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Police (finally) issue statement on Barbur hit-and-run case – UPDATED

Posted by on August 21st, 2013 at 12:30 pm

Police are looking for a Subaru like this one.
(Photo: PPB)

The Portland Police Bureau just released a media statement about a serious injury hit-and-run that occurred on Friday, August 16th on SW Barbur Blvd. The collision left 20-year old Henry Schmidt with multiple injuries including shattered bones, damaged organs, and extensive road rash. Since first reported by KATU-TV, the PPB has come under fire from friends of the victim and other people in the community for their handling of the crime scene and a lack of urgency around their investigation.

Dave Cassidy, a close friend of the Schmidt family, has been sending emails to local media describing his concerns about the PPB’s lack of attention to Schmidt’s case. Here’s an excerpt from an email Cassidy sent to local media outlets yesterday:

“The accident occurred early Friday morning. Two bus passengers Aaron Oosterhart and Jordan Sweet have been identified by the media, however there was a third unidentified individual from the bus who apparently picked up, and attempted to give to the Portland Police on scene, “car parts”. The responding officers involved refused to take this evidence, and it is unknown what has become of it. Later that same morning when Henry’s father contacted Portland police for details he was told that “Henry would need to file a report”. The police became only marginally interested after the media broke this story. Still it was over 60 hours later before they sent an officer to “take a statement” from Henry in the OHSU ICU. At that time Henry’s mother informed them that she had clothing that was torn off of Henry as well as his shredded backpack, but again the police declined to take this evidence in to custody. Other forensic evidence such as glass shards, some of which was removed from Henry’s face and mouth by physicians at OHSU, was not saved as there was no request by the police to do so.”

A reporter from KATU found evidence at the scene three days later and told the PPB about it. According to KATU’s reporting, PPB spokesman Pete Simpson told the reporter, “[the evidence] should have been collected at the time of the incident.”

“I’m not going to sugar coat it. The initial response to this incident and the resulting police report was incomplete.”
— Sgt. Todd Davis, Portland Police Bureau

We followed up with the PPB Traffic Division’s hit-and-run specialist Sergeant Todd Davis to ask him why the crime scene was not scoured for evidence immediately and why police waited until Monday to begin the investigation. “You can print this if you want and I’m not going to sugar coat it,” responded Sgt. Davis, “The initial response to this incident and the resulting police report was incomplete.” (UPDATE: See more from Sgt. Davis in the update at the end of this story.)

Sgt. Davis said he spent most of the day Monday, “addressing those issues and getting them corrected,” so the can police could move forward with their investigation. This morning, Sgt. Davis told us that he has pulled all his traffic investigators off other cases to work the Schmidt case, “In order to get us where we need to be on it.”

Just a few minutes ago, the PPB finally released a media and law enforcement bulletin saying they are looking for a black 2011 to 2012 Subaru Legacy 25i sedan with damage to the right-front headlight assembly, a missing passenger-side mirror and corresponding damage under the front bumper. Unfortunately at this point, they have no video and no witnesses have come forward (and Schmidt says he doesn’t remember anything).

If you have any information about this collision, you can leave a tip online via Crime Stoppers or call 823-HELP. There’s a $1,000 reward for tips that lead to an arrest.

Meanwhile, a ride to visit Henry in the hospital is planned for this evening. It meets at 6:00 pm at ODOT Region 1 headquarters (123 NW Flanders).

UPDATE, 1:54 pm: We’ve heard more details from Sgt. Davis as to why this case wasn’t handled correctly from the outset. Davis tells us there was “some disconnect” between the Central Precinct officers who responded to the initial call and the Traffic Division officers who were on duty but were unable to respond immediately. “I think the seriousness of Henry’s injuries were initially understated by medical personnel,” Sgt. Davis says, “so the officers at the scene did not realize the full scope of what they were dealing with until they had cleared the scene and arrived at the hospital.”

Because there was a misunderstanding about the extent of injuries, the sergeant in charge of the PPB’s Major Crash Team didn’t get notified to send out his team to the scene. “There was a delay in getting the initial reports to the Traffic Division and a further delay due to the incompleteness of those reports.”

Sgt. Davis says the PPB will conduct an internal review to, “find out what happened and where the ball got dropped”.

