home

Riders find strip of tacks glued across bike lane on Marine Drive

Posted by Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) on October 19th, 2011 at 4:17 pm

Strip of tacks found in Marine Drive bike lane.
(Photos: Jeremy Dunn)

Last Saturday, Portlander Jeremy Dunn and a friend were riding westbound on NE Marine Drive when they noticed a piece of debris in the bike lane in front of them.

Luckily they avoided it because upon further inspection, they noticed it was a strip of tar paper with thumbtacks pushed through it. Dunn is convinced the paper and tacks were put there with the intention of flatting bicycle tires.

When he sent in an email and photos about it, I asked why he felt it was a malicious act. Couldn't it have simply been some roofing project debris that fell off a truck?

"No way," replied Dunn, "they were thumbtacks that were pushed through a piece of tar paper and then glued (with tar) perpendicularly across the bike lane." Here's another photo sent in by Dunn...

Dunn added that the strip of paper was about four-feet wide, which is just a bit narrower than the bike lane in that location.

The precise location was where a shared-use path begins next to the water west of NE 185th (see it on Google Maps here).

Fortunately, Dunn and his riding mate didn't flat. "We had our heads up and avoided it because it looked like refuse," he said, "but we came across another rider about a mile down the road who had mysteriously double flatted."

Marine Drive is a very popular bike route and it's also a high-speed arterial road with only one standard vehicle lane in each direction. It's not hard to imagine that some people simply don't like the presence of bikes out there. It's worth noting that this incident comes just about one month after well over 20 people flatted on tacks thrown on bike lanes in North Portland.

I'm curious... Has anyone else flatted from these tacks and/or experienced something similar on Marine Drive?

Email This Post Email This Post

Possibly related posts


Gravatars make better comments... Get yours here.
Please notify the publisher about offensive comments.
Comments
  • John Mulvey October 19, 2011 at 4:34 pm

    Jeremy should file a police report. The person who did this committed an aggravated assault, which is a serious felony.

    Recommended Thumb up 26

    • Sigma October 19, 2011 at 6:57 pm

      Pistol-whipping a convenience store clerk and cleaning out the register is aggravated assault. Do you really think this is an equal crime? I'm not excusing it but 20 years in a maximum security prison seems a bit excessive for giving someone a flat tire.

      Recommended Thumb up 13

      • ron October 19, 2011 at 8:02 pm

        No, it is appropriate.

        Recommended Thumb up 18

      • q`Tzal October 19, 2011 at 9:05 pm

        What would be the appropriate charge if I cut the brake lines on someone's car?
        This would be the appropriate charge.

        This was a planned act (assembly of a trap), committed with intent (deployment of same trap), with full knowledge of the future outcome (placed to specifically target cyclists.

        This was no crime of passion.
        This was not an accident.
        The act booby trapping a well traveled area without being seen shows that the criminal was aware of the harm an illegality of their act.

        Recommended Thumb up 26

        • Sigma October 19, 2011 at 9:30 pm

          tacks on a bike path is at best a misdemeanor with community service. And that's a punishment I would love to see handed down to whoever did this. The story recounts what happened to a victim: he had 2 flat tires. A "serious felony?" I'll remember that one next time I want to get dismissed from a jury pool.

          Recommended Thumb up 3

          • John Mulvey October 19, 2011 at 10:45 pm

            So you're guessing?

            The law is clear, your speculations notwithstanding. Assuming no one in fact gets hurt, placing this object in the roadway constitutes a substantial step toward committing an Assault 2, which would be charged as Assault 3 and subject to up to 5 years. (See ORS 161.405)

            If a victim sustained serious physical injury, the perpetrator could be charged with Assault 2, which is a Measure 11 crime subject to a mandatory minimum of 70 months.

            Disagree, Sigma? Better start gathering signatures.

            Recommended Thumb up 14

          • q`Tzal October 20, 2011 at 12:05 am

            A misdemeanor?

            Is it possible to safely stop a bicycle that flats both tires on this type of trap? Yes.
            Is it possible to safely stop a CAR that has hit a police spike strip? Yes.
            Is it possible to safely stop a CAR that has had its brake lines cut? Yes.

            Is it possible to lose control in a fatal or injurious manner of a bicycle that flats both tires on this type of trap? YES.
            Is it possible to lose control in a fatal or injurious manner a CAR that has hit a police spike strip? YES.

