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Keffer James White, 29, is accused of an unprovoked attack on two elderly men who were waiting at a bus stop.

A man accused of attacking two elderly people in downtown Portland and leaving them with serious injuries has been charged with attempted murder.

The suspect, Keffer James White, 29, was arraigned Monday, June 27, in Multnomah County Circuit Court on four charges for allegedly attacking Edward Lichtenstein, 88, and Donald Pierce, 83, Multnomah County District Attorney Mike Schmidt announced in a statement.

White is facing two counts of first-degree attempted murder, first-degree assault and second-degree assault. Court records previously showed that White would be charged with two counts of first-degree bias crime, but those charges didn't move forward, according to court records.

Officers were responding to an unrelated call in the area of Southwest Fifth Avenue and Hall Street about 8:30 p.m. Saturday, June 25, when they discovered an assault in progress, police said in a statement the next day.

The officers arrested a suspect, who was later identified as White, and called paramedics to assist the victims, Lichtenstein and Pierce, police said.

Witness statements and video of the incident indicated that White was unprovoked before attacking the two men, police said. He allegedly punched and kicked both victims repeatedly, including after they fell to the ground, according to police.

Both men remained hospitalized and in critical condition as of Monday afternoon, June 27, said Elisabeth Shepard, spokesperson for the district attorney's office, in a statement.

Witnesses reported that White said he was going to kill the victims during the attack, Shepard said.

Officers heard screaming and observed a man lying in the roadway and another man lying on the sidewalk being attended to by a woman who flagged the officers down as they approached the scene, according to an affidavit filed in court Monday by Deputy District Attorney Nicole M. Hermann.

The woman and other witnesses indicated that White, who was seated at a bus stop, had attacked the two men, Hermann wrote in the affidavit.

Pierce, Lichtenstein and his wife had been waiting at the bus stop on Southwest Fifth Avenue when White started talking to them, TriMet video and witness reports indicated, the prosecutor said.

After the group didn't respond, White started yelling and making fun of the two men for being elderly, the prosecutor said.

The group didn't engage with White, who become more aggressive and approached the group, "getting in the face" of Lichtenstein, the prosecutor wrote. White "head-butts" Lichtenstein's hat off his head and then shoves him back before turning to Pierce and throwing him to the ground, the prosecutor said. Pierce, who was using a cane and a sign pole for balance, was knocked into the street.

White then kicked Pierce in the head and face several times as he lay in the street, according to the prosecutor. White turned back to Lichtenstein, who attempted to back away, punched him in the face and knocked him to the ground, the prosecutor said.

Pierce attempted to get up from the street when White returned to him, punched him in the head, knocking him back down, and then delivered "a series of stomps and strikes" with his foot to Pierce's head, the prosecutor wrote.

Pierce was unconscious but breathing when police arrived while Lichtenstein was conscious and being assisted by his wife, according to the prosecutor. Both men, who had serious, visible injuries, were transported to a hospital.

Pierce's injuries are life-threatening, and he was unable to communicate, the prosecutor wrote. Lichtenstein remains under medical care for serious injuries to his mouth, face and head, according to the prosecutor.

Court records show White has been convicted of several felony and misdemeanor crimes dating back to 2011, including felon in possession of a firearm, strangulation and fourth-degree assault.

White also had an outstanding arrest warrant in a case still pending in court from last January, court records show. He is facing charges, including unauthorized use of a vehicle and possession of a stolen vehicle, in that case. White failed to appear in court for the case multiple times, court records show.

White is being held at the Multnomah County Detention Center without bail, Shepard said.

An attorney for White didn't immediately respond to a request for comment.

Update: Additional charges for White were pending as of July 12, after police announced that one of the victims, Donald Pierce, had died in the hospital.


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