Stealing a joyride

As Campus Public Safety officers attempted to subdue a belligerent suspect early Monday morning, someone jumped into an open patrol car, took it for a joyride and wrecked it.

About 3 a.m. two officers in a marked patrol car were called to investigate a man who appeared to be acting out of control at Southwest Broadway and Harrison Street. They attempted to approach the man but he became hostile and began fighting the two officers. They called for backup and a second car with one officer appeared on the scene.

While the officers were involved in the struggle, an unknown person leaped into one of the patrol cars and drove it away. The car was discovered wrecked at 8:20 a.m. at Northwest Barnes Road and Skyline Boulevard.

"The car is not salvageable," according to Mike Soto, director of Campus Public Safety. He said the 1995 four-door Chevrolet Impala is insured but he was not able to estimate its current value. Its loss leaves the office with two patrol cars in operation.

The subject of the initial call, Anthony Lathan, 46, was arrested for disorderly conduct and transported to the Multnomah County Detention Center. Lathan was described as a big man, more than 6 feet tall. He had been reported to CPSO as exhibiting erratic behavior on the street.

Whitten said Lathan had appeared to be under the influence of some substance. Whitten declined to identify the officers involved in the confrontation.

The car was towed to Tow World at Southwest 14th Avenue and Quimby Street where the Portland Police Bureau is investigating the case.

"In my 23 years with Campus Public Safety, this is the first marked patrol car that’s ever been stolen," Soto said. However, he said, Portland Police have reported two of their patrol cars stolen this year.

Lt. Craig Whitten, CPSO operations chief, said the CPSO car had extensive damage but no equipment or radios were taken.

"The undercarriage is bent, the frame is bent, the wheels are bent and there is front fender damage," he said.