Former University of Portland employee arrested in alleged assault of Associate Vice President

Suspect to appear in court this afternoon

By Madison Pfeifer | December 16, 2019 9:32am

Former University of Portland employee Patrick Ell is accused of assaulting Associate Vice President for Student Development Matthew Rygg. Ell will be arraigned this afternoon. Photo courtesy of Multnomah County Sheriff's Office.

Portland Police arrested former University of Portland employee Patrick Ell Friday night for assaulting Associate Vice President for Student Development Matthew Rygg, according to Vice President for Marketing and Communications Michael Lewellen. In a campus-wide email, Lewellen said the assault occurred off campus, and that Ell was now banned from University property and events.

According to an email from Portland Police Public Information Officer Sgt. Kevin Allen, Rygg was hospitalized following the assault. 

“Matt was released from the hospital and is continuing to heal in an undisclosed location with friends and loved ones,” Lewellen said. 

Associate Vice President for Student Development Matthew Rygg is recovering from an assault that occurred Friday night.

by Meah Ortiz / The Beacon

No specific information regarding Rygg’s current condition was provided.

According to Allen, “North Precinct officers were dispatched (on) a call at Northeast Cleveland Avenue and Northeast Dekum Street. Officers found an injured victim and learned that it was an assault. Patrick Ell, 52, was arrested and booked into the Multnomah County Detention Center charged with Assault in the Second Degree.”

Multnomah County inmate records show Ell was booked at 3:15 a.m. Saturday, and was released on bail.

According to Allen, detectives are following up on the case and no further information will be released at this time. 

Ell is scheduled to appear in the Multnomah County Circuit Court today at 2 p.m., according to Brent Weisberg, communications director for the Multnomah County District Attorney’s Office.

In his campus-wide email, Lewellen said UP Public Safety issued a No Trespass Order to Ell.

“This means that he is prohibited from entering or remaining on any University property or from attending any University events,” Lewellen wrote. “It is important that if you see Mr. Ell on campus or at any University event, you contact Campus Safety immediately at 503-943-4444.”

In an email sent Dec. 15, Director of Public Safety Sara Westbrook told UP staff that campus buildings would remain locked in light of the assault.

“This means that all exterior doors will remain locked 24 hours a day, 7 days a week,” Westbrook said. "The locked status means that access cards are needed for entry."

Ell is a UP alumnus (1989) and former Villa Maria hall director who later led immersions and other service learning projects as assistant director for service and leadership in the Moreau Center from 2009 until his resignation in June 2017. He has publicly criticized the University administration since the fall semester of 2016, when a student accused of sexually assaulting his then-freshman daughter was found to be “not responsible” by the student conduct process.

Editor's Note: An earlier version of this story quoted a Dec. 10 email from Director of Public Safety Sara Westbrook which was unrelated to the Ell case. The corrected version of this story now quotes her Dec. 15 email, which was in response to the assault.

Maddie Pfeifer is the News and Managing Editor for The Beacon. She can be reached at