PORTLAND, Ore. -- A Portland woman whose car was attacked by a self-identified “high elf” while she and her daughter were inside is sharing her story to raise awareness about mental illness.
Sue Bales’ BMW looks like it was beaten down by a hail storm. Instead, a metal sword wielded by a man, who told police he was high on acid at the time, is the reason she’s not driving it for the next two weeks.
The attack happened on May 13 at the intersection of Southeast 7th Avenue and Morrison Street in Portland. Bales was driving her teenage daughter to school, a routine route the two take every day, but this day is more than memorable for them.
"There was a person standing in the middle, in the very middle of the intersection and he was robed in black robes, and he had fashioned a cross that he had that he was dragging behind him,” Bales explained.
The encounter turned from unusual to downright shocking in a matter of minutes.
"He took a giant step and all of a sudden he was on the hood of my car. Oh, and we didn't know what to do so he's standing there and we just kept thinking, he'll go away. We'll just be really quiet then he stepped up on to the roof,” Bales said.
Then things got scary.
"We didn't know he had a weapon. And, he pulled a sword out of his robe that was about three feet long. It looked like from the days of King Arthur,” she said.
The hood of Bales' car took the brunt of the fight.
"He gets up and he stands on the hood of my car and he takes the sword and he begins plunging it into the hood of my car,” Bales explained.
She said traffic became backed up because of what was happening. A man pulled up in a car next to her and tried to get the man on her car to stop his attack.
After a few minutes, she said the man got off her car. Then he started trying to puncture her tires. As he was doing that, she was able to move her car out of the way.
“I’m afraid if I accelerate he’ll fly through my windshield,” she said.
Police identified the suspect as Konrad Bass, 30, of Glendale, Ore. Police said he told them he was a “high elf” battling Morgoth, an evil character in Lord of the Rings.
Wednesday night, Bass told KATU News was high on acid and suffering from hypomania when he attacked Bales' car. He admitted he’s had mental health problems since he was a teenager. He also said he was off his "meds" at the time of the attack because he was trying holistic treatment instead of the pills he usually takes.
'I've had swords before but I've never actually tried to hurt someone's property before. Like, I was trying to stab her tire, slash her tire. I think I poked some holes in the hood or the roof of her car,” Bass said.
Bales claims her car has $4,000 dollars worth of damage.
"Even trying to call my insurance agency and tell them, they didn't even really know what category to put that in. It's so bizarre,” she said.
When asked if he regrets what happened, Bass said, “I mean, yeah, to a certain point. I don't like, if I met the lady I would apologize to her for terrorizing her."
"It upsets me that he was so violent and menacing, and I think that he shouldn’t be, that he should get treatment. He shouldn’t be on the street. What's hard for me is it's such a bizarre story, and it's easy for people to not take it seriously that troubled me because it was such a dangerous situation,” Bales said.
Her car will be in the shop for two weeks getting the damage from the sword fixed. Bales also tells KATU News she’s been asked to testify before the grand jury next week.
Bass hasn’t been charged with any crimes yet, although police say he is facing charges.
“It wasn’t just a small thing that happened. You know, my car has four thousand dollars-worth of damage to it. My family was traumatized. It wasn’t just a little thing that can just be ignored,” said Bales.