Car crash escalates into confrontation between motorists, police

Police said people who live near the crash scene also got agitated and surrounded the officers, prompting them to call in backup.

PORTLAND, Ore. — A woman was arrested for bias crime against female police officers following a car crash Saturday in North Portland’s Portsmouth neighborhood that escalated into a confrontation between police and multiple vehicle occupants, according to police.

Officers responded to a report of a car crash at North Houghton Street and North Haven Avenue and found a 1998 Nissan Altima flipped on its top with two men, a woman and a 5-year-old child inside, according to a press release from the Portland Police Bureau.

The adults suffered minor injuries, police said. One of the injured adults, identified by police as Domonique R. Gonzales, began to leave. Officers ordered multiple times for him to remain at the scene, but he did not want to be detained.

“It escalated into something it didn’t need to be,” said nearby resident Richard Tennant.

Tennant told KGW he was at home when he heard a crash. He rushed outside to find the flipped car, and saw one of the occupants trying to walk away from the scene.

“He didn’t want to be treated,” Tennant said. “He didn’t want to answer questions.”

Investigators said the man got physical with the officers, and then the other two adults in the car became combative and tried to intervene with the arrest. Neighbors also came out of nearby homes and surrounded the officers, police said.

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“It just escalated geometrically from one moment to the next,” Tennant said. “It was unnecessary. People not respecting other people.”

The officers at the scene called for backup, and as many as 16 additional officers responded. At least two of the additional responding officers were women, and investigators said the woman from the wrecked car threatened to assault them due to their race and gender.

The driver of the wrecked car, Sasha Lundy, was cited for bias crime in the second degree, menacing, and DUII. Gonzales and the other man in the car, Gregory Robinson, were cited for interfering with a peace officer. The child in the car was reunited with a parent, police said.

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Sgt. Aaron Schmautz, president of the Portland Police Association, spoke to KGW last week and said people getting aggressive with officers is not uncommon.

“There’s a huge disrespect for the rule of law born out of this rise in criminal violence in Portland, and you see that in people resisting more and people being willing to fight more,” he said.

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