Driver rams police motorcycle, injures officer

A Portland Police Bureau Traffic Officer had his motorcycle rammed during a traffic stop (Credit: PPB)
A Portland Police Bureau Traffic Officer had his motorcycle rammed during a traffic stop (Credit: PPB)

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) – A man is in custody after allegedly ramming his pickup truck into a Portland police motorcycle Wednesday evening during a traffic stop, causing minor injuries to the officer.

Portland police report that 34-year-old Robert Joseph Gilliam III put his Chevrolet Avalanche into reverse and rammed into the officer’s Kawasaki motorcycle immediately after he was pulled over at North Williams Avenue and Alberta Street.

Officer Michael Close had stopped Gilliam for running a red light, Portland police said.

Robert Joseph Gilliam III, 34, is accused of ramming his truck into a police motorcycle following a traffic stop on Wednesday, March 5, 2014. (Multnomah County Jail)
Robert Joseph Gilliam III, 34, is accused of ramming his truck into a police motorcycle following a traffic stop on Wednesday, March 5, 2014. (Multnomah County Jail)

According to police, Close was putting down the motorcycle’s kickstand as it was hit by the truck. He was able to remain upright and command Gilliam at gunpoint to stop the truck. Additional officers and a K-9 unit eventually arrived and took Gilliam into custody.

Close, an 11-year veteran of the department, sustained a minor knee injury.

Police discovered Gilliam was wanted on a parole violation for a first-degree assault conviction. He was lodged in the Multnomah County Jail on counts of assaulting a police officer, second-degree attempted assault, reckless driving and first-degree criminal mischief.

He will be arraigned Thursday.

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