Spree of Portland bat attacks ends in arrest

The man saw stars as he lay on the ground, dazed by the impact of a stranger’s baseball bat.

“That’s what you get for disrespecting me,” the victim heard the 53-year-old man he had never seen before say.

That was just the beginning of a multi-hour spree of bat attacks, whose alleged perpetrator thrice moved on to assault more people as police looked for him.

Portland police arrested Trendlon Brewer in Northwest Portland Wednesday, catching up with him after repeated reports that a man had attacked people with a baseball bat. Brewer was booked in jail on nine charges, seven of them felonies.

Brewer has been charged on four different occasions since October, including once for allegedly attacking a man in line with him to get food at a homeless shelter, court records show. The charges connected to that case were dismissed.

The night’s events began Tuesday, when a man police believe to be Brewer hit another man in the head with a baseball bat in the 1100 block of Northeast Martin Luther King Junior Boulevard. The victim gave officers a detailed description of the man who had hit him, according to a summary of the incident the Portland Police Bureau provided Saturday, but officers couldn’t find anyone who matched.

About 1 1/2 hours later, around midnight, two women were stepping out of a MAX train at the Rosa Parks station when, police say the victims told them, Brewer came up to them, mumbled something, then hit them both, multiple times, in the back and head. The women were left with “severe head, back and shoulder pain,” requiring a trip to the hospital, according to court records.

Again, officers couldn’t find the alleged attacker.

Later that Wednesday morning, multiple people called police to say a man was attacking people with a baseball bat in Northwest Portland, across the river from where Brewer had allegedly been the previous night. The callers’ descriptions of the man’s clothes and appearance matched what police had heard from the from the prior night’s victims.

Police couldn’t find the attacker or any victims.

Finally, another call came in around noon from Northwest Portland, describing the same thing: A man attacking people with a baseball bat. Brewer was wearing a backpack with a baseball bat sticking out of it when police found him, according to the police summary of events.

The arresting officer needed the help of a bystander to take Brewer into custody after Brewer allegedly punched the officer in the face.

— Fedor Zarkhin

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