Urban Tribe - Ride with your kids in front.

Cyclist mugged on the waterfront?

Posted by on August 29th, 2006 at 8:48 pm

I just noticed this post in the Forums. It’s about a pre-meditated bike crash scam on the waterfront.

“A co-worker of mine got mugged while bicycling home!! He was riding along the waterfront and was boxed in by another rider and forced into an accident. They crashed pretty hard and he tore up his shin. The rider who blocked my co-worker’s path and caused the accident claimed that his rear wheel was damaged. Immediately the incident was swarmed upon by several homeless youth who took sides with the perpetrator of the crash and threatened my friend with bodily harm. They insisted that restitution be made immediately. My co-worker gave the perp his rear wheel/tire and quickly left.”

According to the post, this happened on Friday August 25th at around 7:30 PM between the Burnside and Steel Bridges.

Has anyone else fallen victim to a similar attack? If so, you should notify Portland Police Central Precinct at (503) 823-0097.

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

  • Randy August 29, 2006 at 9:18 pm

    The kids on the waterfront are pushing their luck with this one…

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  • SKiDmark August 29, 2006 at 9:56 pm

    I was wondering if this ever happened.

    Looks like I’ll be keeping my chainlock in my front pocket……

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  • Dr. Mark Ross August 29, 2006 at 10:35 pm

    I ride the waterfront a half a dozen times a week at various hours and while I’m usually skeptical of stories like this (there are usually untold “other sides” to these stories) but I can just picture that kind of thing happening . . . between keeping an eye on potential threats and dodging rats it makes for a bit hazardous area sometimes.

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  • lianagan August 31, 2006 at 1:25 am

    Is there a description of the perpetrator?

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  • David Rowe August 31, 2006 at 9:22 pm

    This is a pretty serious accusation to make. I hope that the author is being truthful. I am sure that all of us who ride the east side on the way to the Steel every day were thinking about his post today. I was, on the way into work, and on the way home.

    The one thing that seems most suspicious to me about this story is the location where this mugging is purported to have occured. The stretch of pavement between the Steel and the Morrison bridges is very narrow, and bounded on both sides (the river to the West, and the Freeway to the North). Anybody laying in wait for their victim would have a difficult time hiding, and a more difficult time fleeing the scene.

    It seems to me that there are locations elsewhere on the trail that would be more likely locations for an ambush. (I am not going to name them, because I don’t want to give any muggers who might be lurking ideas for their next attack, should this be a real threat.)

    Another thing that makes this seem like the stuff that urban legends are made of is this: the Portland Polic have a verbal deal with the street people, and that is, they give them a lot of leeway as long as they leave the citizenry alone. Jumping a cyclist would be considered a serious violation of their moral agreement.

    I guess the last piece that seems questionable to me is this: why go to the trouble to crash a cyclist, surround him with a gang of thugs, and then take only his rear wheel? Why not go for his wallet, or the bike?

    I am not saying that this did not occur; but I think it would be great, Jonathan, if it could be verified by the police before we take it as “Truth.”

    One has to admit there has been a change in the air this summer towards cyclists. Between the ice thrown underneath the ZooBombers, the road rage on Skyline, the Jammin 95 fiasco … there are plenty of folks out there who don’t like our klan who also know of this site, and may see it as a place to terrorize us with tales of muggings leg by gangs of urchins living underneath bridges in the city.

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  • BLDZR September 1, 2006 at 9:50 am

    be careful with yr spelling, man. I don’t know about you, but I ain’t part of no fucking “klan”

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  • Cecil September 1, 2006 at 12:45 pm

    David, where did you see that this occurred on the east side of the river? I interpreted it to mean the section on the west side where the street kids hang out. I ride that section every day, and more than a few times a street kid on a bike has darted into my path -I always assumed it was just lack of attention (and will continue to assume so, because I have never been or felt threatened by them). I am wondering if it is possible that what happened in this case began as such a negligent act and then escalated. I hesitate to jump to the conclusion that we are all in danger of being mugged, but I do know that navigating through the crowds (kids, tourists, other bikers) on that stretch, esp. between 5-6 PM, can be pretty tricky and perhaps tempers can sometimes flare . .

    and I am assuming that “klan” was simply a misspelling . . . I hope 🙂

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  • David Rowe September 1, 2006 at 7:30 pm


    Thanks for weiging in. That I placed the incidenton the east side may have been a faulty assumption on my part, because I see the street kids on the east side underneath the bridges, skating across the bike path. Rereading it I cannot see where it referenced either east or west of the river.

    I hear what you say about the West side path. It has become so crowded after work that I try to avoid it, especially when the city has so many out of town ‘guests’ … Too many close calls lately. And frankly, to much hostility toward cyclists.

    And, of course, it was a mistake when I mispelled clan with a “k.” Certainly didn’t mean to offend.

    Keep the pedals turnin’ –


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