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Man charged with intentionally running down person on bike

Posted by on August 29th, 2009 at 11:49 am

Wayne Conrad Thompson

Police say today that 35 year old Wayne Conrad Thompson has been booked for allegedly causing a crash with a man on a bike yesterday afternoon at 2:00pm at NE 122nd and Glisan.

Thompson has been arrested and charged with one count of assault in the first degree. The charge is a Class A felony, and is used when police suspect there is an intention to cause serious physical injury to another person by means of a deadly weapon.

The victim is in serious condition at a local hospital. Police describe him as an adult white male but have not released his identity.

Thompson is being held on $250,000 bail and will be arraigned on Monday. If he is tried and convicted of the crime he is charged with, the minimum mandatory prison sentence will be 90 months (7.5 years).

The crash took place a mile and a half away from, and on the same road as, a hit and run fatality involving a man on a bike that took place very early in the morning on the previous day.

The initial police report about the crash is here; the follow-up report about the arrest is here.

NOTE: We love your comments and work hard to ensure they are productive, considerate, and welcoming of all perspectives. Disagreements are encouraged, but only if done with tact and respect. If you see a mean or inappropriate comment, please contact us and we'll take a look at it right away. Thank you — Jonathan

  • kitty August 29, 2009 at 12:34 pm

    ok, that seals it; i am never riding 122 again. least not until something changes. these people are crazy!

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  • spencer August 29, 2009 at 12:43 pm

    outer NE PDX is not safe for bikes, regardless of having a bike lane or not. 122nd is nerveracking. I feel sorry for those who must commute in this area because it just isnt safe.

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  • Elly Blue August 29, 2009 at 12:44 pm

    Just a preliminary reminder, folks, to keep your commentary as level headed as possible here. Lets not go the way of the mainstream news sites with vengeful raving and speculation.

    In theory our justice system considers everyone innocent until proven guilty — and all the facts are not yet in here.

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  • twistyaction August 29, 2009 at 12:54 pm

    Elly, I wish for your sake you didn’t have to be policing or for that matter posting today. Thanks for posting this important update, but I’d understand if you locked comments until Monday and enjoyed a well earned weekend.

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  • Marie August 29, 2009 at 1:14 pm

    “The crash took place a mile and a half away from, and on the same road as, a fatality involving a man on a bike that took place very early in the morning on the previous day.”

    Are there any details about this crash?

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  • Elly Blue August 29, 2009 at 1:22 pm

    Marie, thanks for asking — here is our story about Thursday’s hit and run fatality. Police have released the victim’s name, but we haven’t received any other new updates. I just added that link to this story, as well.

    Twistyaction, thanks for the concern. I trust you all to keep it sane on here. The big thing we ask you all is that if someone else says something inflammatory, don’t respond in kind.

    FYI, here’s an excellent example of blog comment guidelines that a reader recently sent us.

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  • wsbob August 29, 2009 at 1:56 pm

    PPD link #1375 says: “Detectives are in the processing of investigating whether this incident was an accident or whether it was an intentional act.”

    You say: “Police say today that 35 year old Wayne Conrad Thompson has been booked for allegedly causing a crash with a man on a bike yesterday afternoon…” Elly Blue

    So despite an ongoing investigation to determine whether or not the act was intentional, apparently there was enough evidence in hand already to charge him. Is he being held in custody, or was he charged and released?

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  • Elly Blue August 29, 2009 at 2:02 pm

    Bob, the continuation of the story, which is linked to first and provides more of the facts in this post is on PPD link #1376. Apparently they found what they needed to make the arrest this morning.

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  • jeneraldisarray August 29, 2009 at 2:11 pm


    Your instructions to “(N)ot go the way of the mainstream news sites with vengeful raving and speculation” are a bit confusing given that in your headline you state that the suspect is “charged with intentionally running down (a) person on (a) bike.”

    The police report to which you link explicitly states that, “Detectives are in the processing of investigating whether this incident was an accident or whether it was an intentional act.”

    What’s the purpose of posting if you don’t have all the facts, especially if you’re concerned that comments will include unreasonable assumptions and vitriolic speculations? Most importantly, why make a speculation of your own in the headline that sets a confusing precedent for readers?

