View Full Version : I was harassed by a cyclist named James this morning.

05-10-2006, 07:20 PM
I was commuting to work. I turned on sixth street by the Amtrak station and this man came riding up beside me. He put out his hand for me to shake and said, "Hi, my name is James. What's yours?" I was a little weirded out because that is not normal for the bike community in Portland. This isn't New York City, you don't introduce yourself like that. I hesitantly put out my hand and told him my name.

"That's a pretty nice bike. How many speeds is it?"


"Where are you going?"

"To work."

"How fast do you normally ride?"

"Not that fast, I'm just going to work."

"Where are you going?"

By then I was really weirded out. I looked up at him, then down at the street. He had pushed me so close to the sidewalk I could have pedalled onto the curb. The bridge was coming up, there was a ramp onto the sidewalk. I turned onto the ramp and onto the sidewalk (I didn't want to be caught under the bridge with this guy). He turned his bike right in front of mine so I couldn't continue straight. I got off of my bike and stood behind it. By now I was really freaked out.

"Hi, my name is James. What's yours?

Again, I hesitantly put out my hand and said, "Erica." Firm grip. Too firm.


"I don't know," I said (totally scared at this point). He was standing so close. I bet he was on Meth. He grabbed my right forearm firmly.


"Sir, I don't know you. I don't know."


"Sir. I don't know you."

"My name is James. What's yours?" (His eyes were as big as a deers by now.)



"I don't know you, I'm sorry."

"OKAY. My name is James. What's yours?"

"Erica." This time his handshake was so strong. I took my backpack off slowly and grabbed my phone out of my bag. I started to dial 911.


Then he rides off. I talk to the dispatcher, they say a police officer will be there shortly. I started bawling. A nice man named Peter came and stood with me for a while. I was still hesitant to talk. The cops never showed. I ended up talking to an officer over the phone to make the report at almost five p.m. The incident happened a little after seven a.m.

This has urged me to start partner rides with other females at my work as well as making sure we all attend a self-defence class.

This world is full of crazy people. I just never want to go through that again. And I never want another female that I know to go through that. It would have been much different if it was night time and I went under that bridge for sure.

Please be careful out there.

Description: White male, mid to late 30's, 6'2"-ish, light brown hair, "chiseled" facial structure, older looking blue road bike with a rack on the back, blue milk carton on the front, wearing a hoodie or a baggy sweatshirt and slightly baggy pants. Name is "James."

If this post is in the wrong location, feel free to move it. Thanks.

05-12-2006, 07:29 AM

I'm very sorry to hear about this harassment. I hope that you find a way to feel safe while biking.

Then he rides off. I talk to the dispatcher, they say a police officer will be there shortly. I started bawling. A nice man named Peter came and stood with me for a while. I was still hesitant to talk. The cops never showed. I ended up talking to an officer over the phone to make the report at almost five p.m. The incident happened a little after seven a.m.

The fact that the police never came is particularly offensive in light of this thread:

There were 7 or 8 police officers ticketing cyclists on the bike path on Salmon in the south east. I was sure they could have found something better to do, and this is a prime example.

05-25-2006, 09:07 PM
I am really sorry to hear that. That is way too bad, however it could have just as easily happened while walking, or getting out of a car in the parking garage. I hope you do not shy away from riding to work.
However as a woman, and more likely to be picked up on by "creeps" such as James, I would recommend buying some pepper spray and placing it somewhere easily accessible on your bike. This way you can still protect yourself, and not be too worried about cracked out creeps that go by James.

Jonathan Maus
05-25-2006, 10:04 PM

I just want to thank your for sharing this experience here in the forum. I hope you are doing well.


05-26-2006, 09:58 PM
. . .that is not normal for the bike community in Portland. This isn't New York City, you don't introduce yourself like that.

Erica, I don't want to downplay your overall point of watching-out who you ride with at all.

However, I must comment on this sentence. Maybe it is a west-side thing, but I have conversations with riders all of the time. I do think that we on the west-side do tend to have chats with other riders, because we have to chug uphill over Sylvan to downtown.

Granted most coversations start with "where are you starting from?" I have met many good people on my 10 mile route.

That being said, I don't think this is the same as your post. Your intuition was telling you not to trust this guy, you listened, and were right. Nice job.


05-31-2006, 10:38 AM
I think I know this guy "James". He is TOTALLY INSANE and scary.

I was once biking quite slowly up Ankeny after crossing Sandy/7th. I was actually biking comically slowly, and saw him out of the corner of my eye as he rode up. He was grinning, and then hopped off his bike and started jogging with it alongside me, poking fun at how slowly I was going, which I found funny too, until his good humor morphed into scary weird anger and he started yelling at me to pick up the pace.

