PORTLAND, Ore. - A mentally ill Oregon woman suffered life-threatening injuries Monday when she apparently climbed into a garbage chute at her boyfriend’s condominium community and plunged 16 stories to the bottom.
Portland Fire & Rescue spokesman Rich Chatman told the newspaper the woman, who is in her late 20s, slid down into the garbage collection area, where firefighters found her unconscious. Police declined to file charges against the woman.
1928 W Burnside: PF&R Tech Rescue Team called in for a woman entrapped in the garbage chute of condo building at this address, they have freed the patient and are evaluating her now, traffic should return to normal in 15-30min @PBOTinfo— Portland Fire&Rescue (@PDXFire) June 17, 2019
1926 W Burnside: 1 adult female transported to OHSU with life threatening injuries, witnesses say she got into a garbage chute and fell 16 stories to garbage collection area, firefighters found her in garbage container, all crews have cleared @PBOTinfo #alert— Portland Fire&Rescue (@PDXFire) June 17, 2019
“I can say there was a mental health component involved,” Chatman told the paper.
On Tuesday, Chatman said it appeared the woman put herself in the chute.
“The prevailing assumption is that she got into the chute on her own will,” he said.
Steven Lofton, who lives on the 16th floor of the Civic, told a reporter that the woman and her boyfriend are known on their floor for getting into fights, both verbal and physical. Neighbors had voiced their concerns to the building’s management.
Lofton said he heard someone pounding on his door just after lunchtime Monday and went to the door to find the woman, who told him she was afraid.
When he opened his door, she rushed in, screaming, and began trashing his condo, he told the paper.
“She was wild, just absolutely wild,” Lofton said. “She was breaking and throwing everything in her sight. Plates, vases, cutlery. You name it.”
The woman ran out into the hallway, where she encountered her boyfriend. They got into a physical confrontation, Lofton said.
Lofton said he closed his door and called 911.
The woman went down the garbage chute moments later, The Oregonian said.
A Portland police spokeswoman told the paper Tuesday that a domestic violence investigation is ongoing, though detectives are waiting for the woman’s condition to improve.
“The involved woman’s medical situation is of a higher priority than the criminal investigation at this time,” Jones said in an email to the newspaper.