    Yes, I understand your interpretation of the specific crime with which the suspect is charged, but it still does not validate the speculative quality of the word “intentionally” in your headline.

    I can appreciate the pertinence of this incident given that Outer SE is a comparatively dangerous place to cycle (I know because I grew up not 10 blocks from that intersection) and readers of this blog are eager to hear how cyclist/motorist interactions play out there, but if posting an incomplete news item necessitates instructing readers on how to interpret and react to the item, it’s probably just better to wait until you have the whole story.

    [As I’ve pointed out, there is a second police report which states that Mr. Thompson was arrested and charged with 1st degree assault, the definition of which is intention to harm. This story links to both reports. I’m going to see if I can figure out a way to edit the story so that this is more clear. — Elly]

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  • EastPDX August 29, 2009 at 2:15 pm

    The traffic is very heavy on NE and SE 122nd Ave. It’s a difficult street for pedestrians, too — especially where it intersects with the east-west arterials like Halsey, Glisan, Stark, and Division because there are so many cars turning at these intersections.

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  • pdxile August 29, 2009 at 2:19 pm

    The alleged perp remains in custody: http://www.mcso.us/paid/BookingDetail.aspx?ID=9eHDv8UIAcSvnj/WGWcUtA==

    (I only use “alleged” because it is legally correct; factually, there is no dispute about whether this guy hit the cyclist.)

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  • Swift Benjamin August 29, 2009 at 2:22 pm

    While I appreciate that a suspect has been arrested and charged, if he’s being charged with intentionally causing the accident, hitting the cyclist on purpose, then why is he not charged with attempted murder? I don’t think this is shrill or rhetoric, If I had intentionally shot someone but they did not die, I would most likely be charged with attempted murder, and a car is just as dangerous as a gun when used to injure someone.

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  • Elly Blue August 29, 2009 at 2:26 pm

    The story has been updated to clarify the sequence of the police reports.

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  • pdxile August 29, 2009 at 2:30 pm

    1st degree assault is the booking charge – sufficient to require serious bail and to hold the driver in custody. At arraignment, the charges can be changed if the investigation warrants it. Given the desire to hold the guy over the weekend, it’s likely they chose charges that would facilitate that without raising a lot of questions about whether they were too harsh, and would result in him being released on recognizance.

    We’ll see what happens on Monday. Right now, I’m more worried about the cyclist. The driver’s off the road right now.

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  • wsbob August 29, 2009 at 2:53 pm

    Elly, thanks for working to clear that up. I could swear that the first time I looked at #1376, it did not state that the suspect had been charged and booked. If it had, I wouldn’t have gone to the trouble of posting a question about it. Maybe it was just an oversight on my part.

    I was trying to figure out if you’d got the word he’d been arrested, directly from PIO Detective Wheat or another PPD source on the phone.

    The O posted an online story about this at 10:03 AM.

    Swift Benjamin…can’t be so quick to draw conclusions. Got to know the statutes and have evidence murder was in mind. Intending to hurt someone doesn’t necessarily mean an intent to kill was in mind.

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  • Disastronaut August 29, 2009 at 2:56 pm

    Some of the more vulgar posts have been removed from oregonlive.com, it’s actually rather tame considering the history there.

    I was afraid to look at the KATU site.

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  • LML August 29, 2009 at 4:06 pm

    Thank you all for your concern – the cyclist is my brother. Your loving thoughts and prayers are appreciated as our family gets through this nightmare…

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  • rixtir August 29, 2009 at 4:35 pm

    Disastronaut, the KATU story is over-the-top ridiculous.

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  • rixtir August 29, 2009 at 4:39 pm

    BTW, Jonathan and Elly, perhaps a story about the blatant attempt by KATU to use this story to stir up anger against cyclists is in order….

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  • Rollie August 29, 2009 at 4:46 pm

    Is it vengeful raving and speculation to congratulate this guy with a hearty “Nice going, moron!”

