Driver accused in Oregon road rampage pleads not guilty

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) - A motorist accused of beating pedestrians, cyclists and killing a 77-year-old woman in Portland, Oregon on Monday has pleaded not guilty of murder and detectives have given bizarre explanations about the incident, according to court documents .
64-year-old Paul Rivas pleaded not guilty on Wednesday through a court-appointed attorney, six cases of second degree bodily harm, six cases of driver failure after injuries, and one case of driver failure resulting in death . All are crimes.
In court, Rivas asked if any of the charges were offense and why news cameras and photographers were in the courtroom, reported The Oregonian / OregonLive.
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Prosecutor Sean P. Hughey wrote in an affidavit that Rivas first told investigators that his Honda Element had braking problems and that he was looking for a garage. He also suggested that the people's injuries could have been caused by a "different, similar-looking" Honda car, not be.
Rivas once admitted to having hit a cyclist, but described the collision as an "emergency maneuver" to avoid a serious crash in oncoming traffic, according to the affidavit. Investigators said they found no evidence that terrorism, politics, or any other prejudice motivated him.
He is charged with punching Portland's Jean Gerich, then turning around, beating her again and pulling her, police said. She died Monday evening in a hospital from a blunt violent trauma. The mother and grandmother had beaten cancer five years ago and were delighted after receiving their first COVID-19 vaccine last week, their family said.
Numerous witnesses told police that Rivas appeared to have deliberately attempted to hit vehicles, cyclists and pedestrians over a period of 15 blocks on Monday afternoon by approaching them on the street and sidewalks. According to police and prosecutors, he raced away after meeting people on residential streets without trying to stop them or help them.
Rivas is charged with using his Honda as a dangerous weapon to kill Gerich and injure at least six other people. Police said he injured nine others. A man with a head injury couldn't remember getting out of his car before being hit, police said. Most recovered from minor injuries, police said.
Rivas eventually crashed into a car with the Honda and ran, but was cornered by a group of people before police arrested him.
Rivas appeared shortly before Multnomah County Circuit judge Heidi Moawad. He told court officials that he had anxiety, depression and was diagnosed with U.S. intelligence, but that court documents indicate that he never worked for the intelligence agency.
He lived in an Oregon City semi-trailer, he told court officials, and had previous addresses in Washington where he was convicted of voyeurism in 2019 for filming under a woman's skirt while waiting in line in Vancouver. Washington, Post.
Court records show that Rivas got his license reintroduced in 2014 after three convictions for not following traffic signals in 2007, 2011 and 2013.
He was arrested and hospitalized on Monday before going to prison at 11 p.m. Tuesday night, where he is staying on bail for more than $ 1.5 million, prison records show.

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