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Comments
  • PennyFarthing August 21, 2013 at 12:40 pm

    There can’t be more than 10-20 of this Model/Color car registered in the portland metro area…go to their residences and start checking them off the list…this case will be solved within 24 hours! PPB traffic division needs to play some serious catch up and solve this FELONY!!!

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    • Alan 1.0 August 21, 2013 at 1:11 pm

      Apparently they can’t search by color. I wonder about by county or zip code? I wonder why they can’t search by color?

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      • John Lascurettes August 21, 2013 at 1:15 pm

        Because color can be changed easily after-market is my guess.

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        • Alan 1.0 August 21, 2013 at 1:42 pm

          True, a car can be painted but more often they are not, and even if they are then both colors are often found in collision evidence. I just checked my WA vehicle registration and it does not list color, so evidently it’s not even in the d/b.

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          • John Lascurettes August 21, 2013 at 1:56 pm

            This is what I was trying to imply, the data is not even collected to check against. Good point about the paint colors in evidence though. Seems like it would be good data for DMV to collect.

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        • tonyt August 22, 2013 at 7:52 am

          I can change my hair color but they list my hair color on my license. Yes, having color in the data base wouldn’t be a perfect system, but to just ignore it seems awfully defeatist. Of all the friends’, family’s and neighbors’ cars I’ve been aware of in 45 years, I’ve only known one to be repainted a different color.

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      • PennyFarthing August 21, 2013 at 3:44 pm

        The fact that the color of a car is NOT noted in a auto registration file is ridiculous! Of course you can repaint a car but it is a minority of vehicles that this occurs too. This is could be a major assisting factor for narrowing the number of suspect vehicles. I personally can ID hundreds of cars by make/model/color from far greater distances than I could read a license plate. In an hit and run accident with a witness it could make the crucial difference between a search for a dozen cars versus hundreds. Every time you go into DEQ they could note the current color of your car…how hard would that be to implement? Think maybe PPB’s traffic division might clear a few more cases with that data? I do!

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        • SylvieStiletto August 22, 2013 at 8:57 am

          The car’s original paint color is identified by the vehicle’s VIN. It shouldn’t be that hard to find…

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          • Alan 1.0 August 22, 2013 at 10:38 am

            paint color is identified by the vehicle’s VIN

            I don’t think that’s true. On my vehicle, paint color is identified on a build sticker in the door frame but not on the VIN tags which were attached during chassis assembly. I don’t see any mention of color for Subaru VIN up to 2006 on this site, either.

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    • GlowBoy August 22, 2013 at 1:58 pm

      I would think that there would be a LOT more than 10-20 black 2011-2012 Subaru Legacy 2.5i sedans in the Portland metro area. Subarus are extremely popular around here, and the Legacy/Outback model is the most popular Subaru. Even the Legacy sedan variant is pretty common.

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  • Anne Hawley August 21, 2013 at 12:45 pm

    The difference in perception between “accident” and “crime” seems to have been operating in the police’s initial [non] response. It’s discouraging to know that it takes concerted political action to get a criminal investigation going. What do less socially-well-placed victims do? Thank you to Sgt Davis for the plain speaking. It’s a step in the right direction.

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  • Jim F. August 21, 2013 at 12:48 pm

    Wow. I am normally not one to jump on the police, but their handling of this case has been embarassing and, well, a joke. I hope they catch the scumbag who did this. No doubt he was drunk when it occurred. Get well Henry.

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    • wsbob August 22, 2013 at 12:14 pm

      “You can print this if you want and I’m not going to sugar coat it,” responded Sgt. Davis, “The initial response to this incident and the resulting police report was incomplete.” Sergeant Todd Davis/PPB

      The initial response indicates incompetence. “…”I think the seriousness of Henry’s injuries were initially understated by medical personnel,” Sgt. Davis says …”. Didn’t medical personnel tell the officers they had a guy whose legs were broken, and who also had other injuries?

      A smashed up bike lying in the middle of the main travel lane, would seem to be a clue that something more serious happened than a guy simply falling off his bike, or crashing without the involvement of a motor vehicle. These are things officers would presumably take note of as part of deciding whether they should call investigators in as soon as possible.

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  • kittens August 21, 2013 at 12:55 pm

    and they wonder why people hate them.

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    • middle of the road guy August 21, 2013 at 1:06 pm

      And you wonder why people hates cyclists, too…..don’t you?