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  • Will Radik August 29, 2009 at 5:10 pm

    One thing I don’t get. If it was intentional, why did the guy sit around at the scene and wait for the cops to get there? Regret? Too many witnesses for him to get away without having been seen?

    This is awful. Best wishes to the cyclist and his family.

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  • Elly Blue August 29, 2009 at 5:16 pm

    Rixtir, thanks for the tip about the KATU story. We’re looking into it.

    Rollie, appreciate your asking, but nope, that’s not quite the tone we’re going for.

    LML, so sorry for what your brother and your family are going through right now. Hang in there.

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  • old&slow August 29, 2009 at 5:23 pm

    A question for Elly? You seem really concerned about opinion posted here, but I wonder, do you ever go on other internet sites? If bikeportland is really concerned about comments posted on this site, you should just stop posting any of them. This site is really mild, never much controversy, the internet is full of inane opinion, if you think you are going to police this and you want to spend your time doing it, good luck! If you are really worried about offensive comments being posted, I suggest you go into another line of work. It would be wonderful if everybody posted thoughtful, non offensive opinions, but I think you are wasting your time to think the net is going to produce anything else.

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  • JH August 29, 2009 at 5:35 pm

    Bummer, I hope the guy recovers quickly.

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  • rixtir August 29, 2009 at 5:37 pm

    old&slow, there was an interesting ethics opinion piece in the NY TImes last week, arguing that the anonymity of the internet is what creates an environment in which venom rules. In the author’s opinion, dialogue would be more civil if people had to sign their names to their comments.

    er, rixtir

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  • jeneraldisarray August 29, 2009 at 5:43 pm

    Thanks for making the item more clear, Elly.

    I really appreciate and respect this blog’s willingness to accept and respond to comments. As others here have stated, the discussions rarely devolve to the name-calling and door-slamming that characterize our region’s larger news organizations’ comment sections.

    It would behoove all of us to remember that Oregonlive, KATU, etc. are in the business of selling us information, and exciting information isn’t always accurate information. People who spout off in those comments sections are responding to the inaccuracy and editorialization that characterize much of those organizations’ “journalism.”

    I sincerely hope that the cyclist is recovering quickly; best wishes to him and his loved ones!

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  • old&slow August 29, 2009 at 5:46 pm

    rixtir, they were right. The internet is ruining any reasonable discussion these days, but I am not sure what you can do about it. That was my point with Elly, if you are worried about what people might post, forget about it unless you just enjoy headaches! To get off topic, the healthcare debate is so over the top concerning all the crap that is being posted, we will never get anything done. Same goes for about every public policy debate including transportation issues. The internet is the playground of “birthers”,” 911 conspiracists”, and every other nutjob with an agenda. Thank god, people like me post here to give some sanity to these discussions.

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  • Elly Blue August 29, 2009 at 5:48 pm

    We’ve been having a lot of conversations lately about comment policies and moderation. We’re experimenting with a little bit more outright editing of some comments (personal insults and violent hating, usually) and a lot more jumping into the fray ourselves early and often to try to set the tone and remind everyone to keep it real.

    Call me a starry-eyed idealist, but I think if there’s enough self-policing and tone-setting in any group, even one where many participants are anonymous, it’s possible to avoid the Lord of the Flies syndrome old&slow speaks of. Hopefully spending the time now will reduce the amount of time needed in the future. So lets see how it goes.

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  • Disastronaut August 29, 2009 at 5:48 pm

    Anyone else want to chime-in on OregonLive? I’m feeling a bit lonely there…

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  • Elly Blue August 29, 2009 at 6:05 pm

    Old & slow, I understand that you think civic discourse is breaking down, but the goal here is to change that. For the sake of sanity, lets move this conversation to another venue. How about coming out to our next event and having the discussion in person?

    My decision to spend the time wading into the conversation on this post is because whenever there is a crash the commentary often devolves very quickly, and I hoped to see if it’s possible to prevent that, as well as to forestall the need to delete anyone’s comments. It makes me cringe to think of family members of the people involved reading comments associating political rants and underinformed finger-pointing with their personal tragedy.

