Escaped attempted murder suspect captured after pursuit, crash


David Dahlan, 24, is accused of attempted murder of a police officer

David Dahlen was inside a car that ultimately crashed as it was fleeing from authorities. (PPB)

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — The attempted murder suspect who escaped from Portland Police Bureau’s Central Precinct Saturday night has been captured and taken into custody.

Early Friday morning, 24-year-old escapee David Dahlen was spotted by the United States Marshal’s Fugitive Task Force inside a car at Lents Park on Southeast 92nd Avenue. The U.S. Marshals notified the Portland Police Bureau and authorities immediately sprung into action.

Shortly before 9 a.m., authorities attempted to block the vehicle Dahlen was in. Despite their efforts, the driver of the vehicle — who was not Dahlen — was able to maneuver out of their reach. The car fled from the area, going east on Southeast Holgate Boulevard. PPB officers then set up spike strips down the road, which successfully punctured the vehicle’s tires.

As the car’s tires deflated, the driver swerved, lost control of the car and ultimately crashed into a wall and a power pole — sending knocked wires into the street.

Dahlen attempted to make a run for it, but his efforts to flee were unsuccessful. Officer took him into custody just a short distance away from the crash scene, along with the other person in the car.

Both Dahlen and the car’s other occupant were sent to a local hospital for injuries sustained in the crash.

“It’s clear that this individual has no regard for the safety of the public and will put others in danger in an effort to escape,” PPB Chief Chuck Lovell said. “I’m grateful to the United States Marshals Fugitive Task Force, the PPB Homicide Unit, the Tactical Operations Division, East Precinct patrol officers, and all who worked together to capture this dangerous fugitive. “

Dahlen was first arrested Saturday for attempted murder of a police officer, but escaped from PPB’s custody the same day.

At 1:30 p.m. Saturday, East Precinct officers located and arrested Dahlen, who is a suspect in the attempted murder of Portland Police Officer Jennifer Pierce on December 24, 2020, near SE 39th Ave. and SE Powell Blvd.

Dahlen had rammed a vehicle into Pierce’s patrol car. Pierce, who discharged her firearm during the incident but did not strike the suspect, suffered a fractured pelvis from the incident.

Dahlen was captured after a short foot pursuit in the area of SE 101st Ave. and Insley St. However, by 5:30 p.m. Saturday, detectives discovered Dahlen had escaped the secure holding cell he was in at Central Precinct in downtown Portland near SW 2nd Ave. The building was immediately locked down and additional resources were called in. It was later confirmed Dahlen had gotten out of the building.

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