Driver hits police car, crashes in cemetery, gets arrested
- Jim Redden
- Portland Tribune - News
Passenger also charged after bizarre incident
A man was arrested Sunday after running his Jeep into a police car, then leading officers on a chase before crashing in a cemetery and putting up a fight before being hit with a Taser.
Richard Beeler, 43, was booked in the Multnomah County Detention Center in downtown Portland on four counts of first-degree attempt assault, felony hit and run, abuse of a memorial to the dead, first-degree criminal mischief, driving under the influence of intoxicants, reckless driving, resisting arrest and felony attempt to elude.
Beeler was also charged with felony drug manufacturing from a previous warrant.
A passenger in the Jeep, Ruth Ott, 31, was also charged with felony drug manufacturing from a previous warrant.
According to police, the incident began around 12:42 a.m. Sunday, Dec. 11, when North Precinct officers were investigating a disturbance in the 4700 block of Northeast 99th Avenue when a Jeep backing out of a nearby driveway struck the rear bumper of a parked patrol car which was occupied by an officer and a prisoner. Neither was injured.
Instead of stopping after the accident, the Beeler accelerated north on 99th Avenue where it dead ends at Sandy Boulevard, forcing officers to dive out of the way to avoid being hit. Beeler then tried to drive through Columbia Cemetery to get away. He hit a berm causing the Jeep to go airborne. The Jeep landed at an angle and rolled over onto the passenger side before sliding to a stop. Beeler resisted as he was being taken into custody, and officers had to hit him with a Taser.
Beeler suffered non-life threatening injuries during the crash and was transported to an area hospital as a precaution. He was jailed after being released from the hospital.
Police say additional charges may be brought against Beeler after an investigation.