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Police: Suspect accused of 2 separate attacks, robberies in downtown Portland in custody

The suspect assaulted and robbed two strangers in separate incidents on March 13 and 14, Portland police said.

PORTLAND, Ore. — A man suspected of violently attacking and robbing at least two strangers in downtown Portland in March is in custody, according to Portland Police Bureau. 

Police arrested 34-year-old Harold P. Griffin III after spotting him at a disturbance call at Southwest 4th Avenue and Washington Street in downtown Portland shortly after 9:00 am Friday.

Officers recognized Griffin as the suspect in the previous incidents, but police say at the same time they were getting calls from the public that put Griffin in the downtown area as well, after pictures of the suspect were released earlier Friday morning. 

The violent incidents occurred about two weeks ago. On March 13, police officers responded to a report of an assault near Southwest 5th Avenue and Southwest Salmon Street at 8:36 a.m. Officers found an injured man who told them he was suddenly attacked. The suspect hit the man with a golf club, poured hot coffee on him and stomped on his head while he was on the ground, the Portland Police Bureau (PPB) said.  The victim was transported to the hospital, where he was treated and eventually released.

One day after that attack, police were called to a report of an assault at 2:44 a.m. near West Burnside Street and Southwest 5th Avenue. The officers and medics who responded found a man unconscious on the sidewalk and took him to the hospital. According to the investigation, PPB said officers determined the man had been assaulted and robbed by the same suspect accused of the attack on March 13. The man was also transported to the hospital for treatment.

Credit: Portland Police Bureau
The Portland Police Bureau released images of a man accused of assaulting and robbing two strangers downtown on March 13 and 14.

Anyone with information about Griffin or the incidents is asked to contact Detective Matt Brown at matthew.brown@police.portlandoregon.gov or (503) 823-0859, and reference case numbers 23-65725 or 23-66496.

If you are interested in learning techniques of self-defense and de-escalation, the city of Portland offers classes for citizens and groups, with an emphasis on supporting women and members of the LGBTQ-plus community, through its Rose City Self Defense program

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