Wednesday afternoon, a Portland Police Bureau Traffic Division officer stopped a 2003 Chevy Avalanche pickup at North Williams Avenue and Webster Street after the officer observed the driver speeding and running a red light at North Williams and Alberta Street.
The officer activated his emergency lights and sirens on his 2011 Kawasaki Police Motorcycle and the Avalanche turned onto Webster quickly and pulled to the curb. As the officer pulled in behind the Avalanche, the driver placed the Avalanche in reverse and accelerated towards the officer.
The Avalanche struck the police motorcycle just as the officer was putting down the kickstand and dismounting the bike. The motorcycle crashed to the ground but the officer was able to remain upright and engage the driver at gunpoint and give him commands to stop the vehicle.
The driver stopped and complied with commands as additional officers from North Precinct and the K-9 Unit arrived to assist the Traffic officer.
The driver, 34-year-old Robert Joseph Gilliam III, was taken into custody and officers learned that he had an outstanding parole violation warrant on an original charge of Assault in the First Degree.
Gilliam was charged with Assaulting a Public Safety Officer, Attempted Assault in the Second Degree, Reckless Driving, and Criminal Mischief in the First Degree. Gilliam was booked into the Multnomah County Jail and will be arraigned on Thursday.
Traffic Division Officer Michael Close, an 11-year-veteran of the Portland Police Bureau, received a minor knee injury during the crash.