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      • Scott August 21, 2013 at 1:35 pm

        This rebuttle makes no sense, middle of the road guy.

        Are you implying that Henry was hit because he is a cyclist?

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      • Spiffy August 21, 2013 at 2:04 pm

        since I can’t downvote/flag your comment I’ll leave this as my disapproval…

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  • BURR August 21, 2013 at 12:55 pm

    police ineptitude and indifference, what a surprise!

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    • Ron August 21, 2013 at 2:05 pm

      It is a shame that it took media pressure to get them to take this seriously. The responding officers and investigators who ignored evidence should be held accountable.

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  • Jolly Dodger August 21, 2013 at 1:00 pm

    Said it before, and it will be said again…if it were a city council-person’s relative or friend of a Portland Police officer, there would have been no shortage of efforts to apprehend the perpetrator. We are all second class road-way users unless nepotism is involved. Like everywhere else in life, … it’s all in who you know.

    I hereby claim supreme court protection of free speech provided by precedent setting case Cohen v. California- (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cohen_v._California)
    to express my disdain of car culture and it’s apparent disregard for us.

    “F*** Barbur, F*** the PPB traffic division;
    & NSA, if you are ‘listening’ … F*** YOU TOO.” – Jolly Dodger

    “one man’s vulgarity is another’s lyric.” – Justice John Marshall Harlan II

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    • Chris I August 21, 2013 at 2:16 pm

      It makes you wonder. If someone was found outside a bar, beaten to the condition that he was found in. Would they investigate it? Why is the carnage on our roadways treated differently than any other crime?

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  • Scott August 21, 2013 at 1:32 pm

    It’s like Barney Miller. Just without any of the humor, touching moments, or actual police work featured on the show.

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    • Ron August 21, 2013 at 2:03 pm

      Great analogy. I am supportive of the police, but the PPB is an embarrasment.

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    • q`Tzal August 21, 2013 at 7:08 pm

      At least ODOT had an explicable excuse for favoring automobiles and trucks over bikes and peds: lobbying, bribes and corruption.
      What’s PPD’s or any other police department’s excuse: apathy, ignorance, laziness?
      Police departments aren’t getting kickbacks to treat cyclist and pedestrian injuries and deaths as a non-event.

      We are tax paying citizens too. It is totally reasonable to expect a police department to do the job we pay them to do.

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  • jd August 21, 2013 at 1:33 pm

    That’s an expensive car, and this kid needs some serious medical bills taken care of. Here’s hoping we’re looking at some fancy pants’ mug shot tout de suite.

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  • dan August 21, 2013 at 1:41 pm

    Who buys Legacy sedans in this town? Should be way easier to find than an Outback.

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    • was carless August 21, 2013 at 10:05 pm

      I drive an outback, and can assure you that the lesbian and outdoorsy population of Portland takes great care in driving safely around cyclists.

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      • lazyofay August 22, 2013 at 6:24 am

        Are you implying only “outdoorsy lesbians” own Outbacks? I am a fence straddling, bi-sexual, cross dressing, nilly boy who loves his Outback,……….. I will have you know.
        I wear Patagonia exclusively when I drive it, in order to keep people guessing and protect my cover.
        I love the headroom and cargo space… It holds 18 bags of grocery’s from New Seasons, and I never truly go “outdoors” because mosquito’s bite.

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  • Sunny August 21, 2013 at 1:46 pm

    What it’ll probably come down to is a body shop or parts counter noticing a match of damage and parts order or a neighbor wondering why the suspect is not driving the new Subaru and parking it in the garage or concealing it under a tarp.

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    • El Biciclero August 21, 2013 at 2:11 pm

      Does the equivalent of an “APB” or “BOLO” go out to body shops in cases like these? Not that I’d get my car fixed in a reputable shop if I were trying to hide hit-and-run evidence…

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  • Spiffy August 21, 2013 at 2:07 pm

    a hit-and-run is always a crime… it’s assault with a deadly weapon and should be investigated as such whether there were any injuries or not…

    the PPB is telling us that they don’t care that there are dangerous drivers on the road assaulting people with their vehicles…

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  • KJ August 21, 2013 at 2:09 pm

    Seriousness of injury sustained should not be a factor in how this kind of collision is respond to! Someone hit someone with their car. AND LEFT THE SCENE. So tired of needing death, dismemberment, comas, and other extensive injury needed to treat this kind of indecent as seriously as it should be. Are we becoming NYC?

