Accused of Stealing Victim's Ring, He Was Once a Hero
George Tschaggeny, arrested in Portland, had been honored as Good Samaritan
By Newser Editors,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 12, 2017 5:12 PM CDT
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This undated photo provided by the Multnomah County Sheriff's office shows George Tschaggeny.   (Multnomah County Sheriff's Office via AP)

(Newser) – Another cautionary tale in the midst of America's battle against opioids: that of George Elwood Tschaggeny. The military veteran helped tackle a bank robber armed with a knife in 2010 and was awarded a civilian medal, and it wasn't Tschaggeny's first turn as a Good Samaritan. More than a decade prior, he also came to the aid of a motorcyclist after a crash, putting the bike in his truck and driving the biker to the doctor, reports the Oregonian. But drug addiction set in and may have had a hand in propelling Tschaggeny to his latest set of headlines: He was arrested June 2 for allegedly stealing the wedding ring and backpack from Rick Best as he lay dying in the wake of the high-profile MAX attack in Portland, Oregon. Police believe Tschaggeny took the ring off Best's finger, though they aren't exactly sure how.

Video caught the perpetrator calmly walking away from the scene, and Tschaggeny was arrested following a tip from a Domino's Pizza worker who said she recognized the 51-year-old and pointed police to the homeless camp where he lives, report KOIN. He was allegedly wearing Best's ring. In charting Tschaggeny's path, the Oregonian spoke with his ex-wife, who described a good life filled with dogs, mountain biking, and Westerns; she describes a man who made her lunch daily, and then dropped her off at work. But the painkillers prescribed for a knee injury turned into an addiction, followed by heroin. Multiple stints in rehab didn't have a lasting impact. KOIN notes Best's wallet remains missing.

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