An Oregon man accused of ramming a stolen truck into a Portland police officer — seriously injuring her — has escaped from a holding cell, police said.
David Dahlen, 24, was arrested Saturday in the attempted murder of Portland police Officer Jennifer Pierce on Dec. 24, police said in a statement.
Dahlen, who was apprehended after a short foot chase, was later taken to the department’s detective division, where cops noticed he escaped from a holding cell at about 5:30 p.m. that evening, department officials said.
Dahlen was still not in police custody as of Sunday morning, The Oregonian reported. A message seeking additional comment from cops early Monday was not immediately returned.
“An effort to recapture Dahlen is underway,” police said. “There is no reason to believe that he presents a direct threat to the community. However, PPB is asking for the public’s help to locate him.”
Dahlen, who is wanted on warrants including first-degree attempted murder and assaulting a public safety officer, was last seen wearing a green shirt, blue jeans and white tennis shoes. He also had a “noticeable amount” of dried mud on his clothing, police said.
“If anyone sees Dahlen or know where he is, they’re asked not to approach him and call 911 right away,” Portland police said, adding that an investigation is ongoing to determine how he broke out of custody.
Dahlen is accused of driving a stolen pickup truck into Pierce at a Portland gas station, The Oregonian reported. He allegedly rammed into the officer as she and other cops tried to box in the vehicle, pinning her between the truck and her patrol car at one point, witnesses told police.
The owner of the truck, who arrived at the scene, said Pierce then fired her gun at the stolen ride after she was struck a second time, The Oregonian reported.
Police found the truck abandoned about an hour later in southeast Portland. Pierce, who suffered a fractured pelvis, was still hospitalized Sunday, according to the newspaper. She’s a 15-year police veteran, KGW reported.
Dahlen, meanwhile, was last spotted running north from Central Precinct, police said.
“We are really focusing our efforts on trying to locate the escapee and get him into custody safely and as soon as possible,” a Portland police official told KOIN. “We hope if the community comes across him that they phone 911 immediately.”