Suspect in firefighter stabbing arrested in NE Portland

Crime

Public tips helped police identify the suspect as Carroll McClendon

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — A man caught on camera allegedly stabbing an off-duty fire lieutenant was arrested Tuesday night, the Portland Police Bureau said.

Police said they received an anonymous tip leading them to the 5900 block of NE Martin Luther King Boulevard where they found and arrested 30-year-old Carroll McClendon.

McClendon was booked into the Multnomah County Detention Center on charges of 2nd-degree assault and unlawful use of a weapon.

His bail was set at $250,000.

Mugshot courtesy: MCSO

The off-duty firefighter was stabbed on Saturday night while at the Kingston Sports Bar in the Goose Hollow neighborhood, police said.

The victim, who has only been identified as a lieutenant with the Portland Fire Bureau, was released on Sunday to continue recovering at home. Portland Fire and Rescue’s Chief Sara Boone confirmed that one of the department’s lieutenants was stabbed in “the upper body” in an “unprovoked attack.” Boone released a statement about the assault, which read, in part:

“Portland Fire & Rescue would like to express our deepest gratitude to all the agencies who responded to the scene including American Medical Response, Portland Police Bureau, Portland Fire & Rescue Station #3, and to the staff at Emanuel Hospital. The promptness, collaboration, and professionalism of all these agencies proved a positive outcome for our fire lieutenant.”

Detectives said the victim and the suspect didn’t know each other. The bar’s owner said the suspect had come in earlier in the week and threatened customers.

“We believe he was in the day before and was yelling and screaming and swearing and wanted to fight everybody and we ran him out,” said Kingston Bar owner Gary Jondahl. “I don’t know what brought him in the next day, but he was here.”

Jondahl said the firefighter was seated with a group of people celebrating a birthday Saturday evening when a brief scuffle unfolded.

“The bad guy came in this door, came over, confronted him,” described Jondahl. “The victim gets up, comes after him a little bit. The bad guy king of looked like he was punching the guy in the stomach, but apparently he had a knife.”

He said the suspect then ran out the door and disappeared.

“He didn’t even realize—I don’t think—that he had been stabbed,” said Jondahl. “I think the adrenaline was flowing so fast that he sat down again and then went to the bathroom and realized he was bleeding.”

Jondahl said he has been the bar’s owner for almost 40 years and this was the first incident like this to have happened.

Caught on camera

Surveillance cameras captured images of the suspect. Police said that, after releasing the images to the public, they were able to identify him as McClendon.

Officers warned at the time that McClendon was dangerous and likely carrying a knife. Anyone who saw him was urged to call 911.

A surveillance image of a man suspected of stabbing a PFR lieutenant at the Kingston Bar and Grill in Portland, January 18, 2020. (Portland Police Bureau)

Prior record

In 2018, McClendon was accused of chasing 2 women around a laundromat with a knife, but the case was dismissed. KOIN 6 News is working to find out why.

Two years before he was convicted of assaulting a Trader Joe’s employee and resisting arrest in Washington County.

In 2015 he was convicted of reckless endangerment and interfering with public transportation. As part of his sentence he was ordered to complete an anger management course.

Just last month a parole violation warrant was issued and several court dates this month were assigned. The cases were set over to February 13 for sentencing on a parole violation and a mental health court consideration hearing.

KOIN 6 News investigative reporter Dan Tilkin contributed to this report.

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