Police arrest suspect in NE Portland road rage hatchet attack

Photo of a silver hatchet with a blue handle.

Portland police suspect Joseph Chastain attacked a man with this hatchet in August 2023.Portland Police Bureau

Subscribers can gift articles to anyone

Police arrested a 32-year-old Portland man suspected of attacking a man with a hatchet after a road rage encounter in August in Southeast Portland’s Creston-Kenilworth neighborhood.

Joseph K. Chastain was booked Thursday into the Multnomah County Detention Center downtown on suspicion of second-degree assault and unlawful use of a weapon, police said.

On Aug. 12, a man called 911 around 11 p.m. after he said a man sliced his leg with a hatchet near Southeast Boise Street and 48th Avenue, according to a probable cause affidavit filed in Multnomah County Circuit Court.

Officers responded and found a man with a severe wound on his left leg. They wrapped a tourniquet around the man’s leg and he was taken to OHSU Hospital to be treated for the laceration and a fractured tibia and fibula, according to the affidavit.

The man told police he was driving south on Southeast Cesar Chavez Boulevard at Powell Boulevard when a man driving a white Mazda pickup cut him off.

The man told police he honked at the truck to avoid getting hit and the truck driver followed him to his home. The truck driver then got out of his pickup and ran toward the victim, the affidavit states.

The victim told police he feared for his life and got out of his car with a hatchet and told the truck driver to leave him alone, according to the affidavit.

Prosecutors allege Chastain pushed the victim to the ground, grabbed the hatchet and swung it into the man’s left knee, according to the affidavit.

Chastain drove off in his pickup, and officers searched the area but did not find him, police said.

Detectives looked up the truck’s license plate number and identified Chastain as the owner, the affidavit states.

Investigators interviewed Chastain on Thursday, who said the other man struck him several times with the blunt edge of the hatchet. Chastain denied hitting the man and said the man may have injured himself.

Chastain told investigators he had put the hatchet in his garage, according to the affidavit.

Investigators executed a search warrant of Chastain’s home and seized a silver hatchet with a blue handle, which matched the weapon described by the victim, the affidavit states.

-- Catalina Gaitán, cgaitan@oregonian.com, @catalinagaitan_

Our journalism needs your support. Please become a subscriber today at OregonLive.com/subscribe.

If you purchase a product or register for an account through a link on our site, we may receive compensation. By using this site, you consent to our User Agreement and agree that your clicks, interactions, and personal information may be collected, recorded, and/or stored by us and social media and other third-party partners in accordance with our Privacy Policy.