A man accused of ramming law enforcement patrol cars multiple times before he was shot by a Multnomah County deputy was released from the hospital and pleaded not guilty in court.
Vasile Manta, 36, made his first court appearance Thursday. He is facing charges of attempted aggravated murder, unlawful use of a weapon and felon in possession of a firearm.
He was wheeled into the courtroom Thursday and a not guilty plea was entered on his behalf.
Manta was shot outside a Burger King near Southeast 100th Avenue and Stark Street in Portland on May 14.
Manta was wanted for a prior incident in late April. In that case, police said Manta was driving a stolen minivan when an officer attempted to stop him. Manta rammed the officer’s car and drove off, according to police, before getting the vehicle stuck on a median and running away.
Two weeks later, deputies spotted Manta in the Burger King parking lot. They attempted to stop him, but investigators said Manta put his car in reverse and rammed the deputies’ cars.
A deputy fired at Manta, hitting and critically injuring the suspect.
The deputies were not injured.
Manta’s bail was set Thursday at $260,000. He is due back in court June 15.
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