North Portland man charged with murder-by-car following Cathedral Park collision

Posted by on March 22nd, 2021 at 3:27 pm

Location of alleged murder in St. Johns where suspect used their car as the weapon.

A man has been charged with murder in a fatal collision that happened Friday in St. Johns.

On March 19th around 3:30 pm the Portland Police say 29-year-old Roy Bennett Jr. intentionally drove his car into a 57-year-old person near the intersection of N Crawford and Pittsburg (near Cathedral Park).

This incident was initially reported as a hit-and-run. Today the Multnomah County District Attorney announced that Bennett has been charged with one count of murder in the second degree, failure to perform the duties of a driver (hit-and-run), and one count of unauthorized use of a motor vehicle. The victim succumbed to their injuries today (3/22). Their name has not yet been officially released.

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Locations of alleged hit-and-run collisions by Roy Bennett Jr.

Bennett is accused of “intentionally crashing into the victim,” while operating a stolen car says the DA statement.

2016 story in UP Beacon.

The suspect is the same man involved in a 2016 hit-and-run that happened just two miles away from Friday’s incident. According to a story published September 9th, 2016 by the University of Portland Beacon, Bennett was arrested after he crashed his car into another driver and fled the scene by foot. That collision happened on N Willamette Blvd near N Olin. Bennett was driving a stolen car in that crash too.

The PPB and DA are asking anyone with information about this incident to contact Detective Ryan Foote at Ryan.Foote@portlandoregon.gov or 503-823-0781, or Detective Travis Law at Travis.Law@portlandoregon.gov or 503-823-0395. You can also use the District Attorney’s Case Tip Line at 503-988-0340 or CaseTips@mcda.us

UPDATE, 3/23 at 4:45 pm: PPB have released the victim’s name. He has been identified as 57-year-old Errol Rees, of Washington County.

— Jonathan Maus: (503) 706-8804, @jonathan_maus on Twitter and jonathan@bikeportland.org
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steve poppdrsWilliamSteveThe Dude Recent comment authors
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drs
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drs

This is just so tragic. So many perpetrators of vehicular violence are recidivists.

I wish we did more to crack down on the abundance of unregistered vehicles that are flooding the streets of Portland.

I was the victim of a person that ran into me with a stolen vehicle a short distance away from Cathedral Park just a few years ago. Luckily, it was only my car that they destroyed. I would not have survived if I had been biking.

squareman
Subscriber

Glad to hear they’re going for murder 2, but they still aren’t even invoking the VRU law to up the lesser penalties? What exactly does it take?

1kw
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1kw

Frustrating.

Pat Franz
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Pat Franz

Beyond frustrating. Way beyond frustrating.

Steve
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Steve

I’d like to believe Bennett will spend a good deal of time incarcerated. But, Joel Aaron Schrantz was released from custody after only 3 years, for mowing down and killing Mitchell York on the St John’s bridge in 2016

drs
Guest
drs

I sure hope he goes away for longer. It seems like it might be easier to prove intention in this case. But Schrantz not getting life after killing a man and racking up a massive laundry list of violations over decades is just absurd.

steve popp
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steve popp

I believe he got his license suspended for life too. I remember going to the hearing. I wonder if he has been driving, Seems like He was the type of person That Wouldn’t Care.

William
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William

..>Errol was my stepdad…we hadn’t been in close contact in years, and only picked up ccontact again in the last few years…He’d turned over a new leaf, gotten a new lease on life, and was living on the up-and-up…. They left out some important details, like the fact Bennet was trying to steal Errol’s car! Errol caught his punk-ass in the act. That’s when he ran over Errol and left him for dead! ***portions of comment deleted by moderator***

William
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William

I stand corrected, as he wasn’t trying to steal one, he was already in one…I want Justice to prevail…I hadn’t seen the man in years, but I have strong, fond memories of Errol..Long story short, mom went one way, Errol went another, lost contact, then regained contact a few years back..Errol was getting his life together again, about to be married..it sucks..

drs
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drs

I feel very sorry for you. I hope the man that killed your father will be put away for a very long time. He needs to be put in a place where he can’t do this to anyone else ever again.