Man yells 'I'm going to kill you' while woman hides in basement

Man yells 'I'm going to kill you' while woman hides in basement

PORTLAND, Ore. – A woman hid in fear for her life for more than an hour Wednesday evening in a home's basement as her boyfriend screamed, 'I'm going to kill you' upstairs.

The incident ended without anyone being injured after police stormed the house, deployed "flash-bang" grenades to cause confusion for the suspect and arrested 59-year-old Thomas Stephen Elia, charging him with fourth-degree assault and menacing.

According to police, the woman called 911 at about 5 p.m. from a home in the 4400 block of Southeast 61st Avenue and said Elia had assaulted her grown daughter who had sought refuge in the basement with the caller's 16-year-old grandson. She also said he had access to a handgun.

She told the 911 dispatcher that Elia was "out of control" and was trying to break down a door.

The daughter and the grandson were able to escape from the basement as police arrived. They told them the suspect was armed with a rifle and a handgun.

The woman, however, was then hiding in the basement in a section beneath the porch.

An officer was able to contact the woman on the phone. The woman was able to keep the officer updated on what she could hear going on above her. She told the officer that her boyfriend was looking for her. The officer kept the woman on the phone and calm and quiet.

Outside, police said they heard Elia yelling inside the home, "I'm going to kill you," and he was "going to find you wherever you are and kill you."
 
They said he was also yelling he was going to "shoot it out" with the police.

Police hailed the suspect using a public address system but he kept yelling that he had a gun and that he was "going to kill her and kill the police."

After they were unable to get Elia to answer the phone, police said they decided to send in their SWAT team to rescue the woman.

When police confronted Elia inside, they said he surrendered without incident.

He was not armed, they said. And after a search of the house and property, they only found a .22-caliber rifle in the suspect's car.

Police found the woman unharmed still hidden in the basement.

During the incident, officers shut down traffic on Holgate in the area around 61st Avenue and evacuated nearby residences.

Elia will be arraigned in Multnomah County Court Thursday, police said.


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