Driver who threatened police during protest convicted
A man who reportedly drove toward a line of Portland police officers during a 2020 protest and refused to stop his car has been sentenced to 18 months' probation.
According to the Multnomah County District Attorney's Office, Timothy Swales, 31, was convicted of felony eluding and reckless driving by a jury on Wednesday, Nov. 16. He also had his license revoked.
The incident happened in July 2020 when more than 100 protestors blocked traffic off East Burnside and Southeast 47th Avenue. The group was instructed to leave by police but did not cooperate. Officers formed a line and began to walk towards the group to move them when Swales approached in a car behind the officers.
Officers ordered Swales to stop, the DA's office said, but he continued driving toward the officers and group, finally slowing but lurching forward several times before stopping completely. After Swales stopped, officers attempted to arrest him. Swales threw his car in reverse and backed up at about 30 miles per hour.
Swales attempted to turn around, but a responding patrol car struck his vehicle to stop it. An open container of alcohol was found inside Swales' car, and the incident was captured on video.
The district attorney's office did not say whether Swales' behavior was politically motivated.
The office issued nearly 200 protest-related cases between 2020 and 2022 for criminal prosecution. Each case is in various stages of the prosecutorial process, including pending trial, plea agreement, sentenced to prison or probation, or in warrant status. The D.A.'s website press release page includes information on protest cases and other cases of public interest, and an archive of past cases.
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