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  • old&slow August 29, 2009 at 6:13 pm

    Elly, I hope you don’t think I was criticizing you. I appreciate you want to change the tone, however the internet is what it is, pretty hard to do if you are going to publish comments from any anonymous person who decides to log on. I was trying to save you some grief!

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  • fredlf August 29, 2009 at 6:14 pm

    I agree with Elly that self-policing can be effective. Many sites, like this, seem to become a kind of community, with norms and mores that regulate behavior. I think over time the anonymity breaks down, basically. Also, things like the get-togethers help alot so you can put faces to names.

    When I’m bored and want to write something other than technical specifications, I’ll sometimes chime in on a KATU comment thread and my strategy is just to be endlessly, relentlessly reasonable (as best I can). Who knows if it works…

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  • Argay August 29, 2009 at 6:53 pm

    This is not a good year for my bike routes. I will be riding up and down 122nd four days a week in the fall to go to school. Unless I decide to take Prescott. Oh yeah, there was a fatal crash there earlier this year.

    PBOT work on some bike boulevards in outer Portland or sharrows or buffered bike lanes or something. Let’s ditch on street parking on 122nd and get some color in the bike lanes near the intersections.

    Speedy recovery to our fallen friend.

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  • rixtir August 29, 2009 at 7:21 pm

    Yes, speedy recovery to our fallen friend.

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  • Scott Hillson August 29, 2009 at 7:55 pm


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  • jollydodger August 29, 2009 at 10:23 pm

    Same neighborhood; in general; as the ‘bad one’ the other nite? Could Karmic Justice be so kind as to let this be the SAME dingus-maximus? At least the known odds of ‘intentional’ – attempted vehicle murderers would be reduced overall this way {Swift Benjamin, i agree} – (i assume leaving the scene implies admission of guilt by the hit and run driver…a coward such as that deserves only hells’ justice.) At least one of them got caught, anyway…It’s always heart rending to hear of a fellow rider being hurt so. I send hopes of a full and speedy recovery to our fallen comrade with best wishes for family and friends as well. – {i try not to ‘say’ anything in forums i wouldn’t feel ashamed about if my grandmother was ‘in the room’}; I.E. * terms of use *

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  • jollydodger August 29, 2009 at 10:39 pm

    Really wsbob? (Swift Benjamin…can’t be so quick to draw conclusions. Got to know the statutes and have evidence murder was in mind. Intending to hurt someone doesn’t necessarily mean an intent to kill was in mind.)?

    As fragile as human beings are in the face of tons of steel and often indifferant indiscretions, can a distinction of the differance between ‘to injure’ or ‘to murder’ matter when citizens are perishing? If i use a weapon to try and injure, but end up inadverdantly killing, are you implying i should be charged for only my intentions?

    Homicide with a weapon should be murder(.) That was a period. Just because a person doesn’t have to ‘load’ or ‘seven day waiting period’ a car doesn’t make it any less a weapon when a person uses it that way. Road rage laws are years behind where they should be…our sentimental attachment to the glory days of the auto, i suppose.

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  • rixtir August 29, 2009 at 11:18 pm

    Re the KATU story, I’ve had an ongoing discussion in the comments section with the reporter, and it appears that there was a genuine misunderstanding of the law on her part, rather than an intentional effort to mislead KATU readers.

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  • Stig2 August 29, 2009 at 11:25 pm

    ‘One more driver facing prison time for colliding with a Portland cyclist’

    That KATU article is really messed up. It’s been watered down since first being put online, but it still contains questionable statements and is needlessly inflammatory.

    LML, all the best to your brother and family. I hope he is able to make a complete recovery in short order.

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  • Scott Hillson August 29, 2009 at 11:25 pm

    KATU is surprisingly apologetic and dissarming, it’s true.

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  • wsbob August 30, 2009 at 1:35 am

    Jollydodger and everyone else that’s wondering, go here:

    Leg-State of Oregon-Chapter 163 — Offenses Against Persons

    You can read the full statutes elsewhere using the numbers assigned to each one.

    I was just trying to encourage Swift Benjamin and anyone else reading that’s interested, to have some awareness of the laws that protect us all.