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  • MaxD August 21, 2013 at 2:09 pm

    Charlie Hales is interested in making our streets safe, right? I wonder if he is paying attention to his.

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  • Alan 1.0 August 21, 2013 at 2:19 pm

    “ODOT Region 1 headquarters (123 NW Flanders)”

    http://goo.gl/maps/eBzSv (streetview) – It’s ironic that ODOT separates their front door from the street with such an array of bollards and boulders.

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  • Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) August 21, 2013 at 2:21 pm

    I hear everyone’s frustrations about how the PPB handled this case. But I think we should remember that – unfortunately – there is so much carnage on our streets every day that the Traffic Division simply must prioritize their resources based on some factors.

    Now, with this case, they have also admitted (which I for one appreciate) to some level of procedural/internal mistakes.

    I know judging response by injury level seems callous… But that’s the nature of the system we have.

    As for those of you feeling angry at the police, I don’t think that’s necessary in this case. “Are we becoming NYC?” KJ asks above. Heck no. Absolutely not. These are human beings doing a difficult job and sometimes mistakes are made. I know the PPB Traffic Division works extremely hard on these cases and they have particular disdain for hit-and-run suspects and several TD officers are frequent bike riders.

    I’ll hold PPB accountable for their mistakes and let them know I/we think cases like this demand immediate and thorough response… But I don’t think this is a situation – as tragic and frustrating as it is – that deserves outrage directed at the police.

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    • Hugh Johnson August 21, 2013 at 7:51 pm

      Oh good grief Maus…so much carnage every day on our streets?! With this kind of sensationlism you must be shooting for a job at the Oregonian.

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      • Caleb August 22, 2013 at 10:24 am

        Does using the phrase “good grief” constitute sensationalism? It doesn’t correspond to the emotions I’m feeling, so were I to think like some people, I would believe it does. How about the suggestion that someone is looking for a certain job reputed to involve a certain behavior?

        In my observations, drama has rarely quelled drama.

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    • Jiro Yamamoto August 25, 2013 at 11:42 am

      Jonathan, the list of errors seems rather extensive for it to be just by chance. Oh, we didn’t realize 1, 2, 3, 4, 5…People who are focused on a job may miss once or twice, but when a system misses this many times in a row it is because of a systemic problem. I live in SF and here the PD does not pride itself on equal justice for cyclists, pedestrians and motorists. Car and truck drivers kill and generally get away without any charges.

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  • Rob August 21, 2013 at 2:55 pm

    Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor)
    there is so much carnage on our streets every day that the Traffic Division simply must prioritize their resources based on some factors.

    We would like to know what was considered (at the time), a higher priority for PPB to investigate other than a person left for dead on our streets. We hear that there are resource challenges and priorities that must be set, but we have a hard time understanding what those challenges are and how the priorities were being set, given the facts of the case at hand.

    Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor)
    Now, with this case, they have also admitted (which I for one appreciate) to some level of procedural/internal mistakes.
    I know judging response by injury level seems callous… But that’s the nature of the system we have.

    Just because that’s the system we have, doesn’t mean it’s the system that we should strive for or accept.

    Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor)
    As for those of you feeling angry at the police, I don’t think that’s necessary in this case.

    I don’t believe that this one story is the root of all the anger that been expressed here in these comments. Rather, it is the result of a pattern of performance and negative incidents that have occurred over many years. It is frustrating. I wish that I didn’t feel this way towards the police department, but it is difficult to maintain respect when trust is repeatedly abused.

    Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor)
    I’ll hold PPB accountable for their mistakes and let them know I/we think cases like this demand immediate and thorough response…

    Looking forward to it. Your unique position as a journalist-activist gives you a large forum to help shape both public opinion, uncover the truth, and drive real change in situations such as this.

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    • Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) August 21, 2013 at 3:52 pm

      We would like to know what was considered (at the time), a higher priority for PPB to investigate other than a person left for dead on our streets. We hear that there are resource challenges and priorities that must be set, but we have a hard time understanding what those challenges are and how the priorities were being set, given the facts of the case at hand.