Then when we got to 12th, he walked out into heavy traffic, causing people to screech to a stop and honk, and yelled at me to cross. I stubbornly refused, while drivers got angrier, thinking he and I were together, and he started to really lose his cool. The stand-off probably lasted 30 long seconds. I finally turned and biked south on the sidewalk about 50 ft, and then turned and biked north again on 12th and he was gone by the time I got back.

It was very, very strange. He is riding that line between manic-happy and manic-scary. I have not seen him since. When I do, I will make an effort to find out his last name and then I will bike away like the wind to avoid being dumped in the river.

05-31-2006, 08:16 PM
My husband alerted me to this posting and I had to write. This sounds like the guy I encountered in March. I passed a biker who I presumed might be homeless ( he had a lot of gear on the back of his bike and the front handlebars were covered with a blue tarp), however his bike seemed to be in good shape. I was on the Eastbank Esplanade by the Hawthorne bridge when I passed him. After riding up the incline past the floating sections, he cut me off. I let him ride past me and didn't respond to his bad etiquette.

After crossing the Steele and passing him again, I took a right onto Front.
As I was riding he appeared out of nowhere and placed his hand on the small of my back which shocked me. He kept telling me to go faster. At first it seemed sorta friendly in a creepy way, but then he kept pushing me and ordering me to go faster. "Can't you go faster, huh? huh?" "Keep pedaling!". I got completely creeped out and asked him to give me a break, I was just commuting. I then sped up and he didn't follow me. I was pretty shaken up from the incident. It's alarming to hear this guy seems to target women.

06-01-2006, 08:45 AM
Yes! That's what he was yelling at me! "Keep pedalling! Pedal faster! Can't you go faster you BITCH???!!!" in the craziest full-throated manic yell I've ever heard.

OK. How are we going to find this guy?

06-01-2006, 11:21 AM
I am very very sad to see that he has done this to other women. I do not know the legalities of "getting him in trouble" for this but he really needs help. I hope that something is able to be done. Please call 911 if you see him, which is about the only thing I can think of.

John Q Public
06-02-2006, 01:11 PM
Erica- Sorry to hear about this confrontation. I'm glad that you are ok.

Just a note - from your description as well as the descriptions of the other women that were harassed by this guy, it sounds like he is quite possibly (clinically) crazy.

Perhaps as a community, we could do something constructive to help get this guy to stop, before someone gets hurt?

06-04-2006, 10:30 PM
The police should be charged with dereliction of duty, criminal negligence and fraudulent use of taxpayer dollars for wasting their time and our taxpayer dollars giving tickets to cyclists for running stop signs/lights and not responding to a woman who needed help and had called 911.

If I were the mayor HEADS WOULD ROLL!

What a useless bunch of doughnut eaters the cops are! Arm yourselves (obey all laws or they'll lock you up and throw away the key because you had the audacity to defend yourself). Bear spray, concealed weapons permits, whatever it takes: the cops are obviously useless.

Is there a lawyer that will file charges against the police for this? Or are we as citizens just supposed to look the other way and take it?

Remember, the cops arrive AFTER the crime is committed. They take photos, file reports, interview witnesses if any, and then they go eat doughnuts. Unless they're too busy giving bicycle riders tickets! Look out for yourselves.

06-08-2006, 08:35 PM
Too wierd. If anyone encounters this guy don't engage him in conversation, don't look at him, look mean and ride very fast out of his way even if it takes you out of your way. That's what I would do. These parasites live off people's fear, so don't give them that. He sounds like a real mental case.

dingo dizmal
06-19-2006, 11:37 AM
Late last year I was testing a newly built bike by myself in the middle of the night when I came across a very drunk restraunt owner on Alberta street.
I had been at a clown gig so I still was made up in clown drag.
He thought it would be really funny to pull me off my bike, grab my crotch and butt and generally treat me like I'm afraid he must always treat his foreign employees.
He had always been cool with me in the past, a little annoying but not a jerk.
I grabbed my bike and rode off with him yelling down the street at me about being afraid of him.
The part he didn't know is that I had a screwdriver in my pocket and that I spent my childhood and teen years in the bottom of south Texas (Padre Island, Corpus Christi) a VERY violent place to grow up, I was gladiator fighting for keeps at a young age and then spent 10 years on the road with circuses and carnivals.
I could have taken my screwdriver and gutted him without ever getting angry or losing my temper.
I thought about prison and my family and so spared his life.
I sent him a photo copied note detailing his brush with death and then wrote that if he ever tried to talk to me again I would start pointing and yelling "Sex Offender"! in front of his customors, I haven't seen him since.
I hear he looked at the security tape and said "That wasn't that bad".
My point is, it's not against the law to carry tools on your bike or person, for "James" I would suggest a hammer or flat edged screwdriver but you will go to jail if you kill him so remember, don't pop a perp in the vitals and always keep your cool, .
Glad you made it out safe. Good job deciding not to bring the fight under the bridge.

