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When a pair stole a van in Southeast, then held a gun on its owners, it's surprising a judge dismissed the charges

DAVID F. ASHTON - Some distance north of where the minivan was stolen in the Brentwood-Darlington neighborhood, police moved in on the two suspects accused of attacking and pulling a gun on the vehicles owners. After their minivan was stolen from their home in the Brentwood-Darlington neighborhood, on Saturday, October 10, the owners spotted it – parked in a driveway not far from their house.

"The couple believed their minivan was unoccupied, and attempted to retrieve it," explained Portland Police spokesperson Officer Melissa Newhard.

"As the couple tried to enter their minivan, a female suspect who was inside the van physically attacked one of the owners, in an attempt to prevent her from retrieving the minivan," Newhard said. "The second owner of the minivan attempted to intervene in the attack – however, he was then assaulted by a male suspect who pointed a handgun at the owners of the minivan, threatening to shoot them in order to retain possession of the stolen minivan."

During the subsequent investigation, PPB Robbery Division detectives developed information on the identities the two suspects, and put out a bulletin to all patrol officers to be on the lookout for them, as well as the stolen minivan.

On October 27, a Central Precinct Sergeant found the stolen minivan in the Hollywood District. "Utilizing available police officers, PPB's Special Emergency Reaction Team (SERT), as well as PPB's K-9 Unit, and PPB'S Air Support Unit, the suspects were arrested without incident," Newhard told THE BEE.

MCDC BOOKING PHOTOS - Although a judge released all six Felony charges against 35-year-old Benjamin Louis Hooper, at left, hes still in custody on a Parole Violation charge - but, released from her three Felony charges and set free was 37-year-old Jeanna Irene Swink, shown at right. Officers arrested 35-year-old Benjamin Louis Hooper, and 37-year-old Jeanna Irene Swink.

Hooper was booked into the Multnomah County Detention Center (MCDC) at 3:27 p.m. on October 27 on Felony charges of Robbery I, Assault II, Unlawful Use of a Weapon, Felon in Possession of a Firearm, Unlawful Use of a Motor Vehicle, and Possession of a Stolen Vehicle.

At his arraignment, a friendly judge "released" Hooper of all the Felony charges (carrying a combined bail of $15,000); yet, he remains in Inverness jail on a Parole Violation charge.

Swink was booked into the MCDC also at 3:27 p.m. and was charged with Robbery I, Assault II, and Unlawful Use of a Weapon. At her arraignment, another friendly judge set Swink free, without bail, on November 4. Release Reason: "Court Ordered Release".


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