      Again Rob, the PPB is admitting there was a procedural error that was the main cause of the delay in this case. From what they claim, the Major Crash Team didn’t immediately realize that anyone was “left for dead”.

      Just because that’s the system we have, doesn’t mean it’s the system that we should strive for or accept.

      Rob. This is me you’re writing this to. You are preaching to the choir about accepting the systems we have versus pushing to change them. I am merely trying to balance reality given what I know about how the PPB operates with community expectations/emotions about police in general.

      I don’t believe that this one story is the root of all the anger that been expressed here in these comments. Rather, it is the result of a pattern of performance and negative incidents that have occurred over many years. It is frustrating. I wish that I didn’t feel this way towards the police department, but it is difficult to maintain respect when trust is repeatedly abused.

      I hear you. I completely understand. I realize the feelings people have toward the police are based on a narrative built over time. My only intention in this case is to try and let folks know about this specific circumstance and whether or not it warrants anger/outrage. Policing is a very tough job, especially in a place like Portland where many residents (myself included) prefer to question authority and expect compassionate, community-oriented officers to have the same values and perspectives as we do. It’s frustrating.

      Looking forward to it. Your unique position as a journalist-activist gives you a large forum to help shape both public opinion, uncover the truth, and drive real change in situations such as this.

      Thanks Rob. I’ve worked really hard on the police-community relationship through the years and it’s one of the most challenging lines for me to walk. I have messed up a few times along the way, but I think BikePortland has also done a lot to foster the productive relationship we have with the PPB – especially the Traffic Division.

      When I read about the horrible disconnect between the community and the cops in NYC, I am really grateful for our officers and the leadership at PPB we have here.

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    • was carless August 21, 2013 at 10:08 pm

      Just putting this out there, but hasn’t there been an ongoing gang war lasting for the past 5 or 6 years? Although what PPB did is totally inexcusable, I wouldn’t be surprised if their resources are stretched thin.

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    • Scott August 22, 2013 at 4:09 pm

      Rob, you do not speak for me.

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      • Rob August 22, 2013 at 4:53 pm

        That’s unfortunate to hear, because I totally agreed with everything you said earlier as far as your individual comments go. However, if you’re trying to score internet points by creative interpretation and parsing of my words to find something offensive, I won’t stop you from expressing your displeasure there.

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  • PennyFarthing August 21, 2013 at 3:40 pm

    The fact that the color of a car is NOT noted in a auto registration file is ridiculous! Of course you can repaint a car but it is a minority of vehicles that this occurs too. This is could be a major assisting factor for narrowing the number of suspect vehicles. I personally can ID hundreds of cars by make/model/color from far greater distances than I could read a license plate. In an hit and run accident with a witness it could make the crucial difference between a search for a dozen cars versus hundreds. Every time you go into DEQ they could note the current color of your car…how hard would that be to implement? Think maybe PPB’s traffic division might clear a few more cases with that data? I do!

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    • tonyt August 22, 2013 at 7:55 am

      I couldn’t agree more. This little bit of trivia blows my mind.

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  • Dave August 21, 2013 at 4:05 pm

    I am the family friend (Father of Henry’s roommate at Lewis and Clark. First I would like to thank the Portland bicycle community for their support. Second I would like to clarify a few points as to why I remain disappointed with the Portland Police Bureau. First off, Henry’s injuries at the scene (Clothing ripped off, a mangled back pack, and a seriously deformed leg should have been enough to warrant a more thorough and immediate follow up. As both a paramedic and emergency room nurse for over 30 years, I can’t fathom EMS describing these injuries as minor to the police. Secondly, it took a reporter from KATU to find the Subaru parts at the scene and track down the type and year of vehicle involved. The police only confirmed evidence that was given to them by KATU. In fact, they did not even want to pick up the evidence at the scene, asking KATU to “bag it for them”. It was not until yesterday that an active investigation began despite pleas from the family.. I am not a police hater, and I have worked side by side with them in a professional capacity. It is just a travesty that it took so much effort by many different people to get the police to finally admit mistakes and kick start the investigation. Had this been a gunshot victim would the response have been the same? Why should a bicyclist be any different? Lastly, lets hope that with all our efforts that we get justice for Henry.

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    • gr8fulday August 21, 2013 at 9:35 pm

      Hi Dave.

