Portland: Former social justice activist arrested for slashing multiple women with a knife (Updated)

Update, 2/21: This post originally included a social-media claim that the suspect had a connection to a group called CLDC. The group denies any such connection, and we have removed that claim as a result. We appreciate the updated information.


Original corrected post follows …

This story sounds like the plot for a Dirty Harry movie. Starting in January, a man dressed all in black and wearing a mask has been approaching random women on the streets of Portland and slashing them with a knife.

Around 7:30 p.m. on Jan. 30, a 22-year-old woman and her friend were headed to their car from a CorePower Yoga class in Portland’s Central Eastside when a man walked up behind them and tapped one of them on the back.

When that woman turned around, the stranger in all black clothing and a black and white patterned mask cut her through her sweater, leaving a deep gash in her shoulder. They locked eyes.

“I was in shock,” said the woman, a Portland State University graduate who declined to be identified. “He was probably three or four feet away from me and we were just staring at each other for probably five seconds. I think he wanted to see me in pain.”

That turned out to be the third attack in a matter of weeks the first one happened on Jan. 12:

The first reported attack took place after dark on Jan. 12, when a woman leaving Market of Choice, 1090 S.E. Belmont St., told police she felt “a sharp pain in the back of both of her legs,” according to a probable cause affidavit. When she turned around, she saw a man running away and then noticed her legs were bleeding. She made it home and a friend took her to the hospital, the affidavit said.


The following week, another woman described a man brushing past her while she was walking down the street. When she looked down she noticed a cut on her forearm that required 13 stitches to close. That attack was followed by the one outside the Yoga studio on Jan. 30 and finally there was another attack on Feb. 7 which, fortunately, did not result in an injury. In that attack, the assailant swung a knife at a woman’s face but she managed to dodge it and ran.

You’ll notice that he seemed to be escalating pretty quickly. The first attack he ran immediately. The second attack he kept moving. The third attack he tapped a woman to get her attention, cut her and stared at her for several seconds before running off. And in the last attack he went for the face instead of the body. This is not a good trend. He was working himself up to slashing someone’s throat.

Last Wednesday police announced an arrest in the case.

After an exhaustive investigation that included several surveillance missions, Detectives were able to identify the suspect as 27-year-old Christopher Luchini, of Portland. Investigators determined Luchini was an employee of a local grocery store, and on the evening of February 14, 2023, the Portland Police Bureau’s Special Emergency Reaction Team (SERT) assisted in taking Luchini into custody while he was at work. Following Luchini’s arrest, a search warrant was served on Luchini’s property and evidence connecting him to the assaults was located…

Based on their investigation, Detectives believe Luchini was primarily targeting women in the Central Eastside area with an edged weapon used for slashing. Circumstances suggest to Detectives that there are likely additional victims who have not yet reported their assault to police.


Luchini still lives with his parents and works at the grocery store but he has an online history as a social justice activist. From 2014-2016 he was part of the Multnomah Youth Commission, a county sponsored group of young activists who work in three specific areas within the county, one of those being violence prevention. On his personal page on the MYC site, Luchini answered some questions about his goals:

Why I joined the MYC?
To give youth a voice and advocate for other youth.

MYC Goal for the Year
I would like to be on the youth against violence committee I’m focused on ending police violence and different kinds of violence.

The following year he had different goals:

Why did you join the MYC?: I learned about me in the past events like the youth summit. I believe we can make a positive difference in our community.

What is one goal you have for the next year on the MYC?: My goal is to be on the sustainability committee to work on Transit Justice and Environmental Justice Issues.

No one is talking about a motive at this point, at least not that I’ve seen. Maybe there’s a mental health issue that is preexisting. If not that, then you have to wonder how a kid goes from wanting to be an activist to wanting to slash random women with a knife, apparently because he enjoyed seeing them in pain. There has to be more to this story. For now it’s good news that the police got this guy off the street before someone was killed.


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