Urban Tribe - Ride with your kids in front.

Man gets mugged while riding on the waterfront

Posted by on January 8th, 2008 at 9:45 am

Late Sunday night a man was assaulted while riding his bike along the bike/ped path on the west side of the river, just north of the Morrison Bridge. The rider, who goes by the name of Felix, reports that he was returning to his home in Southeast Portland after a Zoobomb run when he was “pushed to the ground” by a group of unknown assailants.

Here’s more from Felix:

“Between the Steel Bridge and the Hawthorne Bridge I got jumped. A few people were sitting on the benches and [there were] 2 or 3 guys on the railing closest to the river.

When I was riding by one of them lunged and hit first my handle bars then my seat. I fell and hit my head, hip and shoulder but kept my momentum and was able to get back on the bike. I ran up the stairs to [the] Hawthorne [Bridge] and then headed home to Southeast.”

Felix says he has a “pretty sore head and hip” but other than that, his full-face helmet (luckily) took the brunt of the attack. He sent along this photo of the helmet:

(Photo taken by Felix)

When I reported about the attacks around North and Northeast Portland earlier this year, several other people came forward with similar stories.

Has anyone else been the victim of an attack in Waterfront Park? Was this a serial attack, or just some kids playing a nasty prank?

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

  • gabrielamadeus January 8, 2008 at 10:21 am

    And Felix is a scary-ass looking dude, too!

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  • tonyt January 8, 2008 at 10:21 am

    Didn\’t some guy get mugged around there last year and have a wheel stolen?

    It\’s a sketchy area anytime after dark, and sometimes even during the day. I\’m always looking out for any signs of ill-intent.

    Glad he\’s okay.

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  • wsbob January 8, 2008 at 10:52 am

    There\’s a little discussion about this going on over at the zoobomb forum/all things zoobomb/fucking tweakers.

    Even though it was no doubt, dark, it would have helped to have get a little better description of the guys. He could have done that from the top of the steps of the Hawthorne Bridge, unless they chased him, though it sounds as though they didn\’t.

    I haven\’t been down there for awhile, but often, people hang out around that area, drinking and so forth. I used to pass by them a lot, but I\’d never heard of this kind of thing at that spot. The zoobomber could and should let the cops know about the incident. Given that the zbombers and the cops have had a contentious relationship in past, the cops are probably going to laugh their butts off over this one.

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  • natallica January 8, 2008 at 11:01 am

    felix i\’m sorry this happened to you and i\’m happy to hear it was not worse. thank you for sharing your story…it never hurts to raise awareness!

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  • BURR January 8, 2008 at 11:32 am

    Jonathan – this wasn\’t on the Esplanade, it was in Waterfront Park on the west side of the river, where the tweakers hang out on the park benches along the path.

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  • Jonathan Maus (Editor) January 8, 2008 at 11:39 am

    thanks BURR. I realize that.

    I changed the story a few minutes after posting it but I didn\’t catch that last reference to Esplanade.

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  • Moo January 8, 2008 at 11:54 am

    Esplenade-waterfront…basically the den of the disorderly and pissed-off population. Surprised that there wasn\’t more of a physical attack, since it would have brought more publicity and street cred\’ to this unruly pack of strays. Glad all turned out ok.

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  • gabrielamadeus January 8, 2008 at 3:14 pm

    hey now, what happened to all that \”stereotyping\” talk in the last post?

    Not that I don\’t throw out \”tweaker\” or make generalizations about where people like to hang out every once awhile….

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  • Torfinn January 8, 2008 at 4:38 pm

    Mwahaha, is that post in defense of tweakers, or muggers?


    I don\’t get it!

    This story makes me almost consider full face helmets though looks like it saved your grill!

    I\’m afraid Portland is starting to experience the growing pains of a larger city. Crime seems to be growing rapidly enough to make various self defense prep options worth time weighing.

    Glad you\’re ok if you read this!

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  • PoPo January 8, 2008 at 10:05 pm

    This isn\’t a laughing matter. I would encourage you to report this to the police–at the very least it could help prevent more attacks. Some of the downtown bike officers are very familiar with characters in waterfront park, and they could potentially help identify the assailants.

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  • Moo January 9, 2008 at 6:19 am

    Past personal experience of identifying \”regulars\” with the cops, is that they most likely have the \”regulars\” pics on polaroids at the station. But I agree, the best thing at the time would have been an immediate call.

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  • peejay January 9, 2008 at 10:09 am

    Now that everyone packs a cellphone, how does this stuff still happen anymore? If I were a troublemaker, the knowledge that a 9-1-1 call is going out in a few minutes might give me pause. But maybe I\’d know that the PPB is understaffed and wastes a lot of their resources hassling law-abiding cyclists, so I\’d think I could get away with it!

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  • Torfinn January 9, 2008 at 10:54 am

    I think people put to much on the police\’s shoulders. It\’s your job to protect yourself, not the state\’s, or the city\’s. The officers are primarily there to collect information after the crime has already taken place, and seek to place the wrongdoer before judgement.

    Everyone I\’ve ever heard of calling 911 for this sort of thing is usually dismissed out of hand, or the response time is completely inadequate to prevent an escalated situation from coming to a bad conclusion for you.

