Brazen bike thief appears in court facing prison sentence and $250,000 bail

Posted on November 18th, 2015 at 11:48 am.

Parsons appeared via video at the Justice Center in downtown Portland this morning.
(Photos © J. Maus/BikePortland)

The Multnomah County District Attorney’s office is sick and tired of Leroy Parsons gaming the system.

Parsons, arguably Portland’s most brazen and prolific perpetrator of bike theft, appeared in court today. He was arrested last week for bike theft and the DA has upgraded his charges to include 16 total counts, including nine felony charges (several of which are for bike theft) and an increased bail amount aimed in keeping him locked up until sentencing.

If convicted on all counts Parsons could face a lengthy prison term. But that’s a big if.


Watch the Portland Police Bureau’s new ‘Speed Kills’ video

Posted on November 6th, 2015 at 12:46 pm.

The Portland Police Bureau has released a new video that aims to explain why they do speed enforcement. Put simply, the video’s narrator Officer Ron Hoesly says, it’s because “speed kills.”


Federal trial lined up for police who Tasered Hillsboro man after bike infraction

Posted on October 14th, 2015 at 10:39 am.

robinson in dirt
A Hillsboro police photo from the aftermath.

Two police officers and the City of Hillsboro are on course to defend themselves in a jury trial over their choice to Taser a man who they’d stopped for biking illegally beside Tualatin Valley Highway.

The man who was tackled and Tasered in the 2012 incident, Jermaine Robinson, had been riding after dark without a front light on his bike, and the officer who stopped him says Robinson had been crossing the Southeast 13th Avenue crosswalk against a “don’t walk” light.

After the officer, William Blood, pulled his car over to confront Robinson, Robinson refused to give his name and (according to Blood, but not Robinson) seemed to be preparing to pedal away. Blood’s colleague Brian Wilber then shot him with a Taser twice.


5 takeaways from Portland Auditor’s report on red light camera program

Posted on July 22nd, 2015 at 11:30 am.

Locations of red light cameras in Portland.
(Image from Audit Services Division)


Traffic enforcement action uncovers rampant law-breaking on SE Powell

Posted on June 3rd, 2015 at 1:35 pm.

Powell protest ride-50.jpg
Police wrote up 60 violations in less than four hours at this location last week.
(Photo J. Maus/BikePortland)

Illegal and dangerous behaviors are rampant on the streets of Portland. Most of us who use the streets are keenly aware of this, but every time the Bureau of Transportation does a crosswalk enforcement action we see the problem even more clearly.


City preps to cut speed limit on four mid-sized streets

Posted on February 4th, 2015 at 4:57 pm.

First look at NE Multnomah project-4
(Photo by J. Maus/BikePortland)

The Portland Bureau of Transportation is ordering slower traffic speeds on four streets, three of which have recently been redesigned to be more neighborhood-friendly.

The four are Southwest Vermont Street from Capitol Highway to SW 45th near Gabriel Park, which will go from 35 to 30 mph; SW Multnomah Boulevard from Interstate 5 to SW 31st, going from 45 to 35 mph; NE Glisan Street from 27th to 79th, going from 35 to 30 mph; and NE/SE 47th Avenue from NE Tillamook to SE Oak, going from 30 to 25 mph.

All four streets have bike lanes for some or all of those segments.


Entering 10th year, PBOT ‘crosswalk enforcement actions’ still going strong

Posted on January 28th, 2015 at 11:01 am.

Crosswalk enforcement action NE Killingsworth-2
The warnings don’t seem to stop folks from breaking the law.
(Photo: J. Maus/BikePortland)

While everyone likes to argue about which type of roads users break more laws — and we are currently being forced to have the tired debate all over again thanks to a well-intentioned but misguided legislative concept — the Portland Bureau of Transportation is doing their part to address the issue.

PBOT’s Crosswalk Enforcement Action program has been going strong since 2005. We checked in on one back in September and have reported on them many times over the years. The idea is simple: Place a human decoy (sometimes a notable politician but more often PBOT safety staffer Sharon White) in a crosswalk and wait for people to break the law while a phalanx of Portland Police motorcycle officers wait in the wings, armed with radar guns and quick twists of the throttle to chase people down.

The efforts are usually quite fruitful and they offer us a small window into the rampant disregard many road users have for the law.


‘Bicycling community’ work noted at swearing-in for new Portland police chief

Posted on January 8th, 2015 at 2:34 pm.

Chief O'Dea and Asst Chief Modica
Chief O’Dea (L) and his new Asst. Chief
Kevin Modica at the swearing-in
ceremony today.
(Photos J. Maus/BikePortland)

Portland’s new police chief took the oath of office in the 2nd floor auditorium of the Portland Building this morning. Larry O’Dea was sworn-in along with over a dozen other officers who also made their promotions official at today’s ceremony.

I was there mostly because I figured it’d be a rare chance to see many of the officers I’ve gotten to know over the years all in one place. I also wanted to snap photos of Chief O’Dea (and others) in case we need them for future stories.

And admittedly, I haven’t been as excited for a police chief since I moved to Portland 11 years ago (and it’s so encouraging to have a peaceful and productive transition given the scandal and controversy surrounding our last two chiefs).


‘Bait bikes’ deployed at Reed College lead to arrest

Posted on January 6th, 2015 at 1:58 pm.

Bait bitten then busted.
(Photo: Reed College Community Safety)

Putting out “bait bikes” to lure bike thieves is a very popular idea. For some, the idea of setting a trap and then waiting for an unsuspecting thief to fall into it, gets the vengeful heart pumping. While the idea comes up almost every time we report about enforcement of bike theft, to our knowledge there has never been an organized bait bike program in Portland.

Until now.


Police search suspected Springwater chop shop, find stolen frame (video)

Posted on January 2nd, 2015 at 9:31 am.

PPB officers on the scene.
(Photo: Guthrie Straw)

The Portland Police Bureau swung into action after hearing about a suspected bicycle chop shop on the Springwater earlier this week.

On Tuesday we highlighted an encampment just south of the Ross Island Bridge that was overflowing with bike parts and frames. The person who sent us photos for our story suspected that the parts and frames were stolen. After hearing about the encampment a day later, Portland Police Bureau Officer Dave Sanders and his partner Officer Bryant went to take a closer look.