Sunday 22 April 2018

Man arrested over theft of train stabbing victim's ring

George Tschaggeny was arrested over the theft (Multnomah County Sheriff's Office via AP)
George Tschaggeny was arrested over the theft (Multnomah County Sheriff's Office via AP)

A homeless man took the wedding ring off the finger of a man who died in a knife attack on a train in Portland, Oregon, police have said.

George Tschaggeny was wearing Ricky Best's ring when officers arrested him on Friday beneath an overpass, Sgt Pete Simpson said.

The 51-year-old man will be charged on Monday with theft, tampering with physical evidence and abuse of a corpse.

"It's just unconscionable to do what he did," Simpson said.

Best, 53, was one of three men who were stabbed on May 26 after confronting a passenger who went into a racist rant. Mr Best died on the train and another victim died at a hospital.

Amid the horror and chaos, Simpson said, Tschaggeny removed the ring from Mr Best's finger and stole his backpack. He said surveillance video supports the charges.

Officers recovered the backpack, but a camouflage wallet that contained phone numbers important to Mr Best's family was missing.

Simpson urged whoever has the wallet to return it.

Tips poured in Thursday night after police released surveillance images and video of the suspect.

Investigators determined the thief was a man who lives in a small homeless camp near the platform where the train stopped after the attack.

"People in the community saw this and felt the understandable rage that I think everybody felt," Simpson said. "It's an added layer of tragedy for this family."

Jeremy Christian, 35, has been charged with aggravated murder over the deaths of Mr Best and 23-year-old Taliesin Namkai-Meche.


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