    I\’ve been jumped by 10+ in Portland downtown rowdy drunks all intent on showing how \”gangster\” Portland really is. Needless to say while you\’re getting your ass kicked dialing 911 isn\’t the easiest thing to do, nor is it very comforting knowing the police are on there way while you lay there bleeding watching the perps run away into the night never to be seen again.

    If you\’re riding late at night in a bad neighborhood, which Portland is starting to sprout a few of, trade your ideals in in for a bat, pipe, chain, katana, or pocket Chuck Norris on your way out the door. It\’ll count for a whole lot more, and you\’ll have left a few hooligans who\’d beat the meek questioning their own ability to do it again to someone else.

    It\’s hard to call it self defense in court when it\’s you and 9 of your buddies on one random cyclist who was on his way home.

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  • Natron bomb January 9, 2008 at 1:01 pm

    Dont zoo bomb it is bad for your health and your bike

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  • Natron bomb January 9, 2008 at 1:12 pm

    Karma is a bitch! when you(zoo bombers) cut off cars and run all stop signs cross yellow lines pissing off motorist who then link the hate to all cyclist(I use this loosly since you dont ride up hills)I have a hard time feeling sorry for you.

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  • Tankagnolo Bob January 9, 2008 at 1:26 pm

    Mace is good, isnt leathel or long term harmfull, but will get bad asses off of ones case real fast. Hit the mace, hit the road, call 911, or police when well away.

    Can\’t blame the guy for not trying to identify the perps from the top of the stairs. I would be GONE in case they looked back and decided to make chase.

    I do always have my dig cam on me, but probably would not get a chance to catch em on that. I have caught perps as a bystander on dig cam and it has helped.

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  • Torfinn January 9, 2008 at 2:24 pm

    I dunno bout the mace man, I used to work at a bar downtown(security) and some douche and his friend maced myself and one of the other bouncers, while it was really annoying and royally pissed us both off I\’d hardly call it a strong deterent.

    Specially if you\’re not the big guy. I\’m 5\”10 bout 190… I\’m usually not the bigger guy when I\’m getting picked on by random bullies.

    Bear spray on the other hand… well I\’ve never been hit with that and I hope not to. If it\’s good for racist white trash bounty hunters it must be good enough for me!

    Go with christ and lay off the ice brah.


    Can you buy spray canisters of CS yet? That\’d work pretty good!

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  • gabriel amadeus January 9, 2008 at 5:18 pm

    mmm, thanks for the insight there natron.

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  • chuck January 10, 2008 at 7:56 am

    natron: … are you retarded? how does karma explain this at all? felix is one of the safest bombers I know, and there is no reason as all for this to have been brought down on him. I\’m going to just go ahead and make the generalization that you break the law every day when you ride your bike, especially with that self-righteous attitude of yours, so I hope you get jumped as well, because as you said it, karma\’s a bitch.

    and on the subject of riding up hills, I challenge you to show up for minibike winter, and compete in the badass challenge. all the way up to the top of the hill on a 16\” bike. try it, I dare you.

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  • Jim O'Horo January 10, 2008 at 12:38 pm

    Torfinn #17

    Great post!

    This whole issue of self defense came up earlier when cyclists were being attacked by gangs in NE.

    You\’re right about the usefulness of small spray canisters of Mace. They have limited effectiveness, limited range (only about 6 ft.), and only contain enough ingredient to deter one attacker, if that. Bear spray has enough ingredient and propellant to last for 5 sec., enough to bring down 5 thugs if your aim is good. In addition, bear spray is effective at up to 25 ft. away, giving you enough time to get the bad guys before they have time to reach you. I don’t carry it around town, though I’ve considered it – I do a lot of touring & camping in wilderness areas & carry it there.

    Perhaps the best thing about bear spray though is that it\’s non-lethal. Unlike some who advocate packin’ a pistol, my feeling is that if you miss with bear spray, there\’s no chance of killing an innocent bystander. Bear spray is also relatively inexpensive. My can cost only $18, on sale at a local sporting goods store, and it doesn’t require a permit to purchase or carry. It came with a convenient “holster” with belt loop, which makes it very easy to attach to handlebar/stem for quick reach. Works great on dogs, large & small too – again, with range of 25 ft. you can get ‘em before they get to you.

    One precautionary note about using ANY deterrent method: Even though self-defense is a valid use of force, anything more than the amount necessary to deter or stop an attack can be ruled excessive. You probably won’t be charged with a crime, but you can still be sued in civil court. Trust me on this. Years ago this happened to my cousin. He stopped at a traffic light and was attacked by 4 guys. He had a tire iron under the seat of his car and used it on them. Adrenaline took over and he beat one attacker badly enough to put him in the hospital. Even though all 4 attackers were convicted of assault and attempted robbery, the hospitalized one sued and won for excessive force. The judgment almost bankrupted my cousin. Try to keep yourself under control; failure to do so is expensive.

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  • Torfinn January 10, 2008 at 4:49 pm

    Thanks for your reply. Much more eloquently put than I had bothered and chock full of good advice.

    I tend to leave my pocket Chuck Norris at home.

    I\’ll admit I\’m personally all for armed personal defense, but having 4 guys try to beat you up isn\’t a situation you pull a gun in.

    The only situation I believe I\’d carry a gun for would be a gun deterrent.

    At this point in time luckily Portlands crime commiters don\’t have a very scary track record of firearms use, so as long as that continues my guns stay home unless I\’m punching paper.

    Bear spray is a great investment, and can be used liberally in good conscience.

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