    “If i use a weapon to try and injure, but end up inadverdantly killing, are you implying i should be charged for only my intentions?” Jollydodger

    Well, as I understand it…yes, the law is written to take intention into account. For example, in the last year or so, there was a trial for a guy that killed his roommate with a gun; best buddies, best of friends. Death occurred in the apartment. Dude was handling a gun, (because you know how ‘cool’ some people think it is to have a gun) thought he’d unloaded it, points it at his buddy, pulls the trigger, kills him.

    Was it an accident? Or did he deliberately kill him? Should the penalty be the same in each instance because the dude had a gun?

    As to this particular incident, it’s very interesting that the guy driving was charged and arrested on the scene. What’s that tell us?

    How many times around here in the last couple years has it happened that a motor vehicle driver hits, injures or kills a vulnerable road user and just walks away? Seems like more than a few times.

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  • Tom H August 30, 2009 at 7:34 am

    I am so sorry for the rider. It haunts all of us as we operate in a civil society based on trust–as has been pointed out on this site, paint is not what protects us (e.g. our own lane) but rather the social norms of non-murderous intent upon which all of us rely daily as we ride alongside monster vehicles (compared to us). I am so very sorry every time some cyclist pays this extreme price of pain.

    Elly, thank you for your experiment in trying to reclaim civil discourse from the flames of the internet. If you save one person from becoming so enraged that s/he confronts a motorist without thinking, you will have possibly saved a life. That is worth all your ‘futile’ efforts against the online tide.

    I am co-designing a new civil discourse initiative at PSU and that is what I keep in mind. If all our efforts ‘only’ keep one person from engaging in a disastrous fashion, it will have been worth it. The more that individuals in every institution engage in these efforts, the less damage that terrible tide of hate-rage-personal attack will cause. Cyclists aren’t the problem, obviously, but we can push motorists to react catastrophically, and it may be against the next one, not even ourselves. I certainly have to watch my temper as motorists drift into the bike lane or nearly right-hook me. I’ve lost it and had nose-to-nose arguments twice in Portland with drivers and I am supposed to know better! In our environment of conflict, it takes constant effort for those of us who are so imperfect.

    Mostly, let’s offer our support to the poor cyclist in such pain. It’s our fear and he is suffering it.

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  • pdxile August 30, 2009 at 8:37 am

    @Dave … just a gentle reminder, not all cyclists are riding $3500 Trek bikes with $60 helmets and toting $30 SIGG water bottles. Many cyclists are themselves (ourselves) poor and working-class people, of various ethnicities and backgrounds. Some may even be those you classify as “rednecks”.

    I no longer live in Portland, but live and ride in a city that’s mostly non-white, a mix of very wealthy and very poor. Few wear helmets here, but y’know, I feel safer riding even with fewer bike amenities because there’s less hostility generally.

    Pdxile, I deleted the comment you are (thoughtfully, thanks) responding to here almost as soon as it came in — though clearly not quite soon enough. — Elly

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  • Elly Blue August 30, 2009 at 8:45 am

    The KATU story is here.

    It’s been changed substantially after a lengthy back and forth between rixtir and the reporter in the comments (thanks, man!).

    Unfortunately, the headline about how “one more driver faces jailtime” is still misleading (the only person in Portland in my memory of the last few years to face jail time was Johnny Eshweiler, but he was found insane and did not serve any time).

    Also, the reporter still states that reckless driving is a felony (it’s a misdemeanor) and implies that it’s the charge in this case (it isn’t) — it appears that she is confused and thinks the new vehicular assault law is the only charge that can apply in a car-bike crash.

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  • Russell August 30, 2009 at 10:25 am

    Rixtir, I just read through that thread on KATU, and I must say you are on point over there.

    Kudos and thanks.

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  • KWW August 30, 2009 at 4:51 pm

    Well, I am glad that the Police are taking these accidents more seriously and charging the driver. If he is innocent, let the facts prove the case, but it sounds as if the Police have irrefutable evidence from the scene that the vehicle violated the bicycle’s right of way.

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  • bicycletothesun August 30, 2009 at 6:22 pm

    The ultimate decision is that jury. Most jurists side with drivers I think.