            The legality of setting a trap (that IS what this is) in Oregon is difficult for me to verify. What I did find for 3 different states and Canada is that court case findings were based not on what the trap setter thought might happen but what did or could have happened.

            In a 1975 case in Georgia a shop owner who rigged his often burgled cigarette machine with explosives was found against not because of the thief that got killed "red handed" but because the amount of explosives was suitable to kill upwards of 100 people.

            The tack strip setter might have thought that he was only inconveniencing a cyclist but if that cyclist then lost control and swerved in front of oft speeding traffic it would have been quite fatal.

            Recommended Thumb up 15

          • Sigma October 20, 2011 at 9:53 am

            But none of those things happened! According to the article the only identified victim rode for a full mile before he noticed his tires were flat. If that's a measure 11 crime then we should all start gathering signatures.

            Recommended Thumb up 1

          • q`Tzal October 20, 2011 at 11:31 am

            Sigma
            But none of those things happened!

            Referencing State v. Mitchell, 170 Mo. 633, 71 S.W. 175 (1902) from the Wikipedia article State v. Mitchell
            where the Supreme Court of Missouri upheld the lower court's ruling against the defendant "Mitchell" found guilty of attempted murder.

            Wikipedia article: State v. Mitchell
            ... the defendant fired shots into a room at night where his intended victim usually slept, intending to murder the victim.
            But the defendant did not know that the victim was sleeping elsewhere that particular night.
            At trial, the defendant was found guilty of attempted murder. The fact that the intended crime was impossible for the defendant to commit was not considered a defense for the charge of attempting to commit a felony, in this case murder.
            On appeal, the Supreme Court of Missouri affirmed Mitchell's conviction and sentence, holding that the objective itself was criminal in nature and only a circumstance unknown to the defendant prevented its completion. The court held that a person who shoots into the bed of another person on purpose, believing that person to be in the bed, is guilty of attempted murder. The court ruled that "when the consequences sought by a defendant are forbidden by law as criminal, it is not defense that the defendant could not succeed in reaching his goal because of circumstances unknown to him

            Emphasis is mine.

            What actually occurred is irrelevant.
            The intent was to seriously harm or kill cyclists; the possibility of both was very high especially after dark.

            If we as a society are going to ignore and by proxy authorize vigilante justice you should start right now destroying automobiles and their supporting infrastructure.

            Recommended Thumb up 7

          • MelissatheRagamuffin October 24, 2011 at 7:40 am

            Keeping in mind I'm in Virginia, but my prosecutor friend says they'd prosecute this as: Destruction of Property, and Attempt to Cause Bodily Injury. The later being a felony.

            Recommended Thumb up 0

      • Mike October 20, 2011 at 9:37 am

        Probably some teenage kid. They should go to prison for 20 years. Further, their parents should also be imprisoned for raising such a terrible person.

        I hope whoever does this loses their job, their home, their family, their life.

        I mean c'mon! Conti GP4's are like $60 a piece!

        Recommended Thumb up 1

        • FB October 20, 2011 at 11:13 am

          Let's leave the kids alone. I bet it was someone over 30.

          Recommended Thumb up 5

  • was carless October 19, 2011 at 4:51 pm

    This is too funny!
    Next we'll start seeing IED's in the bike lanes.

    Recommended Thumb up 2

    • Hugh Johnson October 19, 2011 at 6:35 pm

      As someone who has seen first hand the results of an IED, this is not funny. Not at all.

      Recommended Thumb up 30

      • Kevin October 20, 2011 at 12:32 am

        not to make light of your experiences, i just thought until i read your comment that he said IUD which gave it a wholly different context

        Recommended Thumb up 8

        • q`Tzal October 20, 2011 at 3:37 pm

          You keep saying that word ...

          Recommended Thumb up 0

    • Paul Johnson October 19, 2011 at 8:50 pm

      I do believe we found our perp right in this thread.

      Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Lunchrider October 19, 2011 at 4:53 pm

    I got hit last week. At exactly that spot I didn't even notice the tar paper. Let me tell you double flats are no fun. I didn't even think of a hostile attack just put it up to bad luck, and had a friend from work pick me up, it was after all my luchrider. I ride this area 5 days a week and have NEVER had any problem's with any driver.

    Recommended Thumb up 3

  • Chris I October 19, 2011 at 5:47 pm

    This is getting ridiculous. It's not like we are slashing tires of random cars. I really hope one of these wastes of skin gets caught in the act...

