PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — A man has been arrested in connection with a series of violent attacks and robberies in downtown Portland that happened earlier in March.
Harold P. Griffin III, 34, was arrested two hours after Portland police released a press release about the attacks, authorities said.
Police say the 34-year-old was booked into the Multnomah County Detention Center after being interviewed on the following charges: two counts of first-degree robbery; second-degree assault; fourth-degree assault; and fraudulent use of a credit card.
The first reported incident occurred on the morning of March 13 near the corner of Southwest 5th Avenue and Southwest Salmon Street. In what is described as a sudden attack, Portland police say the man struck another man with a golf club before pouring hot coffee on him and stomping his head while he was on the ground. The attacker nabbed the man’s backpack before running away, authorities said. The victim was brought to a hospital for treatment and has since been released.
Just before 2:45 a.m. the following morning, officers responded to a reported assault and found an unconscious man on the sidewalk near West Burnside Street and Southwest 5th Avenue. That man was rushed to a hospital. Police later determined this man was robbed and assaulted by the same person as in the prior attack.
Authorities added they learned of criticism of the coffee shop employees after the surveillance video was released.
“Those employees did nothing wrong and acted appropriately in the face of a violent attack with a weapon,” PPB said in its statement about the arrest. “The employees should not have physically intervened as doing so could have resulted in their being injured and making the situation worse. The employees and other bystanders assisted the victim as well as responding officers as soon as the suspect left the scene. PPB is grateful to the bystanders, coffee stand employees, and management for their help in this case. The successful resolution of the case may not have been possible without their assistance.”