Witness photos help police arrest robbery, assault suspect

Witness photos help police arrest robbery, assault suspect »Play Video
This witness photo shows the suspect, Samuel Paul, getting into his car. (Courtesy: Beaverton Police)

BEAVERTON, Ore. – Police arrested a man accused of assaulting and robbing a food kiosk clerk at a Beaverton park on Saturday, thanks to witnesses who snapped photos of the incident.

The suspect, later identified as 38-year-old Samuel Paul, went into the kiosk and hit the woman in the head with a soda can, according to police. He then grabbed the cash register and tried to run away, but he dropped it near the door, police said. Paul allegedly grabbed some of the cash from the register and ran to his car parked behind the Beaverton City Library.

The woman was not seriously hurt. Her name has not been released.

Police said Paul drove away, but not before several witnesses took photos of him and his car with their cellphones.

“It was just instinct,” said witness Eileen Rice. “This guy did something horrible, this woman was screaming and was horrified, I need to make him stop.”

Rice said she saw the man running away from the kiosk.

“I just got up, I was barefoot, ran across (the park), started calling the guy, had my cellphone in hand and was trying to get his picture. I snapped a bunch of pics of his car. The back and the side.”

Police tracked Paul to his Beaverton apartment and arrested him. His neighbor, Jon Bury, said he noticed something strange before the arrest.

“He shuffled through two different license plates in his trunk, and then just put it back on like normal,” Bury said. “I was like ‘how are you doing?’ and he’s like ‘oh, I’m fine, nothing wrong, how are you?’”

Paul faces robbery and assault charges. He was taken to the Washington County Jail. A criminal background check showed Paul was convicted of heroin and meth possession in 2010.