      I am wondering if you work in the Metro area? I ask this because I wonder if the police assumed that Henry was another drunk/high bicyclist that might have crashed on his own accord. It still should have been investigated to determine the actual cause no matter what. I have -come to- in the hospital with a fractured face and a lot of people I know have as well, multiple times. As a result of that incident, I finally got sober. BUI in Portland is a problem and I know that the hospitals see a high number of people due to this problem. I am pretty sure it would have been pretty easy to rule that out. I was also roughed up pretty good by PPB one night as a result of my drinking so I am not necessarily on their side either.

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  • LP August 21, 2013 at 4:14 pm

    I just walked by a car parked at a body shop that matches this description with exactly that kind of damage. I called it in to the tip line. Here’s hoping.

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    • Sunny August 21, 2013 at 4:24 pm

      You’d better provide the location unless you want them to respond a week from now when the evidence is gone. Some bikeportland readers will be able to get to the location quickly.

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    • lyle w. August 21, 2013 at 5:08 pm

      Did you get the license plate number? If not, go back and do that.

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      • Alan 1.0 August 21, 2013 at 5:24 pm

        Yes, and a picture of the damage, and pass it along to someone like Jonathan or Henry, too, just in case it slips between the cracks at the tip line. Good spot, LP!

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        • John Lascurettes August 21, 2013 at 5:43 pm

          Call the body shop too and point them to this story. If they know they’re working on a possible hit-n-run car, they might call the cops themselves too to investigate before working on it.

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    • Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) August 21, 2013 at 5:46 pm

      I forwarded your comment to Sgt. Davis. He said they’ve already checked it out and it was a dead end. Thanks for the tip.

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      • J_R August 22, 2013 at 10:03 am

        So, it was a dead end. Does that mean the driver wasn’t there to admit to the hit-and-run? If the PPB can’t even be bothered to collect evidence at the scene or interview the bicyclist for 60 hours, or collect the glass from the hospital, I don’t really have any confidence that they tried very hard to find out anything about this supposed “dead-end.”

        The PPB has failed again and again and needs to make a concerted effort to demonstrate that they are actually concerned about vulnerable road users.

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    • was carless August 21, 2013 at 10:10 pm

      Pass it onto KATU? What if the police just throw it out because they are still apathetic?

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  • Nathan Alan August 21, 2013 at 4:43 pm

    Has any evidence been collected that doesn’t have a compromised chain of custody? It sounds like PPB’s inaction plus the good intentions of KATU and the unidentified person have made the District Attorneys’ jobs a lot harder if the vehicle is found.

    People, if you’re at the scene of a crime don’t disturb evidence if you can help it.

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  • lyle w. August 21, 2013 at 5:06 pm

    Policing being what it is– and the types of personalities that are attracted to it as a career field being what they are– there is bound to be a portion of the police department that does not see bicycling as a legitimate form of transportation, and thus do not take crimes against bicyclists as a matter of any urgency. We’ve seen this apathy towards crimes against cyclists happen over and over again, and whatever degree it’s at in any particular case from the past, it is clear that it’s an ongoing pattern/habit on the part of the Police Department, despite whatever boilerplate statements they craft after their apathy has already been made apparent, and the negative publicity resulting from that needs tending/managing.

    That’s just the fact of the matter, and not amount of pressure is going to change that.

    I just wish that the cops that are responsible for this antagonistic approach towards fairly and diligently enforcing the law in this city could have a little bit of insight and introspection. You’re living/working in Portland, and regardless of what your political orientation or personal views towards bicyclists are, Portland is still a city that has made cycling a centerpiece of its cultural center of gravity for a very long time… and a whole lot of people that live in the city either moved here or stayed her because of that. If you can’t see that, can’t care, or just flat-out go above and beyond with your apathetic and avoidant approach towards cyclists, you are seriously stamping and underlining your career with an Unprofessional stamp.

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  • dwainedibbly August 21, 2013 at 5:32 pm

    What does that guy who owns SkiBowl driving these days?

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  • Ted Buehler August 21, 2013 at 5:38 pm

    Hats off to BikePortland and KATU forr making sure the PPB followed up on this case, and thereby increasing the likelihood of making sure future cases are also followed up. Before their operating room and crash-site evidence is lost.

    I was the victim of a hit and run in Berkeley, CA in Sept 2005. Also left for dead (hit at ~50 mph, left unconscious on the side of the road). Police didn’t much care about finding the driver. 2 witnesses saw the car speed off.