06-21-2006, 01:22 AM
I am a Portland Police Officer and after reading this topic I realize that I may have had contact with James a couple of months ago while on bicycle patrol on the EB esplanade. My partner and I had a complaint about a guy bugging other cyclists and pedestrians and were able to find and arrest him for the crime of harassment. We had no idea if he had a long history of this, as the details of former arrests are not available to us on the street, and we know nothing about incidents that are not reported. The man I arrested was definitely a little mentally ill. I will attempt to go back through my notebooks and reports to see if the guy I'm thinking of was named James or not and try to notify his probation officer, if he has one, that he is possibly doing this all the time. "Harassment" is a class B misdemeanor and contrary to what we generally think of as harassment (someone verbally harassing you), the crime of Harassment generally requires something called "offensive physical contact" which is basically any kind of physical touching that you don't want. Putting his hand in the middle of your back and pushing while you are riding would definitely count.

Though "eddie" in a previous post seems to imagine that he knows everything about how the police work, he is wrong in that the agency that receives and prioritizes emergence calls is not the Portland Police. The agency is a county agency called the Bureau of Emergency Communications (BOEC). They are an understaffed agency of 911 call-takers and dispatchers who are incredible multi-taskers doing their best. The police simply go where they tell us we are needed. Though definitely a terrifying event for Erica, we do not know if the day that James was scaring her there weren't even more serious crimes going on, occupying all the available officers. This does happen sometimes, which flies in the face of our expectation that the police will be there any time we need them. This is simply a matter of money. We have fewer officers today than we did ten years ago but a much larger population.

If James touches you please contact the police and make a report so we can attempt to find and arrest him. Of course this will not immediately solve our or his problem, as there are mentally ill people all over town who don't get the treatment they need because the county is broke, as well as criminals who aren't incarcerated. But the more police contact that James has, the easier it will be to document the fact that he is a danger to society and should be a priority to receive county resources of some sort.

And just to stand up for me and my profession, indeed there are some lousy cops who give all of us bad names, but I was pleasantly surprised when I started this job four years ago to find that 95% of officers are good people doing their best in a challenging job. I'm on a bicycle nine hours a day and have never had a donut on the job, ever. If you have a bad experience with a particular officer that's one thing, but please don't generalize about all of us.

06-22-2006, 09:54 PM
I did some digging and I am 90% sure I've figured out exactly who James is. If anyone has another run-in with him, please first call 911 and give us a another chance to help you be safe and for us to find him at the time. If he is gone before the police arrive, please make a full report to the responding officer, including description of him and his bicycle, and what he said and did, just like Erika did so perfectly to begin this topic. Also tell your responding officer that Officer Pickett at Southeast Precinct has a likely ID of the suspect. You could also call and leave a message for me at Southeast Precinct--503-823-2143.

While unfortunately being super creepy and intimidating usually isn't a crime, it doesn't mean that you shouldn't call the police. And touching you in any way that makes you feel uncomfortable is a crime. At the very least we need to get James on the radar as someone who is scaring a lot of morning commuters and needs to be dealt with somehow, and we need some more official reports to get that ball rolling!

06-23-2006, 07:37 AM
Officer Pickett, I called your precinct and left my name and number with the receptionist. Please give me a call if you need any more information and a positive ID on the guy if need be. Thank you so much, I really appreciate it.

06-23-2006, 08:19 AM
Thanks so much PoPo! After having a fairly negative experience with the police last night, it's nice to wake up and see you on the ball like this.


06-23-2006, 09:16 AM
Thanks PoPo. While there's bad apples in every bunch, thanks for being a stand up person first. That translates into the work you do for us.

06-24-2006, 12:15 AM
PoPo says: "Though "eddie" in a previous post seems to imagine that he knows everything about how the police work, he is wrong in that the agency that receives and prioritizes emergence calls is not the Portland Police. The agency is a county agency called the Bureau of Emergency Communications (BOEC). They are an understaffed agency of 911 call-takers and dispatchers who are incredible multi-taskers doing their best. The police simply go where they tell us we are needed."

