Lake Oswego resident assists officer during tussle
Lake Oswego resident Kent Willey was sitting inside his pickup truck in front of the Tigard Public Library at around 2:45 p.m. on Feb. 26 when he saw an incident involving a Tigard police officer quickly unfold and get nasty.
Library staff had called police to report that they were having trouble with a man inside. When Tigard Police Officer Brian Jackson arrived, he asked the man if they could talk outside — but they only made it to the foyer.
Willey, who was getting ready to enter the library, says he could tell that something wasn't right.
"I saw the suspect's demeanor change and become aggressive," he says. "I could see it was coming."
Willey says he "saw the officer go down," along with the suspect, and the men started tussling on the floor inside the glass-enclosed front entryway. The 52-year-old Willey quickly exited his truck — on two bad knees no less — and started sprinting toward the front door.
"I jumped on the guy and we were rolling around," he says. "The guy reached out and started choking me."
In fact, the suspect choked Willey not once but twice, something Willey called to the attention of Officer Jackson.
"(The officer) tapped me on the back and said, 'Let's lay on him' (until backup arrives),'" Willey says.
Other officers quickly raced up and took the man, later identified as Devonte Anthony Boatright, 23, into custody. He was charged with interfering with a police officer, resisting arrest, fourth-degree assault and assault on a public safety officer, and lodged at Washington County Jail.
Both Willey and Jackson, a 17-year veteran of the Tigard Police Department, received minor injuries in the melee. And on March 1, Willey received something else: Tigard police honored the Good Samaritan with a certificate of appreciation and a Chief's Coin during a brief ceremony
and reception at Tigard City Hall.
Tigard Police Chief Kathy McAlpine praised Willey for his selfless actions.
"People are more apt to record (the situation) and catch it on video," McAlpine pointed out after the ceremony. "When somebody does put themselves in harm's way ... it is appreciated."
Willey, who has law enforcement individuals in his family, says he was completely taken by surprise by the recognition, thinking he was simply going to City Hall to shake the chief's hand.
Meanwhile, Willey — who already had surgery scheduled to replace those aching knees of his — says he has been impressed by the police department and its officers.
"I think the Tigard Police Department has been amazing," he says, noting that after the incident, four or five officers called to personally thank him.