    Recommended Thumb up 8

    • El Biciclero October 20, 2011 at 9:48 am

      Indeed. This is random (and, I might add, hypocritical) vigilante enforcement of made-up rules or perceived injustices against motorists by cyclists--which doesn't target any particular perpetrator of said imagined injustice, but an entire class of road users. I don't see how perceived inconvenience--or even observed actual lawbreaking--is punishable by actual property damage and risk of injury.

      Looks as though that pesky "War on Cars" has struck again...

      Recommended Thumb up 4

      • Richard Guy Briggs October 20, 2011 at 4:39 pm

        There is no "war on cars". There *is* resistance against the car's "war on people".

        Recommended Thumb up 3

  • Dan O October 19, 2011 at 5:52 pm

    Not funny.

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Eric in Seattle October 19, 2011 at 5:59 pm

    Are the cops/PBOT/ODOT or anybody in charge doing anything about these incidents? I bet they would be if someone were targeting cars in a similar manner.

    Recommended Thumb up 7

    • Mike October 20, 2011 at 9:39 am

      Like what exactly? Specific patrols for this stretch to monitor the bike lane? Portland has so many issues right now, this is hardly a top priority.

      Recommended Thumb up 3

      • Randall S. October 24, 2011 at 8:17 am

        How about running a street sweeper down the bike lanes every now and then? I've dodged the same broken glass in bike lanes for months at a time.

        Recommended Thumb up 0

        • Will October 29, 2011 at 9:59 pm

          So clean it up?

          After a particularly heavy rainfall in my city, a tree's branch split and covered half of a well-traveled bike lane. The rainstorm was over hours before I got out of work and visited this path. By the time I got there, nobody had cleared the path, despite all the people using it. It's like everyone was waiting for "someone else" to do it. I fixed it. I did my best to move it from where it fell (it had broken over a fence and was wedged into it). I got pretty far before anyone decided to help, too. Who helped? A 60-some year old lady (by my estimation). Nobody else.

          It's your community. Take some responsibility and chip in. Don't just whine about it on the internet.

          Recommended Thumb up 1

  • Hugh Johnson October 19, 2011 at 6:07 pm

    Just like suicide stories, the media should not report these. It just causes copy cats.

    Recommended Thumb up 1

    • q`Tzal October 19, 2011 at 9:09 pm

      Yeah, we should keep everything secret so no one will ever commit any crime ever.

      Recommended Thumb up 4

      • Hugh Johnson October 20, 2011 at 5:12 am

        Yes you're very witty we can all see that. I was actually trying to be serious.

        Recommended Thumb up 2

        • q`Tzal October 20, 2011 at 9:21 am

          And I was serious in my sarcasm.

          At no point in history has ANY dictatorial regime, either governmental or parental, been able to stop people with malicious intent from coming up with new and inventive ways to harm others.
          This extreme adaptability is the major factor that has put humans on top of the food chain: we're smart A$$hats.

          I propose that publicizing weapon ideas does bring them to the attention of malcontents but without a full understanding of all the details of assembly and deployment these people are much more likely to get caught, blow themselves up trying to assemble a bomb or any of a number of similar booby trap related mishaps.

          By "helping" criminals with fancy media borne ideas criminals put much less though and planning in to their plans increasing their overall chance of being caught early in their criminal career.

          Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Rol October 19, 2011 at 6:25 pm

    Certainly doesn't improve the reputation of roofers (generally the most denigrated trade on the construction jobsite other than maybe painters).

    Recommended Thumb up 4

    • Jacob October 20, 2011 at 8:17 am

      I always thought that was concrete workers, after them framers (I used to be a framer).

      Recommended Thumb up 0

      • q`Tzal October 20, 2011 at 9:39 am

        What about the glue sniffers? I mean PVC plumbers?

        Recommended Thumb up 2

        • Jacob October 20, 2011 at 10:23 am

          I LoL'd ;)

          Recommended Thumb up 0

  • zappafrank October 19, 2011 at 6:55 pm

    Go straight to the police.

    Recommended Thumb up 5

  • Aaron October 19, 2011 at 7:24 pm

    From the pictures, I'm not convinced this was malicious.

    Recommended Thumb up 3

    • Chris I October 20, 2011 at 6:00 am

      I know of no roofing products that look like this. Do you?

      Recommended Thumb up 2

      • jeff October 20, 2011 at 8:23 am

        I've seen some crappy roofing jobs with materials similar to this. The problem is with how it got there, not how it was created.

