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Suspect in Truck Driver Stabbing Also Officially Identified as Kennewick Car Jacker

Suspect Rotter
Suspect Rotter (Malheur, Oregon Jail – Oregon State Patrol)

Identification by the carjacking victim from last Sunday in Kennewick has authorities now saying the suspect is the same man who stabbed an Idaho trucker on I-84 in Oregon.

28-year-old Dustin Rotter, who’s last known address was in Modesto, CA, is reportedly responsible for the non-fatal knife attack on an Idaho trucker Monday.    Rotter first carjacked the 51-year old woman Sunday night just South of the Cable Bridge on Highway 397.   The woman saw him walking in the middle of the road, and stopped to ask if he needed help.

Rotter allegedly pulled her and her two dogs out of her 2005 Buick Lacrosse, then drove away towards Finley.    15 hours later, a car matching the Buck’s description,  grey and silver with WA plates,  sped up behind a semi-truck pulling two large milk tanks on I-84 West of Ontario, OR.   After attempting to slam sideways into the truck’s fuel tanks,  the driver pulled over.

Rotter then allegedly stabbed the driver, fled, then returned and attacked again before passers by detained him and Oregon State Troopers took him in at gunpoint.  The truck driver, 63-year-old Charles VanZandt of Jerome, Idaho, has been released from a Boise hospital where he was treated for knife wounds.  He is expected to fully recover shortly.

Rotter covered a lot of ground between Sunday night and Monday noon, when the attack occurred.  It’s about 230 miles from Kennewick to Ontario.

Rotter is in the Malheur County jail facing attempted murder and four other charges.  Authorities, according to KNDU-TV, said motorists need to use caution when considering pulling over to help someone alongside or in the road they think may need help.  They say drivers should instead call 911 if the situation appears to be serious, or the person in question is endangering themselves or other people.

Officials have not said why Rotter was in Tri-Cities, or released any further backround information on him at this time.

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