Man convicted in Hwy. 500 assault faces Ore. charges

Alleged road rage was on same day as local incident

By Laura McVicker, Columbian staff writer

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In 2007, Christopher Partridge, upset at a driver on state Highway 500 for cutting him off, fired one shot at the woman and her daughter.

He was convicted of first-degree assault by a Clark County jury and then sentenced to 11 years in prison.

At the Vancouver man’s trial, he testified that Sept. 18, 2007, had a been a really bad day.

Really bad, indeed. Partridge now faces charges in connection to a road rage incident that occurred in Hillsboro, Ore., just an hour prior to the Vancouver incident.

The 28-year-old Iraq War veteran will go to trial April 19 in Washington County Circuit Court on charges of unlawful use of a weapon and menacing relating to allegations that he brandished his gun at a teenage couple on the road in Hillsboro.

Charged in spring 2008, Partridge wasn’t arraigned on the new allegations until Jan. 28. It wasn’t clear the reasons for the delay in his arraignment; a Washington County deputy district attorney assigned to the case did not return repeated calls for comment.

Partridge has been serving his sentence at Stafford Creek Corrections Center in Aberdeen, but is now awaiting trial in the Washington County Jail.

The two road rage incidents began when Partridge was driving home from work through Hillsboro when police said he began chasing a teenage couple who were driving on Oregon Highway 26 between 6:45 and 7:10 p.m.

At his trial in Clark County, he told jurors he had been upset at the driver for tailgating him.

The teenagers got off the highway in an attempt to get away, but Partridge followed, Hillsboro police reported after the incident.

Partridge allegedly pulled up next to them at a stoplight at the Northwest Evergreen Parkway and Northwest Cornelius Pass Road intersection and displayed a gun. The teens ducked down and drove off when the light turned green, police said. Partridge gave up following them, police said.

After driving into Vancouver, Partridge became enraged when a woman unintentionally cut him off as she was trying to exit the highway onto the Thurston Way offramp at about 8 p.m. He pulled into the lane next to the driver, grabbed a handgun and fired one shot.

The bullet penetrated the car’s door. The mother and her daughter were not injured.

At his trial in October 2008, Partridge, who has been diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder, presented a mental health defense. However, jurors needed only an hour to convict him of two counts of assault.

Laura McVicker: 360-735-4516 or laura.mcvicker@columbian.com.