Details emerge from NoPo cyclist attack

Posted by on January 19th, 2007 at 3:28 pm

Since I realize some folks don’t always follow all the comments on every post, I thought I’d feature this one just left by Megan, who I assume to be a close friend of Ashley Gorman and Heather Moles, the cyclists who were attacked on their bikes near Legacy Hospital on January 10th.

It reveals some very upsetting details about the incident:

“this happened in the middle of the day, around 3 p.m. in front of a bus stop full of people.

this was definitely aimed at BIKERS, because they were screaming at them to get out of the way of the bus, while they stood in the middle of the bike lane to push them out into the street.

THE POLICE HAVE NOT FILED THE REPORT AS OF TODAY. the sargeant john birkinbine who was called to the scene walked away with the cd player that had finger prints of one attacker. WHERE is the CD player NOW? good question. They could have found one of these girls in the system with it…

The bus driver, a city employee, DID NOT CALL 911 while he had a front row seat at the show. HE also drove off with all of the witnesses, while the attackers took off on foot.

The police left Ashley on the sidewalk with her bike and a dislocated shoulder while they “searched and wrote the report” right?

One of the girls had a knife, so for everybody who thinks your ULock is going to save you… be sure you know how to make contact with it, otherwise, your attacker might just pull out something they know how to work.”

Come on Portland, we can do better than this!

We’ve also heard from Ashley Gorman that she has set up a PayPal account to accept donations for her medical bills. Money can be sent to Ashley Gorman using her email ashlee2284[at]hotmail[dot]com.

Get well soon Ashley, and please keep us posted on any developments.

NOTE: Thanks for sharing and reading our comments. To ensure this is a welcoming and productive space, all comments are manually approved by staff. BikePortland is an inclusive company with no tolerance for meanness, discrimination or harassment. Comments with expressions of racism, sexism, homophobia, or xenophobia will be deleted and authors will be banned.

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Ethan
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Ethan

**sentence deleted by site moderator**

What does Tri-Met have to say? I would guess that their employee manual says something about leaving the scene of a crime.

Brian E.
Guest
Brian E.

I wonder if the the bus had a forward looking camera and if by some stroke of luck it caught the action?

pushkin
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pushkin

And the police have yet to comment on this situation – absolutely shameful.

jeff
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jeff

I know TriMet buses have cameras inside (my previous employer got the contact to install them), but I don’t know about forward facing ones.

Needless to say, I’m completely disgusted by this incident and stories of others. I had a similar scare late last year and to see so many other reports is just scary.

Johnathan, thank you so much for the work you are doing and getting folks organized to help tackle these issues. I just donated $50 to the site and will do more whenever I’m able.

gabrielamadeus
Guest
gabrielamadeus

sheesh. I’ve gotten threatend with expulsion from the bus just for talking loudly. An yet this is the 2nd case we hear of a bus driver witnessing an assault, doing nothing, and then driving away?

I know bus operators have a hard job and there are a lot of great drivers out there, but come on!

anotherbiker
Guest

What is up with trimet and letting cyclists get beat up? Hell, what is up with a bus load of people letting a couple of teens beat up two cyclists. Honestly we need to take care of each other. 3 on 2 is nasty. 3 little shits against a bus load of people is odds that are more appealing.

Damn it portland. I have to say these kids who pulled this attack should serve jail time. I don’t give a rip about social circumstances. So what if you are poor, undereducated, a racial minority, etc it is no excuse to run around breaking basic tenents of the social contract. Maybe some public shaming would be good. Jail plus putting the offenders to work sweeping glass out of bike lanes.

**sentences deleted by site moderator**

Maybe I’m weak but I’m hoping for some ironic karmic justice to take care of these young assalants.

What do people do for self defense? The last time I was attacked was in high school and I kicked out his knees side ways and gouged his eyes but those we both lucky shots. At that point I promptly fled. Still my basic strategy (fight dirty if attacked until you can flee) but what do other people do?

Burr
Guest
Burr

Each TriMet bus has five cameras, two of which are outside, one on the front facing forward and one facing back on the right side of the bus. The only thing this bus driver did right was to not let passengers off to participate in the assault and then let them back on his bus.

Burr
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Burr

And the bus driver didn’t stick around because one of the primary performance evaluation measures for TriMet drivers is whether or not they meet their schedules.

