Portland police arrested a man who allegedly stole a backpack and wedding ring from Ricky Best after the man was stabbed on a MAX train

By Char Adams
June 02, 2017 01:25 PM

Oregon police have arrested a man who they believe stole a backpack and wedding ring from Rick Best, one of the two men stabbed to death in Portland last week while allegedly defending teen girls from bigoted taunts.

George Tschaggeny, 51, was allegedly wearing Best’s ring when Portland Police Bureau officials apprehended him early on Friday, police said in a statement.

The hunt for Tschaggeny began after surveillance footage appeared to show him leaving the MAX train with Best’s backpack moments after the 53-year-old Army veteran was stabbed on board the train.

“Based on the investigation, detectives believe that Tschaggeny removed Best’s ring from his finger after the attack,” police continued in the statement.

Authorities said they also recovered Best’s backpack, but noted that the man’s military-style wallet was missing along with other items.

George Tschaggeny
Portland Police

“They’ve suffered an immense loss and this is just one more layer of tragedy to their already awful experience,” Sgt. Pete Simpson said of the family, according to KOIN.

Tschaggeny has been charged with second-degree theft, tampering with physical evidence and second-degree abuse of a corpse. He is expected to be arraigned on Monday in Multnomah County Court.

Best and Taliesin Myrddin Namkai-Meche, 23, were stabbed to death while trying to defend two girls from 35-year-old Jeremy Joseph Christian, who allegedly yelled anti-Muslim slurs at the girls.

A third man, 21-year-old Micah Fletcher, was injured but survived the attack.

The three men were hailed as heroes in the wake of the attack, and Best’s family said they only learned of the theft on Thursday while making funeral arrangements, KOIN reports.

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The backpack contained contact information for people Best served in the Army with, KOIN reports. And family members reportedly said they wanted the information back so they could get in touch with Best’s friends.

The information was missing along with Best’s wallet.

The news comes as Christian faces charges of aggravated murder, attempted murder, intimidation in the second degree and felon in possession of a weapon.

Portland Stabbing Victim’s Sister Speaks Out

One of the two girls, Destinee Mangum, told local TV station KPTV that Christian allegedly told her and her friend to “go back to Saudi Arabia and he told us we shouldn’t be here, to get out of his country.”

“I just want to say thank you to the people who put their life on the line for me,” she said.

She spoke highly of the three heroes, telling the station: “They didn’t even know me and they lost their lives because of me and my friend and the way we look.”