. Not in this case and not in the Yates case.

The fact remains however that if both Yates and Rehnberg would have kept their vigilante nature in-check, neither of them would have been involved in a confrontation.

Icarus Falling
Guest
Icarus Falling

Once again,
A perfect example of why it is best to just mind your own business and ride away, instead of bitching someone out for their actions…

By the way, a hit and run happened last night (Sunday) involving a car and one of our Polo Players, in the crosswalk outside the Polo Haus.

Luckily someone got the plate numbers off of the car. We will see what the PPB does with it…

Tom
Guest
Tom

No, Japan is a polite society and no one is armed. You don\’t need a gun to enforce etiquette.

dobrien
Guest
dobrien

All this crazy-bitter whining about The Oregonian is getting old, especially when I haven\’t seen one post about Steve Duin\’s Sunday column about the sea of bicyclists crossing the Hawthorne last week. (Apologies if I missed a mention.)

Not only should the sheer numbers make this city proud (Duin counted 1,028 morning commuters), but I really like how he captured the diverse range of cyclists.

West Cougar
Guest
West Cougar

Yep.

\”An armed society is a polite society. Manners are good when one may have to back up his acts with his life.\”
Robert A. Heinlein

Fritz
Guest
Fritz

Dave, that\’s kind of like the \”you were wearing a short skirt so no wonder you got raped\” argument. Sure, you can do things to prevent getting run over by crazy drunk men like… not cussing at them or… not being on the roads… The legal blame is entirely on the side of the driver. So is the moral blame. Sure the biker might not have had as much of a problem if he hadn\’t cussed, but still…

jordan
Guest
jordan

Intention or not, Jonathan (in response to #17)…disparity in amount of coverage is bias as well.

brian
Guest
brian

Seems to me that \’cussing\’ at somebody who is endagering your life is apprapo.

\”An armed society is a polite society.\” That is retarded. Gonna shoot me for saying that?

PoPo
Guest
PoPo

@ Russell (#2)

Just FYI regarding the charges….

One of the elements of all crimes of Assault is the extent of the injury suffered by the victim. I don\’t know about this particular case, but if the victim didn\’t suffer a Physical Injury (and Physical Injury is a legal term that usually means something more severe than scrapes and scratches), then Attempted Assault might be the best that could be charged.

Also, charges can be added or dropped at a later times as well–something that sometimes happens as the District Attorney gets involved.

Here\’s a link to Oregon ORS for Assault, you will have to scroll down a bit to 163.175: http://www.leg.state.or.us/ors/163.html

Matthew Denton
Guest
Matthew Denton

So wait, if someone swears at me, I\’m supposed to kill them? I had no idea.

Adams Carroll (News Intern)
Guest

\”Intention or not, Jonathan (in response to #17)…disparity in amount of coverage is bias as well.\”

jordan,

i appreciate your feedback. can you further explain the \”disparity in amount of coverage\”? I agree with you in general, but I would like to know more specifically what examples from bikeportland.org you are writing about.

thanks.

tonyt
Guest
tonyt

\”Come on Todd, how is trying to drive over someone with a Ford Escort any different than hitting them with a 30lb bicycle?\”

That\’s easy, one gets you a 9/11 sized headline in the Oregonian, one does not.

Russell
Guest
Russell

PoPo – Thanks, it\’s been awhile since I read the Statutes, but I recalled something about the degree of injury. What I find interesting though is that INTENT is very much left out when it comes to cars. This guy INTENDED to a lot more harm, yet is getting a relatively minor charge (I know the charges are entirely up to the DA) at present. Let us look at another situation though:

A person points a gun at another person\’s head, pulls the trigger, but only grazes their ear with the bullet. I\’d hazard a bet that the gunman would be up for a lot more than Attempted Assault. So this goes back to the debate raging on the Shift listserv – when does a car constitute a deadly weapon? Mr. Millican obviously intended to use his car as a weapon, but through fortuitous events failed to use it effectively in that manner. My hope would be that his intent would be considered and that the charges would reflect the intent (i.e. the gunman pointing the gun at someone\’s head obviously wanted to kill them, thus it\’s most likely attempted murder).

