Police: Man goes on downtown Portland punching spree; hits judge - KPTV - FOX 12

Police: Man goes on downtown Portland punching spree; hits judge, prosecutor, strangers

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Lewis Ellis. (KPTV photo). Lewis Ellis. (KPTV photo).

Police said 46-year old Lewis Ellis punched a local judge, a prosecutor and several strangers walking on the street Wednesday morning in downtown Portland.

Ellis is now behind bars, but FOX 12 found out, he has a very similar story from years ago.

“A violent, full swing” that’s how a judge described the attack to police, after allegedly getting punched in the back of the head by Ellis near the Multnomah County Courthouse.

Ellis is now facing multiple assault and harassment charges, police said he also violated his probation.

Ellis has a long criminal history, including a similar random attack in 2015.

Court documents from that case showed that Ellis punched a woman while she was crossing the street in Northeast Portland. Later that same day, documents showed Ellis got on a MAX train and punched a man and wife, whose children were sitting right next to them.

For that incident, Ellis went to prison for 3 years and 4 months. Ellis was released at the end of February 2018.

A little more than a month later, Ellis started having more run-ins with police.

FOX 12 spoke with Laurie Relling, the woman who was assaulted three years ago. She said Ellis was angry when he randomly hit her in the eye, causing her permanent damage.

“He was very angry, and we had not made eye contact at all. He was angry in his head. To me, it was clear he was mentally ill," Relling said. "He punched me in the eye and caused some permanent damage to my eye, and he was yelling. When he punched me, it caused the sack to separate from the back of my eye, although my vision is fine, I’ll always have floaters and some light distortion. It’s 3 years later and I’m still experiencing that. As far as the gentleman goes, I’m sorry he hurt other people, but he’s ill. He doesn’t have the capacity for judgment in my opinion."

Relling said this incident pointed to a much larger mental health problem. She hopes Ellis can get the help he needs. She said prison is clearly not the answer.

Lewis faces a judge again in June.

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