PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) – Authorities said a man is in custody after a TriMet operator and passenger were held hostage on a MAX train at the Mt. Hood MAX station on Thursday afternoon.
The Portland Police Bureau identified the suspect as 41-year-old Marcus Dwaine Tate.
Transit police were dispatched to the MAX station, shortly after 2 p.m. to reports of a disturbance. When transit police and officers from PPB North Precinct responded, they realized a man was holding the female train operator and a male passenger hostage.
Authorities said Tate was allegedly armed with a knife in one hand and what appeared to be a metal skewer in another.
“I know at one point the suspect was holding onto the hand of the male hostage saying ‘this is my hostage’ and obviously they’re armed with a knife and something else sharp, I mean that had to be horrifying,” PPB Commander Tina Jones said.
Officials told KOIN 6 News that responding officers tried several times to resolve the situation by talking to Tate. When those attempts proved unsuccessful, PPB called in the Special Emergency Response Team (SERT) and the crisis negotiation team.
Commander Jones says at one point Tate put down the weapons and that’s when SERT officers used that moment to distract him by deploying two flash bangs.
“When they deployed those flash bangs they were safely able to get the male hostage off the train and they were able to get the female operator out of the compartment for the MAX train,” Jones explained.
PPB Jones said she is thankful for the good police work.
“These are the nightmare calls that we never want to have that we train for and I’m very, very proud of my team obviously all the teams came out today Multnomah county and our SERT and COT teams as well,” Jones said.
PPB said Tate was booked into the Multnomah County Jail on several charges including robbery, coercion, menacing, harassment and interfering with public transportation.
The Transit Police Division is leading an investigation into the incident.