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Neighbors help police capture suspected driver following deadly series of crashes in Portland

A group of neighbors circled the suspect and didn’t allow him to leave the area until officers showed up and could take him into custody.

PORTLAND, Ore. — A driver who police say hit and killed one person and left five others injured during a series of hit-and-runs in Southeast Portland Monday afternoon was taken into custody thanks to the help of a group of neighbors.

Portland police first received reports of a hit-and-run in the area of Southeast 33rd Avenue and Pine Street, near Laurelhurst Park. As officers responded, police received additional calls about several other crashes involving the same suspect. The final crash was reported on Southeast Stark Street, between 17th and 18th avenues. After that crash, the suspect tried to run.

But a group of neighbors in the area circled the suspect and didn’t allow him to leave the area until officers showed up to take him into custody.

Jonathan Rendon was one of the people who stepped in. He and a few others surrounded the suspect as he attempted to run off in different directions to escape. A group of Portland police officers then arrived and tackled the suspect to the ground.

Rendon said he saw the suspect hit at least one person.

“This guy is plowing through the sidewalk in his Honda Element and I’m shocked at seeing that scene," Rendon said. "There’s a pedestrian I saw he hit, plows through him.”

Once the suspect crashed and people saw him trying to flee, Rendon said it became a group effort to keep prevent him from getting away.

“We just tried to keep him from going anywhere,” Rendon said. “One and two became three and five of us, all of a sudden, pinned him down as much as we could.”

The suspect has not yet been identified and police have not said what he's been charged with. The investigation is ongoing.

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