Oregon man charged with running torture chamber out of auto body shop
(WPTV.COM) PORTLAND, Ore. – David Ray Bartol is no stranger to Oregon police. But his latest crime has even stunned officers.
Investigators say the suspect, and others, kidnapped men and then held them in a makeshift torture chamber.
In the winter of 2012, an unassuming auto body shop served as a torture chamber on at least two occasions.
“It’s just very disconcerting,” says neighbor Joe Tompkins.
Like other neighbors, Tompkins, who lives just a couple houses down from the corner, had no idea.
Bartol is accused of kidnapping a man in December, 2012, and taking him to Tom’s Auto Body.
Court documents spell out a grisly sequence of events, during which Bartol admitted to duct taping the man, burning him with cigarettes, torturing him with a grinder, and dousing him with gasoline before injecting a syringe full of heroin into his neck.
Investigators say Bartol told them he thought the man was dead, so he rolled him in a blanket and dumped him behind a business.
Officers later found him, barely alive.
Two months after the first torture session, he’s accused of kidnapping and torturing another man, beating him with a baseball bat before shooting him twice.
That man also barely survived.
“I drive by that every day. It just seemed like a respectable auto body shop,” Tompkins said.
Investigators say Bartol is a member of a white supremacist gang.
He’s been arrested several times over the years.
He was also convicted of killing a fellow inmate in prison.
Tompkins, has lived in the neighborhood where Bartol apparently did his gang’s dirty work for years.
He knew there was crime around him, even gang activity, but never suspected this.
“It’s disheartening to know that it’s around, and really you can’t do much about it,” he said.
Bartol pled not guilty in court Monday.
His next court appearance is scheduled for April.