Suspect in fatal attack aboard Portland light-rail train appears in court

Jeremy Christian made his first appearance on murder, assault and other charges in connection with the knife attack last week on a Portland light-rail train.

PORTLAND — Soon after he boarded a MAX train last Friday, Jeremy Christian began shouting at two African-American teenage girls — one wearing traditional Muslim dress — as he drank sangria from a container, according to a Multnomah County Circuit Court document filed Tuesday that details the knife attack that killed two men and injured a third.

Christian, 35, was defiant during his brief initial court appearance Tuesday, shouting: “You call it terrorism, I call it patriotism!”

He made repeated outbursts, saying, “Free speech or die, Portland. You’ve got no safe place!” and “Death to the enemies of America!”

The affidavit of probable causeis based on police reports and reviews of transit-system and cellphone video. It states that the first person to try to “deescalate the situation” was a MAX rider identified as “Mr. Forde,” who reported that Christian was talking about “decapitating heads.”

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According to the affidavit, Christian made a sudden move toward passenger Taliesin Myrddin Namkai Meche, who responded by standing. Christian, 35, shouted ‘Oh, do something bitch!’ ” and shoved another train passenger, Micah David Fletcher-Cole, in the chest.

The video shows Christian appearing to pull a folded knife out of his pocket, then concealing it in his hand, according to the affidavit.

Fletcher-Cole pushes at Christian, who stumbles, and tells him to get off the train. Then Christian begins the knife assault, according to the document.

Christian slashes Fletcher-Cole in the neck; he then stabs Meche in the neck, then wounded him a second time, according to the affidavit.

In the video, passenger Rick Best is seen “moving forward to intervene,” according to the document.


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