Northwest Portland

Police use stun gun on suspect armed with knives at grocery store

Police use stun gun on suspect armed with knives at grocery store »Play Video
Screen shot from the YouTube video.

PORTLAND, Ore. - A man was brought down with a stun gun at a grocery store after police got a call that he was threatening people with knives.

The incident happened last Friday around 8:30 a.m. at the Whole Foods at 1210 N.W. Couch Street.

Several officers and a sergeant responded to the call and one of them immediately recognized the man as someone they had dealt with before. The man was known to have significant mental health issues, police said.

Officers took a stance at the other side of the aisle and repeatedly told the man to put down the knives. Officers talked with the man for several minutes and then the sergeant deployed a stun gun. Police said when their officers got to the man, he struggled so hard with them that they had to stun him three more times.

A bystander caught the incident on camera and posted video on YouTube. Note: if you follow the link to watch the video clip, be aware that it contains some foul language and gestures.

The man ended up with a bloody nose during the struggle and was checked out at the scene by medical before being cleared for police transport.

Witnesses told police the man had been shoplifting when he grabbed some knives from a display rack and began telling store employees that he wasn't going to leave.

The man, who has not been identified, was given criminal citations for second-degree menacing and disorderly conduct and then taken to a local hospital for a mental health evaluation.

Police said they will be reviewing the incident, as they do with all use-of-force incidents, to determine if Portland Police Bureau policies and procedures were followed.

Mental Health Resources

  • The Multnomah County Crisis Line is available 24 hours a day at (503) 988-4888. 
  • Lines for Life is available 24 hours a day at (503) 972-3456. 
  • Cascadia Behavioral Healthcare has an urgent walk-in clinic, open from 7:00 a.m. to 10:30 p.m., 7 days a week. Payment is not necessary. Call (503) 963-2575.