More fall­out in Port­land train at­tack

Po­lice say a by­stander stole a ring and a pack from one of two men killed al­legedly by a white su­prem­a­cist.

Los Angeles Times - - THE NATION - By Jaweed Kaleem jaweed.kaleem @la­times.com

PORT­LAND, Ore. — Many Port­landers thought lit­tle could shock them more than the fatal stab­bing of two men on a train for de­fend­ing teens against an­tiMus­lim and racist taunts.

But po­lice have re­leased de­tails of a new element to the May 26 at­tack, in which 35-year-old Jeremy Joseph Chris­tian is ac­cused of killing two men by slash­ing their throats.

As 53-year-old Army veteran Ricky Best lay dy­ing on the train, po­lice say, a man sneaked up to him, took his back­pack and slipped his wed­ding ring off his fin­ger.

Po­lice re­leased pho­tos and sur­veil­lance video Thurs­day of the mid­dleaged man, who wore a mul­let hair­cut, a base­ball cap, a black T-shirt with an im­age of Mar­i­lyn Mon­roe and an Amer­i­can flag, and black shoes.

The video showed him leav­ing the sta­tion with two back­packs af­ter the at­tack. In his right hand was a black one that matched Best’s bag, which po­lice said had “per­sonal items im­por­tant to the Best fam­ily.”

A day later, of­fi­cers said they had found the man they were look­ing for.

Po­lice said they dis­cov­ered Ge­orge Tschaggeny, 51, in a small home­less camp in north­east Port­land and ar­rested him “with­out in­ci­dent” as he wore Best’s ring.

“De­tec­tives also re­cov­ered Best’s back­pack, but some items were miss­ing, in­clud­ing a wal­let with phone num­bers of some of Best’s long-time friends,” a Port­land Po­lice Bureau state­ment said.

Po­lice de­scribed the wal­let as hav­ing a “mil­i­tarystyle cam­ou­flage color.”

Of­fi­cers said they re­ceived sev­eral tips from peo­ple who said they had seen the man shown in sur­veil­lance images. One tip came from a Domino’s Pizza em­ployee who di­rected po­lice to an area un­der a high­way over­pass where she thought he was stay­ing.

Tschaggeny was taken to the Mult­nomah County jail and booked on charges of theft, tam­per­ing with ev­i­dence and abuse of a corpse. He will be ar­raigned Mon­day.

Mean­while, Chris­tian faces mur­der charges in the deaths of Best and Taliesin Myrd­din Namkai-Meche and a charge of at­tempted mur­der over in­juries suf­fered by an­other man who was stabbed, Micah DavidCole Fletcher.

As Chris­tian was ar­raigned Tues­day, he shouted a stream of threats.

“Free speech or die, Port­land. You got no safe place. This is Amer­ica. Get out if you don’t like free speech,” he said as he was led into court.

“You call it ter­ror­ism; I call it pa­tri­o­tism. You hear me? Die,” he said as he was taken out of court.

Images have gone vi­ral of Chris­tian, who was known to po­lice and civil rights groups as a white su­prem­a­cist who at­tended a free speech rally in Port­land in April, where he was cap­tured on film giving a Nazi salute.

The or­ga­niz­ers of that demon­stra­tion have dis­tanced them­selves from Chris­tian while vow­ing to move for­ward with a sim­i­lar rally this weekend in a down­town Port­land park de­spite pleas from city of­fi­cials.

Sun­day’s “Trump Rally for Free Speech” is ex­pected to draw a range of far-right ac­tivists and so­cial me­dia per­son­al­i­ties, as well as left­ist “anti-fas­cist” groups. Po­lice say they are prepar­ing for vi­o­lent brawls like those that broke out at sim­i­lar ral­lies in Berke­ley this spring.

A coali­tion of dozens of re­li­gious and civil rights groups op­posed to vi­o­lence plan to gather at a “Port­land Stands Against Hate” rally the same day across the street at City Hall.

Mult­nomah County Sher­iff's Of­fice

GE­ORGE TSCHAGGENY was ar­rested Fri­day. Po­lice say he was wear­ing the wed­ding ring that had been taken from stab­bing vic­tim Ricky Best’s fin­ger.

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