PORTLAND - Charges were increased Friday on the suspect in Tuesday night's stabbing rampage aboard a TriMet bus in Oregon City.
Clackamas County deputies said 19-year-old Austin William Vanhagen of Oregon City faced assault, intimidation and weapons charges.
The charges were increased after testimony before a Clackamas County Circuit Court Grand Jury from Oregon City Police Department Detectives. Vanhagen now faces three counts of assault in the first degree and three counts of unlawful use of a weapon, all felonies.
Bus driver Leonard James was being treated for a stab wound to his stomach. He released a statement Friday thanking all who have supported the victims.
“I have felt such tremendous support from the OHSU staff, from my TriMet family, from riders and the whole community. The outpouring of support deeply touches my heart and is helping me heal. I definitely feel the love. My deepest regards and thanks go to Richard, Jeremy and Andrew who were on my bus that night and who were also injured. During the attack, we had each other’s backs and that speaks to the courage and character of these men." Read the entire statement
Vanhagen reportedly boarded the bus at the Oregon City Transit Center and yelled some racial slurs, then stepped back off the bus at Clairmont Way. Witnesses said he then stabbed one person five times while outside the bus.
Passenger John Olechea said after that, Vanhagen punched him in the face, and then re-boarded the bus. Once back on the bus, the man stabbed another passenger five times and then went after the driver, who he reportedly stabbed once in the stomach
Another passenger grabbed the attacker and held him, and the suspect bit him on the shoulder, witnesses said. However, he still managed to keep control until police arrived. A witness said police had to use a Taser to subdue the attacker.
Four people were recovering, including the bus driver.
Richard Dickson Jr. was treated for stab wounds to his chest, back and leg. Jeremy Thompson was stabbed in his back and arm. He is not projected to be release until sometime this weekend. Victim Andrew Crombie was bit in the shoulder and was treated at the scene. The victims may be released from the hospital by the weekend, investigators said.