PoPo, please clarify for us: did the BOEC tell the Police to go waste valuable police time doing stop light "stings"? That waste of taxpayer dollars and police resources resulted in this previous post about Erica calling 911 and getting no response:

"The fact that the police never came is particularly offensive in light of this thread:

There were 7 or 8 police officers ticketing cyclists on the bike path on Salmon in the south east. I was sure they could have found something better to do, and this is a prime example."

I call it negligence and fraudulent use of taxpayer dollars by the police department, whoever told them to do it.

06-25-2006, 08:27 AM
eddie, enough with the knee-jerk cop-bashing. Belligerence isn't sexy and it really doesn't influence debate in any but the most negative ways.

PoPo, thanks for the information. A co-worker had an incident last week with a gentleman who sounds quite like "James", and after reading these other posts I intend to keep both eyes out for this guy. I work near OMSI and the Springwater, so chances are rather high that he uses that route on occasion. (Of course, at that corner we get to see all sorts of shenanigans.)

06-25-2006, 05:22 PM
Working with Erica to try to see if we can link my James to her James.

Thanks, Robcat, and everyone, for keeping an eye out for him, and please ask if your co-worker would leave a message for me at SE precinct so I can call about his/her incident--503-823-2143--Pickett. Thanks!

06-27-2006, 07:38 PM
I just spoke with Officer Pickett. I urge any females that have had a similar experience to contact him. If you know a female that has had an incident even reminiscent of him, pass that contact info along.

07-11-2006, 10:28 AM
Thank you so much for looking into this. I was actually returning to this thread right now because I have, since posting here, met two MORE people who have had scary interactions with James, and I was hoping to get them to post and then to print the whole thing out and call the Police Dept. to see what we can do next.
I will get them to post, just so the info is there, and then pass around the phone number and details that you provided.

07-11-2006, 04:34 PM
Michelle, please call Officer Pickett at the phone number listed in his post. And pass it along to the other girls as well. It is VERY important to.

07-11-2006, 10:48 PM
Sounds good Michelle,

Once again, the number at SE Precinct is 503-823-2143. Please have your friends call and leave their contact information for me (Ofc. Pickett). You should call too! I'm particularly interested in getting Jo's account of the Steele Bridge incident, but haven't heard from her yet. I'm hoping to get as many people as possible to identify him from mugshots, document their interaction with him, and then bring the whole shebang to a deputy district attorney and discuss what we can do.

Printing this forum is a good idea (and I've already done it just for background information), but we need named complainants to go anywhere with it.

Very cool to be working together on this via the web!


Jonathan Maus
08-05-2006, 09:50 AM
I spoke with Officer Pickett yesterday and he was happy to say how thankful he was for all the people from this forum that contacted him about their experiences with James. He is working with the City Attorney to put together enough charges to keep James in custody (either incarcerated or find him some counseling/therapy).

I hope to post a final update on this case in the next few weeks.

08-05-2006, 04:31 PM
This is fascinating - I don't believe I've ever heard of someone being tracked down by the police on an internet forum. Good work by all involved, for some strange reason it restores a bit of my faith in humanity.

This James guy sounds like a nut job and should probably be off the streets but it's nice to see people aren't treating him like some boogy-man. He's just a messed up dude that could probably use a lot of help - that doesn't make him any less creepy - but at least people aren't calling for his head!

If these reasonable and rational behaviors continue in Portland...maybe there is hope for us after all?

also - would it be possible to post this guys picture? Sure would help the average citizen in avoiding/tracking this guy down.

Jonathan Maus
08-09-2006, 06:54 PM
The Willy Week noticed this story and did some good reporting on it.

Check it out (http://wweek.com/editorial/3240/7872).

08-09-2006, 11:12 PM
The Willy Week noticed this story and did some good reporting on it.

Check it out (http://wweek.com/editorial/3240/7872).

That reporter was awful to work with... I hope other witnesses didn't have the same experience.

08-10-2006, 01:25 PM
I saw on KGW.com that the Portland Police have arrested James the cyclist... sounds like your James is off the street for now!

I'm always amazed at the power of the internet and forums in particular as a tool for social change. :) And it makes me glad to be a part of the bicycling community!


08-10-2006, 04:16 PM
also - would it be possible to post this guys picture? Sure would help the average citizen in avoiding/tracking this guy down.They don't want to post his picture, because they're still hoping to have other women who have been accosted by this guy identify him by his mugshot, and if they post his picture, it will prevent any other women from being able to step forward and do that. They want as many women as possible who have been accosted by him to testify against this guy.