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  • Joe August 30, 2009 at 8:19 pm

    #47 along with the new stations, and most news papers! hope our cycle friend heals well. Ive noticed a ton of motor fokes getting all worked more and more these days, toooo much T.V and negative facts.

    be safe all! Ride ON!

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  • antload August 30, 2009 at 9:22 pm

    Just a big thanks to Elly for such care and such timely articulate delivery of important stuff.

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  • lacorota August 31, 2009 at 12:01 am

    I work nights as a factory rat, and pass through the bowels of that region. I quit bike commuting after sundown there. Safer bet being a javelin catcher at the next Olympic games.

    I lost count of the drive-by verbal threats I fielded in the black of night. It had nothing to do with my lack of visibility, but everything to do with car loads of angry knuckle draggers looking for an easy target. Apparently cyclists are easy prey to spit venom at.

    My coworker once drove a Tri Met route through there. When I asked about safe routes for night bike commuting, he asked “do you have a concealed weapons permit?.” I took the hint and retired the bike from night commutes.

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  • […] Driver Charged with Intentionally Running Down Cyclist in Portland (Bike Portland) […]

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  • Ante August 31, 2009 at 11:52 am

    I commute from Inner NE to northern Gresham, and I go several miles out of my way just to avoid the surface streets from around 82nd Ave. to my destination, taking Marine Drive instead. The 205 is like a giant wall dividing Inner and Outer NE with only a few crossings, and those are busy car crossings too – I don’t feel safe on these streets, generally, and 122nd Ave. is especially nerve-wracking as it’s steep, and the bike path is narrow and full of storm drains. There really needs to be a lot more focus on bike infrastructure in Outer NE, in this commuter’s opinion.

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  • WOBG August 31, 2009 at 12:10 pm

    Speculation about a connection between this case and the WebTrends MAX ad: http://blog.webtrends.com/2009/07/14/initial-campaign-results-from-our-max-ad/#comment-1390

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  • Todd Bouanger August 31, 2009 at 12:24 pm

    Elly – thanks again for posting this important news over the weekend.

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  • Martin August 31, 2009 at 1:41 pm

    @Elly: Thanks for the article. I’m not sure I agree with your level of censorship in the comments. If you really want to protect the victim’s family from seeing something which they dont like, just dont allow comments for those types of stories. It seems you are suppressing some opinions. I personally would rather see all the opinions and decide for myself how to interpret them.

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  • Elly Blue August 31, 2009 at 2:17 pm

    Hi Martin,
    Thanks for asking about the moderation. Most of my moderation on this thread has just consisted of requesting that people be civil, which has worked out amazingly well.

    I’ve deleted four comments from this story. Two consisted of innuendos or descriptions of violent acts the commenter would like to see happen to someone, and the other two (as well as one of the first two) were characterizations of what the commenter perceived to be qualities inherent in a certain race and class. None of the four contained further content that was relevant to the discussion.

    We have always deleted such comments, it’s nothing new. What’s new is our jumping in this early and often to engage with you about the tone of the discussion.

    Also, it’s inaccurate to describe comment moderation as censorship. We will never delete your comment simply because we disagree with you. As a private news organization (compare with the editorial page of a print newspaper), we’re governed by journalistic ethics and anti-defamation laws; within those constraints we are free to exercise editorial discretion.

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  • Martin August 31, 2009 at 3:29 pm

    Hi Elly, thanks for addressing my concern. I have no problem with you requesting that people be civil. I think that is a great way to help “set the tone” without censoring anyone.

    I had a comment deleted which fell into none of your categories above, maybe a different moderator deleted it.

    Also, I believe it is completely accurate to call this censorship. Just because you don’t like the connotations of the word doesn’t change what it means. According to wikipedia:

    “Censorship is the suppression of speech or deletion of communicative material which may be considered objectionable, harmful, sensitive, or inconvenient to the government or media organizations as determined by a censor.”

    I appreciate that you are trying to be ethical and keep your own editorial opinions out of the decision to censor a comment. I also appreciate your willingness to discuss this in a public forum like this one.

