The man accused of stealing a wedding ring and backpack from the TriMet MAX stabbing victim Ricky Best has been apprehended and taken into custody, reports KGW.
Portland police say that it was with the help from the public, particularly a Domino’s Pizza employee, that they were able to bring in George Tschaggeny, 51.
This is the second time in recent months that a fast food worker has helped police solve a high-profile case: In April, staff at a Pennsylvania McDonald’s stalled murder suspect Steve Stephens after they recognized him as the man wanted for randomly shooting a grandfather death and broadcasting the murder on Facebook. Police were able to catch up to the suspect moments after he left the McDonald’s. Stevens took his own life as law enforcement closed in.
Tschaggeny is charged with second-degree abuse of a corpse, tampering with evidence, identity theft and second-degree theft.
Surveillance photos and videos of the suspect were released to the public Thursday night. News of the crime prompted the public’s outrage on social media, and many tips were called in to the authorities.
Tschaggeny was described as a white man with a blonde mullet wearing a black Jordan cap, a black T-shirt with an image of Marilyn Monroe and an American flag, black shorts and black shoes. Surveillance videos show him fleeing the scene with Best’s backpack in one hand and a second backpack in the other.
On May 26, Best was stabbed to death by Jeremy Christian, a 35-year-old self-proclaimed white nationalist on the TriMet MAX train. Christian was yelling racist and anti-Muslim comments at a black woman and a Muslim woman. Best, along with two other men, were trying to protect the two women. Christian stabbed all three men. One of the men, Micah David-Cole Fletcher, 21, survived while the other two, Best and Taliesin Myrddin Namkai-Meche, 23, died from their injuries.
When Tschaggeny was found, he was wearing Best’s wedding ring. The backpack he took had items important to Best’s family including a camouflage wallet that contained a list of all the people who he served with during his 23 years in the Army.
The wallet was not found when the suspect was taken into custody. Anyone with information about the wallet is asked to contact Detective Michele Michaels at 503-823-0692.
Anyone with information about Tschaggeny is asked to contact Detective Mitch Hergert at firstname.lastname@example.org.
[Feature photo: Multnomah County Sheriff]