Portland medic struck with 'wrist rocket' projectile

Police say a suspect launched the metal ball bearing using a slingshot-type device and was armed with a crowbar, a knife, flares and possible pyrotechnics


By Laura French

PORTLAND — A Portland Fire and Rescue medic was struck with a metal ball bearing shot from a "wrist rocket" slingshot device during a demonstration on Monday morning.

The Portland Police Department said in a news release that the projectile, which was approximately one centimeter in diameter, hit the medic on the side of the chest, causing bruising. The medic was wearing a Portland Fire and Rescue uniform and a vest with the word "Medic" written in large letters on the back at the time of the incident, police said. 

Jesse Herman Bates, 37, is accused of striking a Portland Fire and Rescue medic with a metal ball bearing using a slingshot-type device during a demonstration. Police say they seized a crowbar, two slingshots, a switchblade knife, flares, possible pryotechnics and several other items (pictured above) from the suspect.
Jesse Herman Bates, 37, is accused of striking a Portland Fire and Rescue medic with a metal ball bearing using a slingshot-type device during a demonstration. Police say they seized a crowbar, two slingshots, a switchblade knife, flares, possible pryotechnics and several other items (pictured above) from the suspect. (Photo/Portland Police Department)

Jesse Herman Bates, 37, was arrested in the case and charged with assault III, assaulting a public safety officer, interfering with a police officer, carrying a concealed weapon and disorderly conduct II. Officials say officers "strategically arrested" Bates about two hours after the incident. Bates reportedly fled from officers on foot while wielding a crowbar and was taken into custody using "less-lethal force," according to the news release. 

Police say they seized the crowbar, two slingshots and glass slingshot ammunition, a switchblade knife, a gas mask, flares, several umbrellas, spray paint and items suspected to be pryotechnics from the suspect after his arrest. The photo released of the items also appears to show a pair of gloves and a tennis racket. 

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