JeffH
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JeffH

I previously used the name “Jeff” to write comments here. I see there is another “jeff”, so I am now going to use “JeffH” to write comments.

Just a heads-up to anyone who notices.

R. Dobbs
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R. Dobbs

**comment deleted by site moderator**

Christopher
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Christopher

Ethan,
Forgive me if i am missing something obvious, but what is the CHL option?

adam
Guest

**comment deleted by site moderator**

john
Guest
john

I recall a person on commented on this on how she was concerned about a person harassing cyclists in NoPo on the midnight ride last year. So this is not a new problem. I’ve always known NoPo can be sketchy even during the day. Hope the victims get some justice…

Burr
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Burr

CHL = concealed handgun license

NEPcyclistic
Guest
NEPcyclistic

**comment deleted by site moderator**

wtf?
Guest
wtf?

cant we get wweek or mercury to cover this? at least if they call the police and trimet looking for responses, maybe the will get something. (or likely “no comment”.) but at least it will draw a lot (more) attention to it. i am pretty darn disturbed. especially as a north portland resident who bikes all the time. with my kid no less.

R. Dobbs
Guest
R. Dobbs

@adam

Excellent. Kinda sad that we need armed patrols, to protect cowed cyclists in NoPo, but it is clear we have a problem and the police are yet again unwilling or unable to do their jobs.

R. Dobbs
Guest
R. Dobbs

**comment deleted by site moderator**

Ian S.
Guest
Ian S.

**sentence deleted by site moderator**

Vigilanteism is not only ridiculous and illegal, but is also likely to further escalate into violent reprisals against innocent, unarmed individuals.

**sentence deleted by site moderator**

Adams Carroll (News Intern)
Guest

I can’t believe some of you think packing a gun is how we should deal with this.

That just blows me away (no pun intended).

**sentence deleted by site moderator**

I would rather not have any more discussion of guns in this thread.

Thanks for understanding.

Andrew
Guest
Andrew

@ R. Dobbs,
& Jonathan Maus

Jonathan, you should be carefully monitoring this string of comments. There are some extremely dangerous undertones being expressed. “Welfare Gangster Shits” as posted, is an very, very racist generalization. The fact that there is discussion about “armed” patrols around NoPo is very concerning. Please don’t let these racist, violent inciting comments stir the pot.

R. Dobbs, please understand that the words you have written in this discussion are not going to facilitate ANY JUSTICE or ANY FEASIBLE SOLUTION for the victims of the attack or future problems. I hope you do not even consider such a vigilante patrol in any location in Portland, why don’t you do something that is actually effective (and challenging) and go out and be an alternative transportation activist and do some outreach in NoPo, or pressure the police and trimet to hold the attackers (and trimet drivers) accountable.

Andrew
Guest
Andrew

You are a good guy Jonathan… took me a while to write that, didn’t see your post.

R. Dobbs
Guest
R. Dobbs

I’m sorry, you’re all right.

After we’re done getting knocked off our bikes, beaten and/or stabbed, we should give our predominantly black assailants hugs, bikes and scholarships instead!

Fact of the matter is that assailants have been almost entirely black and have nearly all made racist comments while committing their assaults against mostly white cyclists. This is not supposition, if you don’t like the facts, stay out of the argument.

Race is a touchy subject but it was not one that any cyclist brought to the table, it was the racist black assailants who upped the ante.

However, we do have very specific rights to defend ourselves in this state — which are very different than those in California or New York, where many new Portlandites have immigrated from. You all should be aware of the applicable laws, which is why I posted the excellent packing.org site. Which, Jonathan, deals with laws regarding the use of non-lethal defense as well as big scary guns.

Be educated, make your own decision. We have a problem in NoPo. I posit that hugs ain’t gonna solve it.

West Cougar
Guest
West Cougar

I must say I am deeply troubled by this pile-on against someone suggesting lawfully exercising one’s Constitutional Right is wrong, racist, testosterone induced, what-have-you.

I am doubly troubled that someone suggesting one lawfully exercise one’s Constitutional Rigth be CENSORED!

To be clear, all that was suggested was that the LEGAL carrying of fire-arm seemed increasingly reasonable. Such a comment does not warrant censorship!

West Cougar
Guest
West Cougar

For those non-censored folks telling us to bring a U-lock to a knife fight, please explain why a U-lock. Why not a knife to a knife fight?