    Perhaps it would be better to show that a post had been deleted or only delete the objectionable part of it. Or even better, but more difficult to implement, allow the users to rate comments and only show the highest rated ones by default. Slashdot.org does this quite effectively. Just some ideas.

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  • Vance Longwell August 31, 2009 at 4:16 pm

    I second the alternatives suggestion. Much better to strike-through, than to censor. I know you have never thought of it as censorship E, but that’s precisely what it is. Intent is everything, so no complaints there. I think it’s important to be honest with yourself though.

    Strike-throughs please, instead of deletion. Clearly comments are down, and may not be due entirely to what you might think. Many complain to me about being censored, and dogpiled here.

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  • Elly Blue August 31, 2009 at 5:02 pm

    Italics fixed! And I did delete your three emails attempting to cancel them out.

    Also, sometimes comments get caught in our spam filter for no reason we can tell; also, our site has been having server issues recently (we’re working on it) — so if your comment doesn’t show up don’t assume it’s been deleted, and please try again. I can’t emphasize enough how rare it is for us to delete a comment.

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  • Elly Blue August 31, 2009 at 5:19 pm

    About “censorship” — I searched around and see that it’s used pretty broadly. I always assumed the word implied some kind of government involvement or a 1st amendment issue.

    I hear what you’re saying about preferring strike-throughs, Vance. This is what we do when we make substantial edits to stories. With comments we could do this sometimes. But the most objectionable ones (death threats, racist invective, etc) we just aren’t comfortable having on the site. Sorry if that bugs you. Like I’ve said it’s extremely rare that we delete anything.

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  • Martin August 31, 2009 at 5:39 pm

    @Elly: Thanks for taking some time to reflect on this. I’m not opposed to censorship on blogs as long as it’s done thoughtfully and with as light of an editorial hand as possible. I really appreciate the reporting of this site and the vigorous discussion in the comments.

    My heart goes out to the victim and anyone who knew him. I hope Wayne Thompson gets a just punishment.

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  • Ivana Tinkle August 31, 2009 at 6:05 pm

    I SERIOUSLY think he should be charged with attempted murder, everyone with an IQ over 50 knows car+ bikes= possible death.

    There is no such thing as a” bicycle fender-bender”

    I think as part of their punishment, these aggressive drivers should have their cars taken away and THEY ride bikes. (obviously they can’t be responsible driving a car, anyway.)

    They need a taste of what it feels like!

    My thoughts goes out for the cyclist and those who love him.

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  • Bonnie G August 31, 2009 at 7:21 pm

    I don’t have time to read all the comments but just wanted to clarify some issues. I was at the nearby restaurant when a man in the next booth said, in a loud voice, that a cyclist had been hit. I looked up and saw the scene. This happened in the parking lot, not on the street. The car had hit the cyclist, gone over one island clear across to the next island and stopped. At least one back tire was flat so that would have made it difficult to flee. Also, there were several people that witnessed the situation including the waitress who got the license number just in case. All agreed that the car was going very fast in reverse and one person said he had heard loud words exchanged. The cyclist had been knocked out of his shoes and his helmet was a few feet from his head.
    I was extremely relieved to read that the cyclist had survived.

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  • LML August 31, 2009 at 11:51 pm

    Hi all…This is Mike’s sister again. While we hover over him at the hospital, we’re also wanting help from ANY witnesses. I’ll talk with BikePortland folks tomorrow about how to get my contact info to anyone who was, or knows a witness.

    We will make comment to the media soon, but in the meantime really need more witnesses to step forward and help uncover the facts of this case.

    With continued thanks for your help, your advocacy, your concern…


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  • Alan August 31, 2009 at 11:58 pm

    In tonight’s OregonLive story the publicly available evidence against Wayne Thompson mounts. It seems to match with Bonnie G’s information of a parking lot rage attack (#63). It also identifies the victim as Michael F. Luther, 52, and says he has improved to fair condition. Best wishes to Michael and his family.

