An Oregon man who prosecutors say purposefully crashed his automobile into pedestrians and cyclists, killing a grandmother of five and hurting others, was charged Wednesday with murder and other counts.
An intention in the rampage that started when an individual was struck Monday afternoon was unclear, but cops said the motorist’s actions showed an intent to strike and hurt individuals.
Paul Rivas, 64, was charged with one count of murder in the second degree, seven counts of failure to perform the duties of a chauffeur and six counts of attack in the second degree, Multnomah County District Attorney Mike Schmidt stated in a declaration.
Rivas appeared in court Wednesday, and an innocent plea was entered on his behalf, the district lawyer’s workplace said. He was selected a public protector who decreased to comment Wednesday evening.
Killed in the rampage was Jean Gerich, 77, who was hit by a Honda Element, which then made a U-turn and went onto the pathway, striking her a 2nd time, according to a likely cause affidavit.
Rivas was jailed after crashing his Honda Aspect, running away on foot and being surrounded by bystanders, police said.
After speaking with witnesses, authorities “discovered Rivas seemed intentionally attempting to strike nearby cars, bicyclists and pedestrians by swerving towards them while in the road and while on the pathway,” the district attorney’s workplace stated in the declaration. After each crash, the motorist scampered, it stated.
Rivas informed cops after his arrest that he was driving a Honda Element, and he acknowledged he was surrounded and detained after crashing it, however he provided a series of explanations about the hit-and-runs, the probable cause affidavit said.
These included that he ‘d had brake problems and was trying to find a shop; that a similar-looking Element could have struck them; which he did strike a bicyclist but identified it as an emergency maneuver to avoid a more severe crash, the affidavit stated.
Phil Helsel is a reporter for NBC News.