Jonathan Maus
08-10-2006, 10:52 PM
I saw on KGW.com that the Portland Police have arrested James the cyclist... sounds like your James is off the street for now!

He is not off the streets. I was in a ride-along with the Portland Police tonight and we responded to a call of him being at River City Bicycles. Sure enough he was there.

The cops said no one has signed a formal complaint and they aren't able to hold him on anything at this point.

08-11-2006, 08:02 AM
I'd really like to know what I need to do to get him off the streets and into a place for help.

08-11-2006, 08:38 AM
Erica, "PoPo" has made himself avalible to you as a law enforcement officer....his number is listed in a previous post. Give him a call and help him out with the case he is putting together.

08-11-2006, 08:41 AM
Erica, "PoPo" has made himself avalible to you as a law enforcement officer....his number is listed in a previous post. Give him a call and help him out with the case he is putting together.

Yes, I know. The process is so slow that it just gets you a little frustrated. I have been in contact with him throughout this whole thing.

08-11-2006, 12:20 PM
Well, I guess thats just the way the system works. I feel your pain though.

08-11-2006, 02:12 PM
I live across the street from James' mother and have witnessed his deteriorating mental condition over the past 20 years. I want to inform Erica that part of getting James off the streets and into treatment, is to appear as a witness in any judicial proceeding concerning him, which I did yesterday (Aug. 10) at a civil commitment hearing. Unfortunately, I was one of only three witnesses (the others were his mother and Officer Pickett), and it didn't amount to enough evidence to hold him. He was NOT committed (as his family would like him to be) and he walked out of the County Court House completely free. It is going to take a lot of witnesses coming forward to get him off the streets. He needs treatment. A witness--even Officer Pickett--cannot testify about anything that he/she did not personally, directly witness. Therefore, NONE of these postings, made it into the record. Nor did the Willamette Week story, nor the KGW story. They were not even mentioned because they were not admissible in court. During the second week that James was in custody at a hospital, he agreed to take his meds, so that he appeared much calmer than usual (he was aggressive and belligerent in his first appearance when he got a postponement). Yesterday, he was able to say the right things to be released with NO SUPERVISION. When he left the court, he had a three day supply of his medication, and promised to get more. However, he has a long history of going off his meds.

It will take a whole village to get him into treatment. An opportunity was wasted. The police do not even communicate among themselves. Office Pickett did not know until Aug. 9, when he was subpoenaed to testify, that James had been on a court hold in a local hospital since July 27. Therefore, due to lack of time, he could not notify other potential witnesses. The system is broken.

By the way, I am not a bicyclist, but James drove his bike through a stop sign on July 27, right in front of my car on NE 24th Street. It is only because I was driving slower than the speed limit that I didn't hit him. His ensuing behavior was very similar to what the other postings describe: irrational, hostile, loud, and aggressive, with threats to damage my car with a piece of metal. He threatened other cars and passersby, as well. (None of these witnesses were called to the hearing. I do not know why they were not called or notified.) I can only imagine how threatened those of you who were on bikes felt. Please contact Officer Pickett if you have had any such experience with James. He is really working hard to get James off the streets.

08-16-2006, 10:08 PM
There is a new article in the WWeek. It is more about James as a person and less as a bike "menace". Also, more complications in the case.


How is it that we can help? James scared me, harassed me, has harassed other women. I want him to get help, I just don't know how.

08-17-2006, 11:02 PM
This was recently posted:

August 17th, 2006 10:23

erica, my impression has been that you want to help him. the health care system is hard for people who have everything going for them, so i can certainly understand how he’d miss a payment (they don’t have automatic debit!).

i called ohp, and apparently random folks can send in payments on other people’s accounts. they’d like to have his i.d. number, but barring that, they said his full name (james heidtbrink) would probably work.

the address to mail checks is:
PO Box 3949
Portland, OR 97208-3949

i’m gonna send in $36 in the hopes that it pays off what he owes and gets him set for a few months. i’ll let everyone know what happens.

Please help out if you can. I know I will.

08-19-2006, 09:54 AM
If you don't have the OHP ID, it really helps to have the recipient's date of birth. Perhaps it would be possible for Caroline to obtain it and pass it along privately?

This is a little off-topic, but I work in a community mental health clinic and everyday I see people who lose their OHP because they can't pay their $6 monthly premium. Sometimes there are alternative funding sources for their mental health or drug treatment, but not always. I've often thought it would be nice if we were able to direct a portion of our state tax refund and/or kicker to a fund that could be drawn upon when an OHP recipient can't afford to pay that $6 premium once in a while. There are enough of us who really understand the effects of certain people losing their OHP that I imagine it could be adequately funded.

