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Alleged robber jailed for threatening woman with knife

A Gresham man is behind bars for allegedly threatening a woman with a knife while robbing a Damascus bar.

Michael Charles Whipple, 47, is at the Clackamas County Jail on a no-bail hold on an outstanding warrant out of Multnomah County for first-degree theft. He also is accused of first-degree robbery for the Damascus incident.

Whipple entered Carver's Hanger in the 16100 block of Southeast Highway 224 at about 2 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 14, and asked a female employee if breakfast was still available, said Sgt. James Rhodes, Clackamas County Sheriff's Office spokesman.

While the staffer was in the kitchen talking to the cook, Whipple reportedly went behind the counter and grabbed money from the lottery cash drawer.

The staffer saw him take the money from the kitchen and confronted him. She even managed to snatch back some of the money.

But as she stood between the man and the door, he reportedly pulled out a knife, threatened the woman and pointed the knife toward her abdomen, Rhodes said.

The woman, however, had been opening boxes and had a steak knife in her other hand. So she stood her ground. 'After a short stand-off, he pushed past her,' Rhodes said.

He locked himself in his 2001 Jeep Wrangler, but was blocked by a cook driving out of the parking lot who saw the standoff. Witnesses flagged down a sheriff's deputy who happened to be in the area. Whipple reportedly turned the knife on himself, holding it to his chest and threatening to kill himself.

Deputies evacuated the bar, parking lot and a nearby house as well as closed down the highway during the incident to protect the public.

Within about 10 minutes, the deputy whom witnesses had flagged down managed to talk Whipple into surrendering. 'He was able to take him into custody without harming him or anyone else,' Rhodes said.

Whipple later reportedly admitted to deputies that he was already 'terribly depressed' when he went to the bar. His plan was to take the money and 'if police came he would force us to kill him,' Rhodes said.