        Recommended Thumb up 0

    • Tony October 20, 2011 at 11:43 am

      I've often heard that thumbtacks are great replacements for roofing nails... give me a break.

      Recommended Thumb up 2

    • oliver October 20, 2011 at 11:50 am

      Finally someone with some sense, see? this could have fallen off a roofing truck.

      Recommended Thumb up 0

      • Pete October 22, 2011 at 8:58 am

        Thumb tacks lined up in a row like that - how many roofs have you worked on?

        Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Schrauf October 19, 2011 at 9:27 pm

    Begs the question, where do the perps want people to ride? Apparently, not at the edge of the road or in a bike lane where faster traffic is less often delayed from traveling the speed limit, but in the middle of the lane, where apparently it is safer because other traffic clears the tacks and other traps.

    Ask, and you shall receive. Just keep it up.

    Recommended Thumb up 12

    • Kerry October 20, 2011 at 8:53 am

      Pretty sure they don't want us to ride at all. Bikes, after all, are toys and don't belong with Serious People behind the wheels of cars. One wonders what Serious People have planned for when gas is > $10/gallon.

      Recommended Thumb up 5

      • John Mulvey October 20, 2011 at 10:11 am

        That's the language of the far right in this country: They simply don't want anyone else to exist at all. There's always a ready excuse for why everone else doesn't count. Only they are the real Americans, OWS is a bunch of hippies, etc. Drivers matter, everyone else doesn't.

        Recommended Thumb up 6

        • Hugh Johnson October 20, 2011 at 6:13 pm

          Sigh. It always turns into political mud slinging here.

          Recommended Thumb up 0

          • John Mulvey October 20, 2011 at 6:59 pm

            And they cry "foul" when one of those people who don't count start to get uppity about it.

            Recommended Thumb up 3

  • q`Tzal October 19, 2011 at 10:36 pm

    One of several factors that convinced me that NW St Helens Rd from NW Nicolai to NW Yeon was the carpet tack strips.

    At the north end of this section of road is Greenway Recycling. They seem to take a lot of construction waste so naturally you see a lot of nails, metal straps and carpet tack strips on occasion. This debris is mainly dropped by outside dumpers with uncovered loads. Only with PBOT hounding did Greenway start cleaning the bike lane.

    1 mile away (at 45.539982, -122.717953), far outside the range of tire spread debris I encountered carpet tack strips oriented perpendicularly across the bike lane 3 times in about 10 days. Curiously, each was within literal spitting distance of Rowe Brothers Rebuilders-Equipment's south entrance to their gated lot.

    Never in 5 years of daily commute through here did carpet tack strips appear perpendicularly across the bike lane before this or after. Two other times I encountered carpet tack strips they were crushed and mangled by automotive tires.

    I can not rule out coincidence but my "sample size" is large enough to show that coincidence is not a reasonable conclusion.

    Recommended Thumb up 6

  • jim October 19, 2011 at 10:47 pm

    This is just "Tacky"

    Recommended Thumb up 4

  • Dave October 20, 2011 at 3:32 am

    Did anybody remove these hazards? We cyclists can help each other by moving them out of our way when possible. Same goes for broken glass which can also be a perrennial risk in some areas of towns.

    Recommended Thumb up 2

  • DK October 20, 2011 at 8:02 am

    That's cold-blooded.

    If someone has extra time, volunteering at the food pantry seems a better way to spend it than fabricating tire traps.

    We don't all like the same things. Live and let live people. We're all suffering from the human condition and we're in this thing together. Let's help each other out instead of putting obstacles in one another's way.

    Peace.

    Recommended Thumb up 4

  • Joe October 20, 2011 at 9:51 am

    Tires and tubes not cheap. sucks someone would try to flat a cyclist or anything at this point, what does this solve? someone lives in anger!
    be safe !

    Recommended Thumb up 1

  • terrible t October 20, 2011 at 9:52 am

    maybe its a rogue bike mechanic with a glut of unsold bike tubes? Any failing bike shops nearby? JK :)

    Recommended Thumb up 3

    • q`Tzal October 20, 2011 at 11:50 am

      I like the conspiracy theory angle.
      <tin foil hat>
      Why hasn't Les Schwab or similar companies been implicated when this sort of thing happens to autos?

      The bike tire manufacturer's in for the USA market are colluding to sell us substandard "race ready" bicycle tires that won't survive the urban road environment and don't provide a quality of investment equal to automotive tires!

