Man charged with murder, assault in Portland hit-and-run rampage

Jan. 28 (UPI) -- A district attorney in Oregon has charged a 64-year-old man with murder, accusing him of driving his car into several people, including a grandmother who died in the vehicular attack.

Multnomah County District Attorney Mike Schmidt announced in a statement Wednesday that Paul Rivas of Oregon City has been charged with one count of murder in the second degree, six counts of assault in the second degree and seven counts of failure to perform the duties of a driver.


Police said 10 people were injured after a man drove his vehicle on Monday afternoon over a span of dozens of Portland city blocks, crashing into vehicles, pedestrians and cyclists with the intent to injure.

Jean Gerich, 77, a grandmother of five, was killed in the vehicular rampage. The Oregon State Medical Examiner's Office has ruled Gerich's death a homicide caused by blunt force trauma.

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"It is alleged that Rivas used his vehicle as a dangerous weapon to cause the death of Ms. Gerich and to cause physical injury to at least six other people," the district attorney's office said.

Rivas was arrested Monday after crashing his vehicle and attempting to flee the scene on foot but was surrounded by a group of witnesses.


After his arrest, Rivas was transported to the hospital and was charged upon his medical discharge, the district attorney's office said.

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"During the investigation, law enforcement spoke with numerous witnesses and learned Rivas appeared to be deliberately attempting to strike nearby vehicles, bicyclists and pedestrians by swerving toward them while in the roadway and while on the sidewalk" the office said. "Witnesses reported multiple cyclists, vehicles and pedestrians, including Ms. Gerich, were hit and in each case the driver sped away without making any attempt to stop or render aid."

Rivas appeared in the Multnomah County Circuit Court on Wednesday, when a plea of not guilty was entered on his behalf.

His next court date is scheduled for Feb. 4.

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