    It’s just good luck I wasn’t killed. I wasn’t able to walk for two months, and my left hip has never really recovered.

    If the East Bay had anything resembling BikePortland at the time, then maybe the incident would have gotten some media coverage, maybe the police would have looked for car-damage evidence, maybe the driver would have been roused out and I’d have gotten better medical care. And maybe future Berkeley hit-and-run victims would have gotten better efforts to find the drivers that hit them.

    Best of luck to Henry, and I hope the driver is found and brought to justice.

    Thanks to Jonathan and Michael for covering this,

    Ted Buehler

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  • J_R August 21, 2013 at 6:17 pm

    Once again, I feel let down by the PPB. It seems they’d rather do stop sign enforcement in Ladd’s Addition than investigate and find a probable drunk driver who seriously injured a bicyclist or pedestrian.

    There’s always an excuse.

    Disgusting.

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  • Robert Burchett August 21, 2013 at 6:29 pm

    Years ago a Portland police office told me (after I was right-hooked in a bike lane) that they wouldn’t issue a ticket to an obviously culpable car operator unless someone was transported from the scene in an ambulance. Seems like the learning curve is going backwards–

    However, it is worthwhile to do a full court press writing tickets at a stop sign where cyclists don’t put their foot down. Maybe if a person could arrange to get hit by several cars in one incident they would take note!

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    • tonyt August 22, 2013 at 8:13 am

      You may be intending it as hyperbole, but the foot down thing is a total myth. It’s not required and any ticket based on that would be thrown out. The law does not require it.

      BUT the rest of your comment is spot on. The Ladd’s Addition enforcements are emblematic of the PPB’s misdirected energies. Two weeks after a collision that killed Brett Jarolimek in 2007, a tragedy in which the driver of the motor vehicle was at fault, PPB thought that the best use of their “limited” resources was a full-fledged invasion of Ladd’s with 9 motorcycle cops. While they were doing this, another cyclist was hit at that very same intersection where Bret was killed. This is something that I repeat quite often here on BP because it is such a perfect example of what’s wrong with the PPB. They really don’t get it.

      But what do you expect from an organization that promotes the likes of Mark Kruger?

      http://www.oregonlive.com/portland/index.ssf/2010/10/portland_police_panel_finds_ca.html

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  • q`Tzal August 21, 2013 at 7:17 pm

    Wasn’t there some admission a few years ago, right around the time we all became educated about the “citizen initiated citation” process, by the PPD that an investigation would be started when injuries are “serious” and the threshold for “serious” was “went to a hospital?

    Which begs the question: if the PPD talked to medical personnel then the victim was in the hospital and no decision about (yes/no) to investigate needed to be made. As I remember it the threshold for mandatory investigation was hospitalization so what’s their excuse for this brush off?

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    • q`Tzal August 21, 2013 at 8:52 pm

      FOUND IT!
      On BikePortland page “Police Bureau: Crash investigation threshold lowered for vulnerable road users”
      Posted by Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) on January 11th, 2008

      Here is an excerpt:
      Acccording to Schmautz, the Police Bureau plans to change its Manual of Policy and Procedures to reflect a new injury threshold for the automatic triggering of a crash investigation.

      Currently, one of the seven criteria that triggers an investigation (see them all below) is “Physical injuries with entry into the Regional Trauma System by on-scene EMS personnel.”

      Schmautz says the Bureau is currently training its officers on a new injury threshold definition. The new injury threshold will be, “injuries requiring medical transport if it’s vulnerable roadway user”.

      It would seem that both conditions would have applied to the victim Henry Schmid in this case.

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      • Ted Buehler August 21, 2013 at 11:17 pm

        “Manual of Policy and Procedures…”

        Cool, wonder if we can review that document. At least we now know what to ask for.

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        • Ted Buehler August 21, 2013 at 11:23 pm

          Easier than I expected –
          http://www.portlandoregon.gov/police/article/32482

          600 pages. I only have access to an iPhone right now, but anyone with a computer monitor could peruse this document and maybe find what action should be taken in cases like this, where officers failed to collect evidence and need to play catch-up.

          Also useful for finding out what the POB should be doing in various bike injury situations.