      Conspiracy I Say!
      </tin foil hat>

      Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Stig October 20, 2011 at 10:59 am

    It's a sign of desperation. We've nearly won!

    Recommended Thumb up 0

    • q`Tzal October 20, 2011 at 11:51 am

      meh ... I'll count it as a win when Hummers are burned in the streets and lots and no one cares.

      Recommended Thumb up 0

      • Paul Johnson October 20, 2011 at 1:01 pm

        I'm pretty sure the best response to terrorism isn't resorting to terrorism.

        Recommended Thumb up 1

        • was carless October 20, 2011 at 4:27 pm

          Someone should tell our government that...

          Recommended Thumb up 4

      • Mike October 20, 2011 at 1:53 pm

        Considering the total impact/footprint, I would be happier if the Prius was the tinder.

        Recommended Thumb up 1

        • Chris I October 20, 2011 at 2:26 pm

          Wrong. If the Prius did have a higher manufacturing footprint compared to a hummer (although, I thought this was debunked a few years back), it has already been created, and has a smaller impact per mile. It is better to burn the hummers, and let the Prius' that do exist drive in their place.

          Recommended Thumb up 1

          • Hugh Johnson October 20, 2011 at 7:23 pm

            Of course the Prius is just as capable of killing cyclists as any other motor vehicle.

            Recommended Thumb up 0

          • Pete October 22, 2011 at 9:03 am

            And the way people drive them around where I live I'm pretty sure they get just as bad a mileage as my V6 - probably worse because I don't floor the gas when the light turns green.

            Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Dan October 20, 2011 at 12:39 pm

    Strange. I've been riding Marine Drive as my lunch ride for quite a while now...and I do remember these...and ran over them. They just looked like roofing debris to me as well as the pointy sides were apparently facing the road. The geniuses placing them probably didn't think that passing traffic would flip these around....which I am guessing is why they were tack side down. No flats because of them, and I'm pretty sure there were two or three out there in different spots. Think maybe I'll keep a more wary eye out next time (definitely removing if seen).

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • John Mulvey October 20, 2011 at 1:33 pm

    Sigma
    But none of those things happened!

    That's why it's an "attempt." If you read my post, rather than just immediately bleeting a response, I said that an attempted assault means no one was in fact injured. The perpetrator need only to have taken a substantial step toward committing the crime.

    (Oregon has a stricter law of assault than most states. In most jurisdictions, assault doesn't require any actual physical harm to the victim at all. Apparently, the State of Sigma has the most difficult standard of all, one in which nothing short of a bizzarre movie scene involving "pistol-whipping a convenience store clerk and cleaning out the register" would qualify.)

    Recommended Thumb up 2

  • Brian October 20, 2011 at 1:54 pm

    "The intent was to seriously harm or kill cyclists; the possibility of both was very high especially after dark. If we as a society are going to ignore and by proxy authorize vigilante justice you should start right now destroying automobiles and their supporting infrastructure."

    That's a bit of a stretch since the criminal used tacks meant to flatten tires. If someone had placed fishing wire across the road at night(much like what has been happening on mtb trails), one could more effectively argue your point by using the case you provided. Furthermore, no one is looking to "authorize vigilante justice" by arguing that this incredibly stupid idea is not a felony. I view the intent as a moronic attempt to inconvenience riders, not as an attempt on their lives.

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • q`Tzal October 20, 2011 at 3:35 pm

    Paul Johnson
    I do believe we found our perp right in this thread.

    Paul Johnson
    I'm pretty sure the best response to terrorism isn't resorting to terrorism.


    Dark humor, ill considered jokes and descriptions of scenarios are not admissions of guilt nor calls to violent action.
    There are many shades of grey and while we should all be able to agree that if this tack strip "stunt" was deliberate it is quantify-ably on the extreme end of "evil". Low impact versus say a bomb or someone making but not using a biological weapon (burritos don't count) but still "Bad".

    Talking about bad things and even making stupid jokes about them IS NOT EVIL.
    I accept that not many will appreciate the macabre side of humor but it's like innuendo: you have to hold your tongue for the proper audience.

    Recommended Thumb up 0

    • was carless October 20, 2011 at 4:34 pm

      Thank you. Bad humor, of course, is unavoidable. The human condition often dictates that humor offers a refuge from insanity.

      Anyways, these are very poorly made "traps." At least, if they are indeed made with intent, not as dangerous or effective as they could be made.