    My thanks to Jonathon and Elly for exercising good editorial judgement in moderating their forum on their server. Use of the word “censor” or “censorship” in this context trivializes the connotation of those words, and the multitude of other soapboxes available to dissenters on the ‘net effectively negates such accusations. The irony of Martin citing Wikipedia, which routinely exercises its right to control content on its servers, is not lost. May I also suggest that the definition of a word is more in the realm of a dictionary than an encyclopedia, and the definitions of censor or censhorship carry different connotations than that of the cited Wikipedia article. Wikipedia itself has considerable discussion on the issue, with the article flagged as disputed and controversial. Reynoldsrich (September 2007, point 2) analyses the problem well, IMO.

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  • wsbob September 1, 2009 at 12:57 am

    LML, how any person, let alone a person with a 52 yr old body survives an impact and a flight such as your brother had the misfortune to take, is cause for great wonder. May he heal well, thoroughly and fast.

    I just read the O story and Bonnie G’s comment. If those accounts turn out to be accurate and true, it sounds as though, if ever he had it in mind to do so, it’s going to be bit hard for Mr. Thompson to convince anyone that he just wanted to scare Mike Luther, and not kill him. I wonder how in good conscience, such a person can ever be allowed to operate a motor vehicle again.

    There’s at least one person that feels Wayne Thompson wouldn’t deliberately do something like this. Wonder if she’ll still feel that way as more details such as those in the O story are revealed.

    comments by Wayne Thompson’s friend from KATU comments to their story

    Here’s the text of CarreZee’s comment:

    “I grew up with Wayne. This is really sad and Wayne is a good person and I sure that he didnt mean to hit the cyclist. I think it is really sad that cyclists get away with so much. I agree with the statements stated above. Most cyclists are very arrogant, have attitudes and are very risky when riding their bikes. When are the cyclists responsible for their risky behaviors that may lead to them getting hit by a car?.! I feel for Wayne & his family and hope that he will be ok” CarreZee/Katu commnents

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  • Russell September 1, 2009 at 9:27 am


    By definition, it’s censorship. Granted, it’s not government censorship, and completely within the rights of Elly as a moderator of the comments section, but it is what it is. We don’t have to embrace framing theory within our discussion – we can leave that to PR and marketing guys.

    As for the larger frame, (the reason she’s censoring comments) what I think has gotten lost on people is that the media is looking at this thread, and most likely several other forums and boards looking for spicy “bike vs. car” commentary that they can then turn into another “road war” story. Allowing bike Portland forums and comment sections to be used for this purpose they believe hurts what the site was set up to promote.

    It’s Jonathan’s board, it’s his right to have whomever he wants moderate it; so if you want to give the press lots of bike rage material, head on over to Oregon Live – I’m sure they’ll love every bit of bile and angst you can fit into a couple sentences. Howl at all your favorite boogiemen: rednecks, cagers, republicans, etc… They’ll cut and paste whatever suits the purpose and use it to “prove” everyone in Portland wants blood on the roads.

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  • Vance Longwell September 1, 2009 at 9:35 am

    Thanks E. I understand completely, but still feel there is an underlying principle that should afford every one a voice. Above and beyond the First is a responsibility to the social contract. Many are raised in squalor, violence, and dysfunction. Communication tools aren’t exactly passed out in this world. While folks of this ilk are often incapable of communicating anything but anger, that’s still communication. Anger is powerful, and venting it is important.

    Again, it would be impractical for you folks to avoid censoring the worst comments. Threatening the blog is just not worth losing what it does. But I do feel it’s important to at least acknowledge outrage because it’s doubly infuriating to be dismissed. I say this in hopes that at least you guys can be honest with yourselves, and own the fact you simply have to censor, or succumb to ineffectuality. I made that word up, but it’s important to me that the role of censor go to at least a person who accepts the fact that they are indeed censoring.

    Censor away, just make damn sure it’s not because you just disagree, savvy?

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  • G. Humphrey September 10, 2009 at 12:15 pm

    If this the act of intentionally ramming a motor vehicle into a human body at an alleged 40 mph is not intent to kill and attempted murder, what is??!


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  • […] August, Portlander Mike Luther was intentionally run over by a car driven by a man incensed with road rage. Luther survived, but he and his family have […]

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