At the risk of censorship, why not a gun to a knife fight?

R. Dobbs
Guest
R. Dobbs

And just to clarify, while Oregon law does have specific provisions for allowing lethal force to be used in the defense of another, that would not make a lot of sense in these situations and would likely not be defensible in court. Again, go read packing.org — lots of good information and reference to relevant laws and case histories.

Neighborhood watch would be a much better idea — although you’d think 3pm on a busy street would have had enough of the neighborhood watching…

Self-defense is your right.

Adams Carroll (News Intern)
Guest

West Cougar,

No one is piling on. I respect your opinion.

I simply do not wish to discuss gun rights on this thread.

R.Dobb’s last comment #23 is a good example of how he can state his opinion, without crossing the line into advocating guns.

The constitutional right to bear arms rocks but I go with my gut around here and I don’t feel good with leaving that sort of comment on the site.

Again, this site is not an open, public forum where anything goes.

I reserve the right to make censorship decisions based on my gut.

If you think I’m wrong, I’m open to being swayed.

R. Dobbs
Guest
R. Dobbs

Finally, a classic quote, which seems very apropos:

A liberal is a conservative that hasn’t been mugged.

And for the record, I am a “Gun Toting Liberal”. 🙂

Andrew
Guest
Andrew

**comment deleted by site moderator**

Ethan
Guest
Ethan

Well, for the record, my tongue and cheek remark was really a reference to a post that was added to the original piece about the incident.

That said, mention of armed cyclists, in the context of this discussion (wherever your opinion falls) is harldy off-topic. In fairness Jonathan has been very clear (most recently on KBOO) that BikePortland is not, at the end of the day, a wide open forum for ideas. He reserves the right to determine what is and is not acceptable. As for your “litmus test” Jonathan, I would not be reluctant to bring up any of these points in your living room.

The reality of violence, gun or otherwise, has never been as simple as the left or the right would have people believe. It is a very complicated theme that runs throughout history. Wishing it away, ascribing it to hormonal imbalances, etc are all pretty typical sloganeering, and lack any kind of meaniful insight. I’m not sure what was written after my comment, but coming from a guy who defends the legitimacy of traffic laws designed for cars, this looks pretty weak. You can’t have it both ways.

R. Dobbs
Guest
R. Dobbs

**comment deleted by moderator**

Josh M
Guest
Josh M

Jonathan said:

“In my opinion, guns (and what they represent) are the problem, not the solution.”

Whoa, how are guns and what they represent the problem in this case? I’ve not heard of anyone getting jumped because of guns. **sentence deleted by moderator** So I don’t see how guns are the problem here.
The problem here is “minorities” targeting “white” cyclists.
**sentence deleted by moderator**

You can’t attack someone’s idea and then say you don’t want to see anymore discussion on the topic.

R. Dobbs
Guest
R. Dobbs

**sentence deleted by moderator** I bet you would just curl up into a ball and get stomped while saying “I’m sorry! I’m sorry” or “I love and respect you!” the whole time.

**sentence deleted by moderator** These kids are targeting cyclists because they are “easy”, not because they want to fight to the death for something the cyclists have. They are the cowards here.

Kee-rist!

brad
Guest
brad

what should be done to protect one’s self then…nothing? curling up in a ball?

anyone who advocates not fighting back when you are attacked has clearly never been assaulted before, or they wouldn’t make such an ignorant argument.

Jeremy
Guest
Jeremy

Why do I feel like the comments for this story are heading downhill fast? I understand folks are upset at the happenings, but the tone seems to be getting more and more uncivil. I can be as ornrey as the next guy (and have), but the arguments for and against guns are polarizing. Gun rights/restrictions is one of the major issues that are used to divide people (with abortion, religion, etc.)

I’m hoping to see more information from other parties on this attack, but everyone should have the right to ride free from fear of assault by anyone. Everyone should be able to defend themselves, but you may run into someone bigger/stronger/faster/better armed. What then?

I appreciate Jonathan putting up this blog, turning it into a real information source and his growing into a significant journalist for the bicycle community. What makes it great is it is not just a place for information and news, it is a place he has opened up to us and made into a community. It’s probably up to us not to screw it up.