The Machine
Guest
The Machine

\”Seems to me that \’cussing\’ at somebody who is endagering your life is apprapo.\”

Where in the story did it say the driver was endangering the cyclists life?

The cyclist *perceived* that the guy was speeding and yelled at him to slow down. If you\’re going to yell at every driver who you think is speeding because you think that simply speeding is endangering your life, you\’re going to be doing a lot of yelling and not a lot of riding.

tonyt
Guest
tonyt

and for the record Ethan, I know you were being snarky.

abbeynormal
Guest
abbeynormal

Ironic that these two events take place that are such close reversals of each other. The lesson here is that it doesn\’t matter how you get from point A to point B, you can be a crazy psycho no matter what. Feel the barriers drop as we all unify over beating the crap out of each other. Share the violence!

Hank Sheppard
Guest
Hank Sheppard

As long as PPB does not enforce traffic laws against motor vehicle operators (and wastes its time tickeing bicyclists) and as long as PDOT fails to provide safe bike routes (note how bike lanes end when you really need them), things will get worse.
And it should be noted that the bicyclists killed last year were both riding legally, so it should come as no surprise that many of us choose to ride illegally, when that option could save our life.
Not a day passes on my bike commute that I do not observe a motorist driving too fast, not paying attention (cell phone) or just being an idiot. Its hard to keep one\’s month shut, especially when its a car speeding down a so called \”bikeway.\”

Arem
Guest
Arem

Thank you, Tom #20 for pointing out Japan as a generally polite society which makes it more pleasing to visit. All without the \”need\” of a firearm…or for that matter, a katana. =)

Klixi
Guest
Klixi

Not to sound too condescending, but when someone sees a cyclist (or driver) break a law on the road and decides to yell at them, does the yeller really think deep down that the recipient will really go \”Wow, that guy is right, I AM supposed to stop at stop signs. \”Hey, thanks yeller!\”\” Few people run a stop sign or a red light without knowing it is illegal. The shouter should know that, and should know that pointing it out (via yelling) is going to elicit a reaction.

Add to this, the folks who yell while adding curse words. Do they really think some sort of peaceful resolution will come from that?

Anyone who yells at someone on the road is, in my opinion, looking to agitate the recipient. No matter how right you may be, why yell? Why try to assert your authority over someone like that? Just let it go. Why is everyone so eager for confrontation? Are we that stressed out? Do we not have enough sex? Are we mentally unstable? Too much testosterone? Too much fear? Too much insecurity? Too many feelings of not being treated equally?

There are some truly crazy people out there. Why risk your life because you figured you were going to try to make an example of someone by ridiculing them for breaking the law?

Just let it go. Even if you\’re right and they\’re wrong. Just let it go. It could save you your life.

Whiney McWhinerson
Guest
Whiney McWhinerson
Klixi
Guest
Klixi

Wow that driver was going fast. That\’s what they consider \”attempted\” assault? Rich.

greenkrypto
Guest
greenkrypto

I\’m just glad this ended without injury — could have been much worse.

bc
Guest
bc

Lyle-
What the police book someone on, and what the DA and grand jury decide on are two different things. Most of the time, the more serious charges, or the more accurate charges, are added later on. Just b/c he\’s booked on attempted assault, doesn\’t mean that\’s all he will be charged. It\’s always possible there will be more charges.

In all fairness, if mug shots are available, they should ALL be posted, so as not to show some sort of agenda. IMO.

isamu
Guest
isamu

\”An armed society is a polite society. Manners are good when one may have to back up his acts with his life.\”

Except this is empirically not true.

Why do people keep repeating this bullshit line?

yours in Christ,
Isamu

Jimbo
Guest
Jimbo

Of course Lars Larson jumped on the previous incident…. even stating in a commercial that…and I am not quoting word for word……..\”that he would possibly shoot someone attacking him with a bike.\”

Will be interesting to see how he spins this uncanny timed turn of events. Lets see…. Concerned bicyclist yells at motorist to obey traffic laws….. Motorist decides to club cyclist with car……. Cyclist defends himself against \”idiot\” motorist…… If Lars was riding the bike….would he pull his weapon and shoot?????