      This is yet another reason that I recommend running puncture-proof kevlar lined tires.

      Funny muse - they probably used thumb tacks to prevent punctures to car tires (only affecting bicycle tires)? Or why else wouldn't they use carpet tacks or roofing nails?

      Recommended Thumb up 0

      • Chalo October 22, 2011 at 4:13 am

        Kevlar belts in bike tires are made of woven material. How much protection do you expect a woven material to provide against something like a tack? Kevlar belts are effective against tearing damage from sharp stones, scrap metal etc., but almost useless against wires, thorns, and other sharp pointy things like tacks.

        Recommended Thumb up 1

        • Will October 29, 2011 at 10:08 pm

          Please tell that to the bike store employees.

          They seem to think that if Kevlar can stop bullets, it makes tires INVINCIBLE!

          ...at least, that's how they try to sell them...

          Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Joe October 20, 2011 at 4:03 pm

    wow This story made it all the way to Urban Velo website.

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Jolly Dodger October 20, 2011 at 5:46 pm

    Booby traps for bikes should be taken as seriously as someone swinging a bat or firing a gun in a crowded area. Aiming at no one, but hoping to do damage is still "attempted" assault/murder regardless of how hard you swing or how many times you pull the trigger. One tack, one bullet, one brick through a windshield of a moving car...how much clearer does it need to be? If you attempt to damage government equipment (sabotage) during wartime (as a soldier of the US, anyway) you can be field marshalled, and shot on the spot. If i catch a saboteur after watching a child fall into traffic due to a 'booby-trap' this idiot placed, i would feel the need for war time justice. The battle lines have been drawn by the extremists...which side will you live and/or die on?

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Steelshwinnster54 October 20, 2011 at 8:46 pm

    In the last month or so I also have noticed these "strips of death". Although seems like there have been a few demolished sites at Jantzen Beach Mall, oh and come to think of it there is a recycling site in Troutdale......hmmm?

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Dan O October 21, 2011 at 9:17 am

    @Dave, you're asking me to stop and clean up all the broken glass?

    (I have stopped to put a storm drain grate back over the open hole before - just so you don't think that I don't care.)

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Dan O October 21, 2011 at 9:27 am

    Probably not intending to hurt anyone - just give them grief, *but*... that's beside the point (or, perhaps, only makes it worse). This was done with malice, to *random* victims, without control of the consequences, up to and including death.

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Scott October 21, 2011 at 9:48 am

    I saw a movie last night and Chris Rock gets killed on a bicycle and comes back as a white guy. Are we going to stand for this victimization being aimed directly at cyclists?! It is so unfair.

    Recommended Thumb up 0

    • Pete October 22, 2011 at 9:05 am

      The real victim here is someone who pays to see Chris Rock in a movie.

      Recommended Thumb up 1

  • jocko October 21, 2011 at 10:26 am

    looks like roofing debris to this hombre. Sorry folks.

    Recommended Thumb up 2

    • mt October 21, 2011 at 4:33 pm

      What is sadder than people who over-react are the people who under-react. Of course it is roofing debris, into which someone has added tacks. Why would it have glue on one side and tacks on the other, and land perfectly across a bike lane and adhere itself in place?

      And even if it wasn't manufactured but was simply placed, would it mean anything to say "I didn't load the gun, I only pulled the trigger"?

      Recommended Thumb up 1

  • q`Tzal October 21, 2011 at 11:29 am

    US Legal definition
    "Booby trap" device means any device, or substance designed to surreptitiously or covertly take life, endanger life or destroy or damage property. It shall not include firearms.

    A person is guilty of criminal possession of a booby trap device when he possesses, manufactures, or transports such substance or device with: a. an intent to use that device to commit an offense against the laws of this state, a political subdivision thereof, or of the U.S.; or b. the knowledge that some other person intends to use that device to commit an offense against the laws of this state, a political subdivision thereof, or of the U.S. [KRS § 237.040].

    Excerpts from Boobytrap Law written by K.L. Jamison, ESQ on October 1, 2009 dealing with traps set on private property.
    in finding against a homeowner who set up a trap to stop frequent burglaries on his farmhouse:

    Boobytrap Law
    "The issue on appeal involved the duty a property owner owes to a trespasser. Generally it is not necessary to make property safe for trespassers, but it is not legal to make property more dangerous through boobytraps."