Eric H
Guest
Eric H

Between getting beat up, or ticketed by the police, or run over by a car, why bike anymore?

R. Dobbs
Guest
R. Dobbs

@Eric H

Because in between the beatings, arrests, and months spend in traction, it is still great exercise and a lot of fun! 😉

West Cougar
Guest
West Cougar

I reserve the right to make censorship decisions based on my gut.

If you think I’m wrong, I’m open to being swayed.

With all due respect, I seriously question your gut. We have one person calling another racist. We have another suggesting the CHL amounts to vigilantism. Still another is advocating U-locks as legitimate self-defense. None of this gets censored. Yet, a couple people suggest lawfully exercising one’s 2nd Ammendment Right, a right you yourself say “rocks”, and that deserves censorship!?!

To be clear, I am not questioning your right to censor. I am questioning your choice of *what* to censor.

I’ll say a place where espousal for the lawful exercise of Constitutional Rights (hey, notice no scare quotes) is deemed beyond the pale, but flagrant and incendery ad homenium is OK, is not a place I’m inclined to bother with.

SKIDmark
Guest
SKIDmark

The reason there is hostility between blacks and whites is because the myht that all white people are rich continues to perpetuate in the black community. It will take more black leaders (besides just Jesse Jackson) within the black community saying that the root of oppression is not white people, it is rich people before the problem starts to subside. All poor people regardless of color need to stand together and fight back against this country’s march towards being a third world. You can’t really do that here in Portland, it is the most socially segregated city I have ever lived in.

Adams Carroll (News Intern)
Guest

Everyone,

This thread has proven extremely difficult for me to moderate.

Please understand that this site is run entirely by me and I do not have the capacity to always stay on top of the moderation and always make the right decisions.

Racism and the right to bear arms are topics that are much too complex to effectively discuss electronically… that’s why so many blogs and forums devolve like this.

I do not wish to squash anyone’s opinion… but I have a very low tolerance when people make personal insults to fellow commenters and especially when violence is alluded to in any shape, way, or form (no matter how subtle).

I realize talking about guns does not equate to violence… but in my opinion it is too close of a line.

I received a phone call from one commenter and got some constructive criticism about how I’ve handled this situation.

I have gone back and tried to moderate things as fairly as possible (even deleted my own “guns are the problem” reference).

I respect the right to bear arms… but I will not allow any topic or commenter to de-value this space that I’ve worked so hard to create.

Remember, I am one person. I am not perfect but I do my best to keep things constructive and welcoming. After 13,000 comments this is the first time I have had to deal with this issue… so I think I’m on the right track.

Let’s please be careful how we write about these issues… remember that context and tone is extremely misleading online.

I disabled comments on this thread for a few minutes, and then thought better of it… please prove to me that I’ve made the right decision.

Thank you for all your contributions.

Caleb
Guest

Bleh. Seems like a whole bunch of (eloquant and passionately put, but very very tired) arguments, which have zero do do with bicycling in portland. Your chances of getting mugged on bike in the mean streets of p-town are in the get-struck-by-lightening category. The interesting thing here is not all the fear everyone seems to have, but the failure of our system to deal with _this one event_ (and maybe one or two similar events).

SWR
Guest
SWR

It’s just shocking that these women have to bear the medical costs resulting from this attack. Here in New York City, the City bears the cost of medical treatment for crime victims. In fact, victims are encouraged to get medical assistance so that DNA evidence can be harvested. Unfortunately Portland Police don’t sound like they’re actively persuing the culprits.

R. Dobbs
Guest
R. Dobbs

@Jonathan

A couple of points:

– This is a thread about a violent act and many other eerily similar violent acts. Thus, violence and ways to mitigate it are very topical to the discussion, like it or not.
– The difference between the right to bear arms (in self-defense) and racism, is that one is legal and constitutionally sanctioned and the other is not.

Anyhow, thanks for removing the ad hominems.

R. Dobbs
Guest
R. Dobbs

@Caleb

The interesting thing here is not all the fear everyone seems to have, but the failure of our system to deal with _this one event_ (and maybe one or two similar events).

Did you RTFC? There have been many, many events like this in NoPo. This is a common trend, dude. Not a one-off, hence the outrage.

Caleb
Guest

Mr. Dobbs, I did RTFC, although, I’ll admit to having skimmed the exceptionally off-topic ones. I don’t interpret the information as an epidemic worthy of outrage. It looks much more like a systemic failure which should be carefully investigated.