08-31-2006, 06:13 PM
I personally love the idea of helping with James' healthcare premium. Thanks for proposing a possible solution to this issue that we can all help with!

08-31-2006, 06:31 PM
With the cooperation of witnesses from this website and other members of the Portland bicycling community, the District Attorney's office was able to charge James Heidtbrink with multiple counts of Disorderly Conduct and Harassment. He has simply been charged, not convicted.

A judge subsequently issued an arrest warrant for Mr. Heidtbrink for Fail To Appear on these charges.

As of 7pm on 08/31/06 the arrest warrant was still active, which means he hadn't turned himself in yet and hadn't been found by police.

If you happen to see Mr. James Heidtbrink within the next couple of weeks, please call police so they can take him into custody. The non-emergency number is 503-823-3333. Please take no actions other than that.

Thanks for everyone's help.

09-01-2006, 08:34 AM
In May Erica posted a notice stating that there was a guy named James who wanted to hold hands with her, well it seems that the guy she described is back:
White male, mid to late 30's, 6'2"-ish, light brown hair, "chiseled" facial structure, older looking blue road bike with a rack on the back, blue milk carton on the front, wearing a hoodie or a baggy sweatshirt and slightly baggy pants

Except I don't recall he had the blue milk carton on the back of his bike. Anyways, he was at SW 1st and Clay (he followed me for two blocks) and is now taking photos of women, especially their chests and behinds and yelling sexual obscenities at them. Please be careful, he has an expensive looking camera around his neck, likes to ride on the sidewalk rather than the street, and has an accent. The description above pretty much describes this guy....

Be careful out there....

09-01-2006, 09:07 AM
So did you call the police and let them know where you saw him?

09-01-2006, 11:38 AM
Mr. Heidtbrink was taken into custody by police last night (08/31/06). He no longer has an outstanding arrest warrant. Thanks for your help.

09-01-2006, 01:24 PM
Whatever happens with James' arrest, I hope he gets the health care he needs.

The Oregon Health Plan says James no longer has an account and can't get one because OHP has run out of money. Anyone who sent a check: you're awesome, but it probably won't go through.

I wrote up a letter to send our state legislators to urge them to fully fund OHP and fix it so people don't end up in James' position, but it didn't post on BikePortland.

When I'm at home and have access to it, I'll post my letter here for people to use, but for now, here's how to find your state legislator:

And here's the form to do it:

If you write a good letter, it might be good to post it, so other people can use it themselves.

09-02-2006, 07:13 AM
James is actually somewhat insane. He was recently the the subject of a WW article. During his last court appearence he promised the judge he would resume taking his medication, I had the "pleasure" to meet him at work about a week ago, he is "out there" and shouldn't be allowed in public alone. He needs to be placed in an institute, at the least placed under supervision.

09-03-2006, 02:09 PM
If the health insurance is no longer a viable option, I can pay for a few months of his meds.
I believe that a request for free meds from some drug companies can be made on his behalf.
If need be, I can also start a web site on his behalf as well.

09-03-2006, 05:17 PM
If need be, I can also start a web site on his behalf as well.

Wow, that's a tall order.

Before everybody get's the "cart before the horse", it would be important to find out exactly what James' wishes were. And if he is not mentally capable to make those decisions, his legal representative(s).

I would also like to caution about providing too much medical/personal information on an open forum such as this about a person's medical care. All patients are now guaranteed medical privacy protection under a relatively new federal regulation - HIPAA. There were a couple of posts earlier that started to cross that line, IMHO.

Otherwise, it is great to see that there are those who still show compassion toward people who are considered "undesirable" our society in general.

Clear skies.

09-06-2006, 08:00 PM
IMHO, don't use a quote from me to imply or otherwise state that I have violated HIPAA :)

09-06-2006, 08:57 PM
IMHO, don't use a quote from me to imply or otherwise state that I have violated HIPAA :)

Simonfra, I'm sorry that you took my post in that manner. It actually was not directed toward you or your post in any way. I quoted you because I admire your call to arms.

What I was referring to regarding HIPAA itself is that contained within this thread we now have a person's legal name, a status of his health insurance (or lack thereof), and a description of his medical condition and treatment.

I don't know about you, but I wouldn't want that information posted in a public format. I think that the same thing could be accomplished, while still protecting this man's identity.