As for my thoughts??? When I ride my bike, do I stop at every stop light??? Probably almost always.. Do I stop at every stop sign??? Not so much….. Is it right?? NO NO and NO! Do I want or need anyone on two wheels… or four…. lecturing me??? NO, NO and NO!!! Do I take responsibility for my actions??? YES, Yes and YES!! DO I pay taxes for roads?? YES, YES and YES! Do I have insurance??? YES, YES and YES! Do I care what other cyclists do when they ride??????? NO, NO and NO!!!!!!!!!!! They are no more a reflection of me anymore than all those motorists I see breaking laws every minute of the day are a reflection of me when I drive my gas sucking hog. When I drive, I stop at all lights and stop signs. I do what I do….and take full responsibility for it. I don\’t blame anyone or anything for any actions I am involved in. And I certainly don\’t want to be blamed for anything anyone else is doing.

One more comment…. the 9 months or so I spend commuting to work every year on bike is the best 9 or so months I have at work every year. Only those who commute by bike know what I am talking about. Those who exclusively commute by bike year round…hats off to you!!

peejay
Guest
peejay

I have to say that I believe that when you see someone doing a dangerous act – not just something that annoys you – you may and should call out to the offender. One time may not make that much difference at the time, since people usually get a little defensive in such situations, but repeated exposure to verbal censure from passerby will eventually sink in. It\’s peer pressure, plain and simple, and it works. Now, don\’t put yourself in needless harm, but (respectfully) let people know when they f**k up, and down the road, that person may pay a little more attention to their driving, if only to not draw so much attention.

Christopher
Guest

[quote]\”An armed society is a polite society. Manners are good when one may have to back up his acts with his life.\”
Robert A. Heinlein[end quote]

Ah… nothing like being a good\’n drunk \’ol boy \’merikan!

RAH\’s line does nothing to explain Paris, Amsterdam, Victoria, or Copenhagen. Civilization appears to reside outside the US.

As for this latest road rage… [shacking my head]

bahueh
Guest
bahueh

um, yes, the drunks are in fine form this week….

well done assholes.

Diogo
Guest
Diogo

Yeah, I agree it\’s stupid to yell at people, cars or bikes. Sure, if they are really doing something very dangerous you may want to say something – but then you gotta be very smart about the way to do that because you want to gain the sympathy of the person and not simply antagonize them.

kg
Guest
kg

Just be safe!

KGW is reporting an life threatening accident in NE.
http://www.kgw.com/news-local/stories/kgw_071408_news_bicyclist_hit_car_collision_.56747088.html

djasonpenney
Guest

http://www.mcso.us/PAID/BookingDetail.aspx?ID=03SJn2ZUmClHMvA3ZvZ1cw==

Why is he not charged with leaving the scene of an accident?

Jimbo
Guest
Jimbo

peejay
It\’s peer pressure, plain and simple, and it works.

peejay….lets go the other direction…

I have a friend…one of the very, very, very few…. who at the age of 37 has never, ever, not once has ever…..took a sip of alcohol..took a hit of a joint, sniffed a line… Nothing..never….EVER!! I asked him how he made it all those years without ever getting caught up with \”THE MOMENT\” with his friends. He told me simply….\”Peer Pressure\” never meant nothing to me\”!!

Just like he never let surrounding influences affect his way of thinking, Most FREE THINKING individuals don\’t either. Anyone in the military will tell you about blanket parties. That is peer pressure at its best!! ..so I hear….. That only works when you are in a controlled group, all under the same circumstances and all get punished no matter what anyone in the group does.

I wear a helmet, some of my friends don\’t… do they want to hear comments \”Where\’s YOUR HELMUT????\” No, not really.
If one feels they must comment on others discretion\’s about traffic laws…maybe those same folks need to lay out their personnel history so we can see if they ever broke a law before…any law.. Throw those stones!!!

By the way….my house is made of so much glass………..you won\’t see many rocks coming from my way….lol

Ride safe. Jimbo

brett
Guest
brett

Wow, a lot of blame-the-victim here. Why are you people so uncomfortable with assigning fault to one side? Do you seriously believe that the biker deserved this T.J. Hooker treatment? Or that he somehow is partly to blame for the rage of a drunk driver? Jesus, people. Get a moral compass, for Christ\’s sake.