Suspect Arrested after Attacking Occupied Car with Hatchet (Photo)

April 10, 2021 16:08


A man who threatened a driver with a hatchet is facing charges.

On Thursday, April 8, 2021 at 3:21p.m., Central Precinct officers were called to a threat with weapon call near Northwest 20th Avenue and Northwest Northrop Street. As officers were responding, they learned that several callers were reporting someone swinging around a hatchet and hitting a car with it.

When officers arrived, a witness pointed out the suspect. They arrested Christopher L. James, 41, and seized the involved hatchet (photo).

Investigating officers learned that James fixated on a subject sitting in a vehicle nearby. James, with hatchet in hand, ran towards the driver?s side of the vehicle. As James approached, he raised the hatchet as if he was going to hit the caller who was seated in the vehicle. Fearing for his life, the caller started to drive off. As he did so, James struck the vehicle with the hatchet causing damage (photo).

James was booked into the Multnomah County Detention Center on charges of Attempted Assault in the Second Degree, Unlawful Use of a Weapon, and Menacing.

Officers used no force taking this armed suspect into custody.

According to the PPB Open Data page, force was used in 0.23% of all calls and 3.8% of custodies (sample time period July 2017 ? December 2020). That means that 99.77% of calls do not involve any use of force by Portland Police officers. 96.2% of the time, officers make arrests or otherwise take custody of someone without using any force at all. The majority of force events were low level force where there was no injury or complaint of injury to the involved community member or officer.

PPB?s Use of Force data is available at



Media Relations:
Phone: 503-823-0830
1111 SW 2nd Ave
Portland, OR 97204


© OpenStreetMap contributors