I'm delighted that we have individuals in our community who are willing to seek out and lend assistance. Hopefully some positive changes will come of all this.

Clear skies.

11-17-2007, 02:48 PM
For those of you who remember this from last year, James pled no contest to three counts of Harassment last Tuesday, the final chapter of an investigation and prosecution process which started in April of 2006.

Our community, via this website, came together to solve a public safety problem affecting bicyclists and pedestrians. The communicative nexus of bikeportland.org allowed police to locate a number of victims of James' behavior, in confrontations that occurred in all four quadrants of our city. The investigation resulted in seven different criminal charges, and Tuesday 's plea agreement resulted in the no contest pleas for three of them.

The judge sentenced James to a minor fine and a year of probation, during which he is required to continue to undergo mental health treatment. If he breaks the terms of his probation, he faces 18 months in jail. One of the victims provided a short statement during the sentencing.

James appeared much better in court than he did last year. He was clean and well-dressed and reasonable and communicative. He has found housing and is no longer living on the street.

Thanks everyone for their efforts on this.

11-17-2007, 06:22 PM
Thanks for the good news - way to go popo!

11-18-2007, 05:58 AM
Thanks, PoPo! I'll relay this good news to my co-worker.

11-18-2007, 09:45 AM
Amazing! Thanks PoPo.

It's nice to know that James is off the street. Let's hope he keeps up with therapy and stays on track!

11-18-2007, 10:35 PM
Good work everybody - this is great news! I hope James troubled times are behind him.

11-23-2007, 10:58 PM
Impressive story...I'm really happy to see how well the whole community worked on this.

Proud of my city!!

11-25-2007, 01:45 PM
This is an interesting story that demonstrates the need for police to be multidisciplinary problem solvers who rely on cooperation from the community.

One of the things we can see from this is that "the bad guy" in this case was partly a creation of neglect by our society for people with mental illnesses.

I would like to suggest that a similar complex of problems lies behind many, many other cases of "bad guys" that cops have to deal with. They are the social workers of last resort in our society all too often.

If we recognize the necessity for cooperation between the police and the public in solving social problems, then we should analyze what are the impediments to it.

We should start out by looking at where this cooperation is most lacking. Given that mutual distrust is strongest between police and poor and working class people, I suggest that the impediments are strongly connected to social class. In many communities police are not perceived as helpful civil servants, but instead as an occupying army.

This problem is tied in with the paramilitary structure of police, the practice of assigning literal military ranks, the emphasis in recent decades on increasing development of paramilitary style programs such as "Special Weapons and Tactics", the proliferation of television shows that glamorize these aspects and project a hypermacho image of police work, etc.

All these things are mutually reinforcing and naturally tend to result in attracting the wrong sort of people to police work, people who get off psychologically on the prospect of dominating others as opposed to humbly and cooperatively working with the community to solve problems. The people who suffer most from this distorted version of police work are the weakest and most vulnerable members of society. They become the prime targets of paramilitarized policing.

Like other professions, police develop professional associations which in their case we call "unions," but which are more like political action groups. They do not merely represent police in collective bargaining units with their employers, but they also intervene in political questions of the utmost sensitivity concerning the role of police in our society and their accountability to our society for their use of force.

Because of the media glamorization of a certain distorted image of police work, they enjoy a special, protected status with a large degree of impunity for their use of force. This is true all the more so to the extent that the targets of police violence are restricted to the least politically powerful members of our society. Since political power and economic class are largely if not exclusively coextensive here, then we can see from whence the class-based problems of police relationships with the community originate.

How do we solve these challenges? In recognition of the reality of police as essentially "social workers of last resort," I would propose that police work be explicitly and fully integrated into the general category of social work, that people with current experience in other vital human services work such as medics, nurses, childcare workers, social services case workers and others be given priority for recruitment, and that police be term-limited on a rotating basis to ensure that gradually all police officers fulfill a minimum requirement of three to five years hands-on experience in such other vital human services fields.

An approach like this would have numerous social benefits, including huge benefits for police themselves in terms of well-roundedness, professional development, and flexibility and adaptability within a constantly changing economy. It would also tend to defuse certain toxic tendencies created by the paramilitarization trends I mentioned, and reduce the sort of siege mentality developed by police themselves when confronted with cries for reform by groups who have suffered disproportionately from instances of police brutality. The tendencies towards impunity, a "thin blue line," militarist mentality in which loyalty to "brother officers" is paramount, and police are perpetually locked into an imagined struggle against society's "barbarians," would all be mitigated by such an approach.

