Pantsless man stops traffic

Matthew Edward Chappell

A homeless man’s erratic behavior, included stripping off his clothes, brought traffic to a near standstill on River Road North Tuesday, June 11.

9-1-1 dispatchers received six separate reports of a man walking in and out of traffic lanes at the intersection of Sunset Avenue North and River Road North. The first officer to arrive on the scene, about 12:45 p.m., said multiple construction signs and other debris were already scattered across the road and impeding the flow of cars.

The officer located the suspect, later identified as Matthew Edward Chappell, 46, and began telling him to move out of the roadway. The man refused, picked up a large glass vase and heaved it into the road at the officer. The vase broke across several lanes of travel and then the man then uprooted a medium-sized cross and threw that at the officer.

The suspect then began stripping off his clothes, walked to the center turn lane on River Road, and unsuccessfully tried to gain entry to two separate vehicles with people inside. He began pacing aggressively in the road and still refused officers commands. He then removed his pants and began running a short distance. He tripped and fell, skidding to a stop on his torso and ending the pursuit.

Once on the ground, officers approached and aimed a Taser at the suspect and he began complying with commands to put his hands behind his back. No force was used during the incident although the suspect was treated by medics from the Keizer Fire District before being transported to a mental health facility.

Criminal charges may be forthcoming.