And, I still think that getting mugged (bike or no bike) in p-town is /highly improbable/. I’ve lived in portland my whole life, in all different parts, and I’ve never feared for my safety.

lianagan
Guest
lianagan

Self defense is as good a reason as any (along with the rest of the debris and obstacles that show up in bike lanes) to leave a bike lane and take the lane to avoid confrontation. Maybe it should be written into that law. Never hesitate to leave a bike lane if necessary.

sheldon
Guest
sheldon

Wow Jonathan,

Threads like this are a sign of the growing success of your site. Guys Jonathan is providing a community service. He posts the stories, tracks down the details, manages the servers, etc. Your messages are entertaining, but it is a drop in the bucket compared to what Jonathan does.

If you have a problem with how he choses to moderate, email him personally, instead of starting a public flame war. If you still don’t like it go somewhere else or invest some time to start up your own cycling site.

I’m disturbed by so many threads here. Can anyone really say what % cyclists in NoPo have been attacked while riding? You here about the high profile events and there have been several, but is it a grave situation that warrants people packing guns while riding?

conquistador
Guest
conquistador

I have to say I support Jonathan’s censorship. I would have censored some of R. Dobbs’ remarks as well, but not because of the pro-gun stance. The remarks were nakedly racist (equating the race of the perpetrators with being poor and in a gang) and a borderline eliminationist.

Ian S.
Guest
Ian S.

My kudos and apologies to Jonathan et al. This thread clearly touches on sensitive, polarizing, and volatile issues. I, for one, did not take the time to edit my comments before posting them and instead reacted poorly and hastily to the comments of others. You should be commended, Jonathan, for asserting control over this thread before it further de-volves and welcoming us all to remain reasonable and responsible with our words.

Since some of those comments to which I reacted have since be removed, I am at a loss to explain with complete accuracy what it was that angered me. However, I would like to address some of the previous and subsequent comments. Hopefully, without further spiralling the conversation.

Regarding West Cougar’s comment,
“We have another (person) suggesting the CHL amounts to vigilantism.”

It was not my intention to suggest that at all. My decision to use the word “vigilantism” was brought on by this comment from R. Dobbs,
“Kinda sad that we need armed patrols, to protect cowed cyclists in NoPo, but it is clear we have a problem and the police are yet again unwilling or unable to do their jobs.”

This comment was directed at Adam as an invitation to meet the “need” for said “armed patrols”. It is my opinion that arming oneself for personal protection is perfectly legal and acceptable, but that arming oneself and “patroling” implies an intent to seek out violence rather than defend against it. Furthermore, the notion of such “patrols” being necessary because of a perceived lack of police involvement serious toes-the-line with taking justice into one’s own hands.

As a frequent visitor to North and Northeast Portland, I can honestly say that I would feel much safer without armed patrols by citizens, be they cyclists or not.

Getting back to the point of this article, I think that it is important that we be made aware of incidents such as these. Not only does this allow us to each act accordingly in our efforts to be safe, but it brings to light the need for proactive improvement in our community. You are right, Jonathan. We can do better than this. We can continue to put pressure on our police and our elected officials to do what is necessary to effectively discourage these types of incidents. We can pressure them to allocate resources to programs that meet the goals of creating liveable and safe communities. We can take them task publicly, in forums such as this, when they do not do their jobs properly. We can also encourage our fellow community members to stand up to this type of violent behavior and protest. If just a fraction of the witnesses to this incident (or god-forbid the trimet driver) had bothered to say something, yell something, or get involved in some way, it seems likely the outcome could have been altered for the better.

bjorn
Guest
bjorn

I just wrote commissioner adams asking him to look into this further. I’m concerned for all the reasons that have been previously listed. Unfortunately the police seem very uninterested in investigating attacks on cyclists. I was involved in a collision that was intentionally caused by a motorist who thought I should be riding on the sidewalk last summer around 64th and Fremont. I called the police when after causing the collision he got out of his car and started chasing me around the vehicle yelling at me for riding on the street. I waited an hour after calling 911 and no officer ever showed up, my attempts to report the incident afterward were met with the runaround. They basically told me that they didn’t care because I hadn’t been injured, I eventually gave up.

Bjorn