Greg O
03-25-2008, 07:22 PM
I was riding (eastbound) on the multi-use connector path from NE 33rd to Marine Drive on Saturday morning, when a cyclist approaching from the opposite direction slowed, dismounted and stood behind his bike, with his bike blocking as much of the path as possible. This was 100 feet or so ahead of me. I slowed as I approached, and he stood with his arm out, hand up in the "halt" position.

I was apprehensive, slowed even more, and stayed on my bike but stopped in front, thinking it's someone who had a mechanical problem, or perhaps thought he recognized me. I'm standing there, and we're looking at each other, and it's clear we do not know each other. He extends his hand as if to shake, and bellows out "JAMES !" I reach out, shake his hand, and say, "no, not me..." He bellows "JAMES !" again, and I quickly decide it's time to leave. I say, "I don't know you, and I'm not James", and I pedal around him and his bike as he turns on me yelling, "JAMES IS MY NAME, STUPID..... WHAT"S MY NAME!!"

By this point I can hear him yelling, but I'm headed off to the East at a good clip, looking around to see if he's following. He's a good sized guy, 6' or more, pretty burly on an older white Trek with blue tape or paint on parts of it, and a rear rack with a big bag strapped on. He was quite intimidating. I recall seeing a similar incident posted here a while back, so I searched and found this thread. This may be the same James. Did anyone else encounter this fellow in the Marine Drive area on Saturday?

03-25-2008, 09:22 PM
You should contact the police.

This guy was finally brought to court. His mother wanted him there so she could force him onto medication.

Sounds a lot like him. I've met him. He can be an intimidating guy.

03-26-2008, 08:12 AM
It seems pretty clear to me that James has a major mental illness. These people are rarely actually dangerous, but that's easy to say when he's not blocking the trail in front of you. And since we as a nation have decided to end our treatment of mental illness for those who cannot afford it, getting the guy into the "justice" system may be the best option ... or they may kill him, like they did with James Chasse.

03-26-2008, 09:58 PM
How weird, This guy (i found his pic in the willy week editorial) was at city bikes on 18th and ankeny yesterday and was creepin folks the hell out!! he kept grabbin peoples bikes and asking weird questions, kept spiniing my cranks when i had my bike on the stand, withg a fix gear that dangerous.just acting odd. really bugging girls with "how man y gears is that " grabbing their bikes n shit etc...

Funny thing is i thought he was a tweaker and the ONLY reason I didn't smack him upside the head cuz my GF was right there, I have no patience with tweakers...arrrrh they make me soo mad!!!

james chasse was a bummer but thats one dude out of 1000's of wacko's they gotta deal with every day. I am amazed theres not MORE dead, they got less cops to deal with more people more guns and more dope. i sure wouldnt want that job. gimme slangin booze any day.

03-26-2008, 11:58 PM
I've never personally run across this James fellow, but I have read a lot of the stories and comments about him here on the weblog. I don't remember a lot of the details, so I won't say much right now, except that other people have been very intimidated by his behavior and concerned about situations it might develop into.

I wonder if the people at City Bikes know him and what their impression of him is. Sometimes places like that encounter a lot of people in his condition. They know their quirks and how to deal with them. If City Bikes staff does know him, I wonder why they didn't tell him to behave himself. That may have been all they needed to do to keep him from freaking out the customers.

It sounds like this guy is on his own a lot. That's probably not a good idea at all.

10-26-2009, 06:07 PM
There is yet another court case being brought against James. Hopefully this time something will "stick" and work out in the favor of everyone bothered by him.

I had no idea people were still posting in this thread. First time I have looked in years. Too unfortunate.

10-26-2009, 09:42 PM
Erica...anymore details? Or, is this something we'll be reading about in the paper?

It's very sad that there are so many people out there with mental disabilities they aren't prepared to deal with adequately on their own, and for one reason or another, lack the ability or opportunity to get the care they need. Whatever this person James true intentions might be, if he's out wandering around with the result of scaring and terrorizing people, that's not likely help the public perception of people with mental challenges.

12-06-2009, 05:49 PM
My apologies for not responding sooner.

Tomorrow morning the case is being heard against James Heidtbrink for assault in the fourth degree. This case, from what I understand, has something to do with James harassing two people on a bridge. I do not know much about the case, nor the people involved. I was only asked to be a witness and state what happened to me.

I doubt this will be newsworthy; the shock and awe of this case faded years ago, although I am sure it's in the back of many peoples' minds. I just hope he gets the help he needs. We will see.

09-27-2011, 02:32 PM
Portland Women's Strength offers free self-defense classes for women. Super great organization.