Newly released dashcam footage has shed more light on a disturbing reckless driving incident that took place during Portland’s annual Rose Festival Parade in June, where a 42-year-old man drove his Chevy Avalanche through the crowded parade, causing chaos and leaving onlookers scrambling for safety.
The video came to light after court records were released in an August hearing to extend the man’s preventative detention, as he had been waiting for new counsel due to a shortage of public defenders in Oregon.
The driver, identified as Sidney Mecham, has an extensive criminal history and remains in Inverness Jail in Northeast Portland since the June 10 incident.
Mecham faces a long list of 38 charges, including felonies for attempted assault, multiple counts of unlawful use of a weapon, attempted assault on a police officer and attempting to elude law enforcement by vehicle.
The charges stem from his driving rampage during the Rose Festival Parade.
The dashcam video, which captured the entirety of Mecham’s rampage, clearly showed how Mecham nearly collided with dozens of pedestrians, including small children, along the parade route.
Additionally, the footage showcased Mecham’s aggressive behavior as he yelled obscenities at roadside workers, raising his middle finger repeatedly and brazenly driving through barriers meant to protect parade attendees.
Prosecutors describe the panic and chaos that ensued as Mecham’s vehicle continued forward, causing pedestrians to run for safety.
During the incident, Motorcycle Officer David Baer attempted to get him to pull over, but Mecham accelerated instead, displacing chairs and barricades and sending families along the curb diving for cover.
Mecham was eventually arrested after a lengthy pursuit.
Despite the overwhelming evidence presented in the video, Mecham has pleaded not guilty to all charges.
His previous attorney argued that he was “disoriented and trying to get through a difficult situation” as he sped through the parade.
Furthermore, it was found that Mecham was driving without insurance and with a suspended license at the time. He also faces additional traffic violations for other infractions captured on his dash cameras, such as ignoring stop signs and red lights.
Mecham’s disturbing criminal history includes not only traffic violations but also sex crimes.
A registered sex offender with prior convictions dating back to 1996, Mecham was found guilty of attempted first-degree rape and attempted first-degree sodomy in 1999. In 2016, he was convicted of third-degree sodomy and third-degree sexual abuse.