Society

Man Arrested For Robbing Portland Knife Attack Victim (Photo)

| by Michael Howard

Police in Portland, Oregon, have arrested a man for allegedly stealing a backpack and wedding ring from an Army veteran who was stabbed to death while intervening on behalf of two Muslim girls who were being harassed on a train.

The suspect, whose identity has not been revealed, is accused of stealing Ricky Best's personal things as he lay dying on the ground, according to Time. Police released surveillance video showing the man walking off the train carrying Best's backpack in his right hand and another backpack in his left hand.

"The contents of the backpack include personal items important to the Best family," police said in a statement, according to The Denver Post. The statement went on to describe the alleged thief as a "white male with a blonde hair mullet, wearing a black Jordan Brand baseball cap, a black t-shirt featuring an image of Marilyn Monroe and an American flag, black shorts, and black shoes."

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Best, 53, was on his way home when 35-year-old Jeremy Joseph Christian began shouting anti-Muslim slurs at two teenage girls, one of whom was wearing a head scarf. Best and two fellow passengers, 23-year-old Taliesin Myrddin Namkai Meche and 21-year-old Micah David-Cole Fletcher, stepped in to defend the girls, at which point Christian attacked the men with a knife, killing Best and Meche and injuring Fletcher.

After being apprehended by police, Christian reportedly made a series of vile statements regarding the attack.

"I stabbed the two [expletives] in the neck and I'm happy now," he said while in the back of a police car, according to CNN. "I hope they all die. I'm gonna say that on the stand."

Christian is charged with two counts of aggravated murder, attempted aggravated murder, first-degree assault, three counts of unlawful use of a weapon and two counts of intimidation. He appeared in court on May 30 but did not enter a plea.

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The Southern Poverty Law Center described Christian as a "known white supremacist," according to The Denver Post. He reportedly has a history of posting inflammatory comments on the internet and in local publications.

Following the attack, Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler published a statement in which he lauded Best, Meche and Fletcher as heroes.

"Two men lost their lives and another was injured for doing the right thing -- standing up for people they didn’t know against hatred," Wheeler said. "Their actions were brave and selfless, and should serve as an example and inspiration to us all. They are heroes."

Sources: Time, CNN, The Denver Post / Photo credit: Musashi1600/Wikimedia Commons, Portland Police/Twitter

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