Portland man charged over allegedly assaulting federal officers with vehicle

Portland man charged over allegedly assaulting federal officers with vehicle
© Greg Nash

A 55-year-old Portland man has been charged with assaulting federal officers with his vehicle while driving along Interstate 84 on Sunday, the Justice Department (DOJ) announced Wednesday. 

According to court documents, two Federal Protective Service officers wearing government-issued uniforms with “visible police patches and a badge” left the Edith Green-Wendell Wyatt Federal Building in a rental vehicle, on their way to their hotel.

While driving east on I-84, the officers saw a gray SUV passing on their left. The driver, later identified as Lonnie Vantewa Albert, allegedly glanced toward them before he turned sharply and nearly hit the officers' vehicle. 

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The officer driving the vehicle attempted to change lanes and pass Albert, but prosecutors say Albert swerved in either direction to block their vehicle.

Eventually Albert struck the left side of the officers' vehicle, causing Albert's vehicle to spin before coming to a stop.

One of the officers got out of their vehicle to see if Albert was injured, but he allegedly drove toward the officer, veered left and fled the scene. The officers then followed him to obtain his license plate number. 

The officers chased him until he stopped near Adventist Health Portland, where Albert allegedly struck their vehicle a second time.

Albert was then arrested by Portland Police. According to the Multnomah County Jail records, Albert was booked on three counts of failure to perform the duties of a driver and one count of reckless driving.

Albert appeared before a federal judge in Portland on Tuesday where he was served the federal assault charges. If convicted, he faces a maximum sentence of eight years in federal prison.