PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — A man accused of assaulting a driver and stealing a landscaping truck, then recklessly trying to elude law enforcement was arrested Tuesday evening in Gresham.
Police responded to a report of a possible carjacking shortly before 4 p.m. in the 13400 block of NE Prescott Drive in Portland. A landscaping truck pulling a trailer was parked and the driver was putting fuel in a lawnmower when he was kicked from behind and fell, hitting his head on concrete. The attacker took the truck and trailer and fled, police said.
The owner of the landscaping company used a GPS locator to help police track it down. The PPB Air Support Unit spotted the stolen truck near NE 136th Avenue and NE Shaver Street and patrol officers tried to pull it over but the driver took off, reportedly driving into oncoming traffic and nearly hitting two pedestrians.
The suspect turned into a residential neighborhood, parked near NE 186th Place and NE Wasco Street and got out and ran. Police caught the suspect, identified as 30-year-old Benjamin Hendricks, and booked him into the Multnomah County Detention Center.
Hendricks is facing charges of 3rd-degree robbery, unlawful use of a motor vehicle, elude and reckless driving.
The driver who was assaulted was taken to a hospital and is expected to recover.
Police said there may have been some tools in the landscaping trailer that fell out as the suspect fled with the trailer door open. Another person is suspected of taking those tools when they fell into the street, including two weed eaters and a leaf blower.
The suspect may also have injured more people while driving the stolen truck.
Anyone who may be a victim or have information about the case is asked to call the PPB at 503.823.3333 and reference case #21-112918.