Posted For: Willie Wonka
By Michael Lee
A Portland woman has been charged with the city’s version of a hate crime after a confrontation with a police officer during a DUI arrest.
Police responded to a rollover crash in North Portland on Saturday and discovered a Nissan Altima on the street upside down with a 5-year-old in the car, according to a press release from the Portland Police Department. Three other adults were able to evacuate the car, with the person suspected of being the driver attempting to flee the scene.
Police attempted to order 27-year-old Dominique R. Gonzales, who was injured in the crash, to remain on the scene. When police attempted to take him into custody, Gonzales “physically resisted the officers.”
That’s when 33-year-old Gregory L. Robinson and 35-year-old Sasha M. Lundy, the other two adult occupants of the car, attempted to “physically intervene” and interfere with the officer’s attempted arrest of Gonzales, police said. The resulting commotion caused several people in the area to approach the scene and surround the officers, refusing to obey commands to give police space to work.
“The hostile situation prompted a call for ‘code 3 cover,’ meaning officers need immediate assistance and additional officers should respond with emergency lights and sirens,” the press release reads, noting that about 16 officers were soon on the scene at once.
The officers then tried “numerous de-escalation techniques” in an attempt to calm the situation, but Lundy approached a female sergeant and a female officer and began threatening to assault them based on their race and gender.
“The female bureau members attempted to further deescalate by moving away from her while stating they did not want to fight her, but she continued advancing on them in a physically threatening manner,” the press release said.
Lundy was arrested soon after.
According to police, the investigation later revealed that Lundy was the driver of the car, which crashed when she struck a parked car while attempting to turn a corner and caused the Altima to roll over. Police say alcohol and speed were both factors in the crash.
“After consulting with Bias Crime Unit detectives, an officer served Lundy with a criminal citation for Bias Crime in the Second Degree, DUI-Alcohol, and Menacing,” the press release said, noting that Gonzales and Robinson were given a criminal citation for “Interfering with a Peace Officer.”
Police were also able to reunite the child with a parent, and the car was towed from the scene.
The incident comes during a turbulent time for Portland police, with Portland Chief of Police Chuck Lovell taking to social media last week to plead with the community to stop violent acts against the city’s officers.
“The violence shown last night toward officers and over the weekend is shocking and reprehensible,” Lovell said. “In the last four days, officers have been shot at, had suspects fight with them, run over by a vehicle and another almost run over.”
Portland has been at the center of unrest for more than two years following the death of George Floyd in 2020, having been the scene of dozens of protests that have turned violent, resulting in millions of damage to property and one death.
The city responded to the “Defund the Police Movement” by pulling back money in the police department’s budget, though the surge of violence in the city caused leaders to reverse course and increase funding a year later.
Lovell stressed that the city’s police officers are doing their best to serve people in the community.
“Officers are answering 911 emergency calls trying to help people,” he said on Twitter. “They deserve to go home at night to their loved ones. They deserve and need the community’s support as they continue to help make a difference in this city.”