Retired Portland police officer Scott Groshong pleaded guilty on Monday to assault and misconduct charges for driving his car into an individual he believes had just robbed a store during a protest. Groshong was working on the clock for the Portland Police Bureau (PPB) at the time of the June 15, 2020 incident, but retired two months later.
Groshong’s plea is the result of a plea deal with prosecutors, which allows him to avoid trial in exchange for a confession.
Groshong was working undercover the night of the incident, watching racial justice protests unfold in downtown Portland from inside an unmarked van. According to court documents, Groshong said he saw a man break into a skateboard store on 6 Northwest and take three skateboards. Shortly after, another person allegedly grabbed a helmet from the store and ran across the street.
Groshong then drove his van east on NW Davis Street to the suspected helmet thief and hit him with the vehicle, knocking him to the sidewalk. Groshong did not report the collision to a supervisor or the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV), nor did he note it in his police report regarding the alleged theft.
Groshong initially pleaded not guilty in October 2021 to the nine counts he faced, including several other counts of misconduct and failing to drive injured persons. Prosecutors dismissed seven of those charges as part of Groshong’s plea deal. While the incident occurred in Multnomah County, District Attorney Mike Schmidt referred the case to the Marion County District Attorney to handle “ensuring complete impartiality.”
For confessing to third-degree assault and first-degree official misconduct, Groshong was sentenced to three years probation, 80 hours of community service, and his DPSST certification will be revoked.
Groshong’s misconduct record at PPB has a history. From our previous report:
In October 2015, Groshong was driving out of PPB’s downtown garage in an SUV when he noticed Robert West – a man who frequently films the police – filming his car. West’s video shows Groshong stopping the car, getting out of his SUV, and approaching West to briefly grab the video camera before getting back in the car and driving off. The brief encounter sparked a months-long investigation by the city’s Independent Police Review (IPR), which was contested by Groshong’s boss, Captain Mark Kruger (a now-retired PPB officer known for erecting a memorial to Nazi soldiers in a public park two decades ago). The investigation ended with a small punishment: Groshong was assigned a mandatory meeting with PPB command staff to be briefed on his actions.