Police: Man tried to use welding torch to break into ATM

Police: Man tried to use welding torch to break into ATM
Mark George Fischer

PORTLAND, Ore. – Portland police arrested a man who they said tried to break into an ATM with a welding torch and sprayed pepper spray at an officer on Sunday.

Mark George Fischer, 32, faces charges including attempted aggravated theft and attempted assault on a police officer.

Officers responded to a report that a man was trying to break into a U.S. Bank ATM near S.E. 36th Place and Powell Boulevard Sunday afternoon. Police said officers arrived nearby and saw a man wearing a backpack walking away from the area.

When one of the officers got out of his patrol car and approached the suspect, police said he tried to spray the officer with pepper spray. The suspect missed, and the officer began chasing him on foot.

The suspect gave up after a brief chase. Police took the man, later identified as Fischer, into custody.

Police said they found a welding torch and a stun gun inside Fischer’s backpack. Fischer also had several bullet-proof panels sewn into his clothes. Fischer was charged with being a felon in possession of body armor and possession of burglary tools.

Fischer was also armed with a large knife, according to police.