Attempted murder suspect escapes after COVID-19 disinfecting crew left door slightly open
An attempted murder suspect in Oregon, United States was able to escape from a police headquarters after a cleaning crew left a door unsecured.
David Dahlen, the 24-year-old suspect who was in custody, escaped his “secure holding cell” at the East Precinct in Portland in the late afternoon of Jan. 2, just a few hours after getting arrested, according to a police statement on the same day.
After investigating, police determined that Dahlen was able to escape after two members of a cleaning crew failed to fully close his holding room’s door, as per a police report on Jan. 4. The crew was said to be conducting COVID-19 disinfection, following protocols.
Detectives believe Dahlen tried to push the door from inside his cell and found out that it was not fully latched close, allowing him to promptly escape.
When detectives checked on his cell and found that he was gone, the building was placed on lockdown, according to police. After reviewing security footage, however, they learned that Dahlen was already out of the building.
Officers then reportedly conducted extensive searches outside the precinct and significant areas but were left empty-handed.
Dahlen is currently charged with the attempted murder of Portland police officer Jennifer Pierce on Dec. 24, 2020 by hitting her with his truck. He has warrants for his arrest for attempted murder in the first degree, assault in the first degree, assaulting a public safety officer, unauthorized use of a motor vehicle, and escape in the second degree.
Search efforts are still underway to recapture Dahlen. Police have also asked residents to phone 911 immediately when they spot the suspect, and discouraged them to approach him. JB
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