    Boobytrap Law
    Other types of boobytraps [not firearms] are not specifically criminalized. However, they are certainly dangerous and deadly devices, and, if used, will amount to assault at minimum. If a person is killed, the charge is likely to be at least second-degree murder.

    Boobytrap Law
    Even if the injured person were a burglar, charges would be filed. Hazardous force can only be used to protect persons, never property.

    The case law in all cases I found relates to application of trap devices on private property. This tack strip incident is on public property; this act itself is a separate crime.

    Recommended Thumb up 3

    • John Mulvey October 21, 2011 at 3:01 pm

      The Boobytrap cases (e.g., Katco v. Briney) are almost all dealing with intruders on private property because that's what makes them hard cases. A person has a limited right to protect their own property from intruders, so there's a logical question raised as to why they couldn't set up a booby trap to kill intruders.

      Most courts have said that the indiscriminate nature of the harm makes it unlawful to set up these kind of boobytraps --you can't know if it's a burglar or the mailman or the kid next door who might be the victim --so they've almost universally ruled that boobytraps are not a lawful exercise of defense of property.

      So on private property it's a somewhat hard case. Putting the boobytrap in the public roadway doesn't even raise any hard legal question. It's a substantial step toward commission of a felonious assault in every court in the country.

      Recommended Thumb up 3

      • q`Tzal October 24, 2011 at 3:21 pm

        John Mulvey
        So on private property it's a somewhat hard case. Putting the boobytrap in the public roadway doesn't even raise any hard legal question. It's a substantial step toward commission of a felonious assault in every court in the country.

        And that was my entire point summed up succinctly without case law to reinforce it.

        The indiscriminate nature of this crime puts it above mere petty crime or misdemeanor.
        You can easily charge the criminal with a felony.

        Food for thought: the legal US definition of a type of crime is included below. I have highlighted relevant sections. Do you know what it is called?
        <blockquote cite="Definition of ?">
        Definition of ?
        "activities that (A) involve acts dangerous to human life that are a violation of the criminal laws of the U.S. or of any state,
        that (B) appear to be intended (i) to intimidate or coerce a civilian population, (ii) to influence the policy of a government by intimidation or coercion, ...
        and (C) occur primarily within the territorial jurisdiction of the U.S."

        Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Hugh Johnson October 21, 2011 at 4:38 pm

    This will blow over just like tacks on Williams. Much ado about nothing.

    Recommended Thumb up 0

    • q`Tzal October 24, 2011 at 3:06 pm

      Then don't come crying when you fall victim to some misplaced automotive rage.

      Recommended Thumb up 0

  • John October 21, 2011 at 7:04 pm

    Duh! It's clearly a plot to slow down bike traffic by forcing people to use heavy dead-feeling armored tires! Won't work on me, though. You'll have to pry my Grand Bois off my rims after you make my fingers cold and dead.

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Bod October 24, 2011 at 6:29 am

    Lordy, lord! You guys need to get out more, someone or some kid has made a ham fisted attempt to puncture a bicycle tyre and you're all freaking out! If you see another one just throw it in the trash, possible apocalypse causing disaster averted...

    Recommended Thumb up 0

    • El Biciclero October 25, 2011 at 1:39 pm

      You're right. After all, it was only bicycles and their riders that this person was attempting to damage or injure--no big deal. Although it was more than an attempt, since at least one (that we know of) person's tires (plural) were both punctured by this booby trap.

      Let somebody glue a spike strip across the entire roadway--then you'd see the real freak-out. The principle that says interfering with driving a car by attempting to cause damage to said moving car is a "big deal" but doing the same to bike traffic isn't worth discussing is extremely flawed.

      Recommended Thumb up 2

    • Pete October 26, 2011 at 9:57 pm

      No, you need to get out more. May I recommend Marine Drive?

      Recommended Thumb up 1

  • anthony sands October 26, 2011 at 9:14 am

    I love the idea of that bicycles are a threat to the fabric of american society. I agree with El Biciclero if the sabotage were to inter-fear with the all-mighty car(I drive to by the way), FRONT PAGE NEWS! I can almost see the headlines and primetime expose!

    Recommended Thumb up 0

- Daily bike news since 2005 -
BikePortland.org is a production of
PedalTown Media Inc.
321 SW 4th Ave, Ste. 401
Portland, OR 97204

Powered by WordPress. Theme by Clemens Orth.
Subscribe to RSS feed


Original images and content owned by Pedaltown Media, Inc. - Not to be used without permission.