Hunt continues in Portland for escaped attempted murder suspect

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The escaped suspect, 24-year-old David Dahlen, is accused of ramming a police officer's patrol car and injuring the officer on Christmas Eve.

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — The hunt continued Monday for the attempted murder suspect who escaped from Portland Police Bureau’s Central Precinct Saturday night. An officer told KOIN 6 News he doesn’t remember an escape like this happening before. 

Officers ran after the man after he escaped the building, but say he disappeared into the night. 

The area around the Central Precinct was full of police cars Saturday night while officers tried to track the suspect, 24-year-old David Dahlen. He’s wanted on charges of first-degree attempted murder, first-degree assault, assaulting a public safety officer, unauthorized use of a motor vehicle, and second-degree escape. 

Dahlen is suspected of ramming a police officer’s patrol car with a stolen pickup truck on Dec. 24 near Southeast Cesar E. Chavez Boulevard and Southeast Powell Boulevard. The officer, Jennifer Pierce, was trying to approach Dahlen to investigate reports that the truck he was in was stolen. 

After police say Dahlen crashed into the patrol car, Pierce fired her gun, but did not strike the suspect and he escaped.  

Pierce suffered a fractured pelvis and is still recovering. 

Police said they located and arrested Dahlen at 1:30 p.m. Saturday after chasing him for a short distance on foot near Southeast 101st Avenue and Southeast Insley Street. 

Officers took Dahlen to the Central Precinct, but at 5:30 p.m., they discovered he’d escaped the secure holding cell he was in. Police placed the building on lockdown and called for additional resources. They later confirmed that Dahlen had left the building and was last seen running north. 

“We are really focusing our efforts on trying to locate the escapee and get him into custody safely and as soon as possible,” said Derek Carmon from the Portland Police Bureau. “We hope if the community comes across him that they phone 911 immediately.”

Police say an escape like this is not something they deal with often. 

“Certainly it’s not something that’s happened since I’ve been an officer in the city of portland, and… talking to officers who have been here longer than me, it’s something they don’t remember happening. So, we are going to get down to the bottom of it and figure out what exactly occurred to prevent it from happening in the future,” Carmon said.

Dahlen is a white man. He’s 5 feet 8 inches tall and weighs 170 pounds. He was last seen wearing a long-sleeve green shirt, blue jeans, and white tennis shoes. He had a noticeable amount of dried mud on his clothes. 

Portland Police don’t believe he’s a threat to the community, but they’d like him back in custody. 

Dahlen has a long list of previous charges dating back to 2013. Some of the charges include driving under the influence of intoxicants, unauthorized use of a vehicle, possession of a stolen vehicle, first-degree theft, and careless driving contributing to an accident. 

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