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          • 9watts August 21, 2013 at 11:37 pm

            It looks like the relevant section starts on p. 292
            Trauma Injury and Non-Injury Crashes (640.50)

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  • q`Tzal August 21, 2013 at 7:28 pm

    Somebody purchased the replacement part or searched for it on the Internet.
    Is anyone watching the Internet?

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    • 9watts August 21, 2013 at 10:27 pm

      The NSA is.
      But they are not especially interested in being helpful.

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      • q`Tzal August 22, 2013 at 3:09 pm

        Imagine that I said that as part of a Monty Python skit; that’s how I intended it.

        The funniest thing I heard about the NSA collection of everything debacle was about a week after it initially hit the fan on Tech News Today. Someone was refuting the “if you have nothing to hide…” argument with “if they want to collect everyone’s data they need to do what Google and Facebook do. Sure Google tracks everything we do but we get free services in return, what concrete return is the NSA offering?” then a bit later joking that the NSA is conveniently positioned to offer a free cloud hard drive backup service like Carbonite. How many people would be OK with it then?

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  • Pat Franz August 21, 2013 at 10:04 pm

    While the DMV might not record cars by color, I’m sure there’s a database at Subaru that has VIN to color information… from there go VIN to registration and start looking… surely this is not unprecedented in an investigation?

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    • dwainedibbly August 22, 2013 at 4:36 am

      Anybody here have access to that data? I suspect that, like other aspects of this case, PPB can use any help we can give them. Let’s not forget that the car might have an out of state plate, particularly WA.

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  • K'Tesh August 22, 2013 at 12:06 pm

    PPD WTF!!!! Anytime parts of a car are left behind the scene of a crime they should be collected for analysis and evidence. It seems to make sense that if a person is loaded in an ambulance and parts of a car remain, that you collect the evidence.

    Why is common sense so uncommon these days?!!!

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  • Slammy August 22, 2013 at 12:08 pm

    didnt some homey say that he collected a piece of the bumper in the comments a couple days ago?

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  • Sunny August 22, 2013 at 12:15 pm

    Chances are that this Legacy was sold at Wentworth Subaru on Burnside or Carr Subaru in Beaverton. I’d check those two first.

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  • q`Tzal August 22, 2013 at 12:43 pm

    Any evidence not collected by an officer of the state cannot be considered as authentic nor used in a court of law.
    So while car parts found by 3rd parties might reasonably be used to find the perpetrator they cannot be used to prove that person committed the crime.
    At the very best the 3rd party collected evidence can be used to prove only that that particular automobile was there at some unknown time. The defendant’s lawyer could easily argue that even if fracture patterns show conclusively that the pieces belong to the defendant’s vehicle that the defendant drives here regularly a this body damage occurred some other time. Furthermore, the lawyer will argue, how are we to trust this evidence was found at the scene of the crime?

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    • Granpa August 22, 2013 at 12:50 pm

      Unless there is skin, hair or blood on the parts…

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      • q`Tzal August 22, 2013 at 3:01 pm

        Again, there would need to be matching physical evidence on the car of the defendant.
        Guilt must be proven beyond doubt in US criminal law. Since the evidence was collected by a 3rd party, that by circumstance of the situation obviously sympathize with the victim, there will always be legal doubt as to the veracity of the evidence collected.

        The ONLY thing that the pieces the 3rd party turned in can be used for is to guide the investigation. Even that must be done with caution by a police department because it could be argued that this non-evidence prejudiced the police against a defendant that is innocent until proven guilty.

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  • GlowBoy August 22, 2013 at 2:06 pm

    I’m completely disgusted that it has taken SEVEN DAYS to reveal the vehicle description to the public. That has given the perp a lot of time to conceal the evidence. Time when we could ALL have been watching the roads (and body shops) around us for damaged vehicles meeting the description. I know I’ll be taking a close look all every black Legacy sedan I see going by for the next few days.

    And I’m amazed, too, that DMV doesn’t collect color information. I thought they recorded that, but it must have been in another state I lived in. Recording the original paint color would still be useful, especially since (1)VERY few 2-year-old cars ever get repainted a different color, and (2) the original color is usually still very easy to figure out in any kind of vehicle inspection.

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  • Dwayne Dibbly August 22, 2013 at 4:20 pm

    I want to be on the jury for the civil suit!!

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