Urban Tribe - Ride with your kids in front.

Clinton Street road-rager now faces attempted murder charge

Posted by on May 1st, 2008 at 11:17 am

visit to SE Clinton -3

The stretch of SE Clinton where
the collision occurred.
(Photos © J. Maus)

Back in August, I reported on a disturbing road-rage case where Johnny Eschweiler intentionally ran down Ben Ramsdell while he rode his bike on Clinton Street in Southeast Portland (Eschweiler also ended up colliding with a second person on a bike, Timothy Mastne).

The collision caused very serious injuries and the Multnomah County DA’s office initially charged Eschweiler with second-degree assault and first-degree attempted assault.

Eschweiler pled not guilty to all charges and was later released on bail.

Now, the Oregonian has reported that Eschweiler was re-indicted on Tuesday. The Oregonian says Deputy District Attorney Kirsten Snowden presented new evidence to the grand jury — including the fact that Ramsdell has suffered permanent injuries — and they were successful in seeking tougher charges.

Because of the DA’s office, Eschweiler now faces two counts of attempted murder (in addition to first, second and third-degree assault charges).

The trial is set for mid-June.


More on this story

— For background, read all 12 articles on this story in the BikePortland.org archives.
— For details on this latest development, read the Oregonian’s coverage.

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

  • baheuh May 1, 2008 at 11:24 am

    good..make an example out of this guy and make the media get out the message that running cyclists over is not without impunity.

    sorry…its callous…but it needs to happen.

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • brewcaster May 1, 2008 at 11:40 am

    Running someone over with a vehicle is serious shit. I hope he lives in jail for the rest of his life. Pick up the soap Johnny.

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • tonyt May 1, 2008 at 11:43 am

    Now we\’re talking.

    You\’re not being callous baheuh. What you\’re feeling is satisfaction. Satisfaction that FINALLY someone will face justice for their own actions.

    It\’s a rare experience. Perhaps that\’s why we\’re a bit confused about how we should feel.

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • steve May 1, 2008 at 11:51 am

    Awesome news.

    Now we just need the local media to run with this story. Would be nice to see PPD\’s new traffic honcho issue a press release commending the DA. And warning other motorists.

    If they are truly on our side, they should be vocal about it.

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Jim May 1, 2008 at 11:57 am

    It is time that this made some headlines- we (the generic, public \”we\”) do not take this behavior seriously. If you\’ve ever had a motorist aim their vehicle at you and tried to get the police interested, you certainly know what I mean.

    I am disappointed that the Oregonian buried this deep within the paper. This should have been on the front page.

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • chelsea May 1, 2008 at 11:58 am

    i can\’t imagine how traumatic it was for the victims of his actions and i hope they are okay and still ride. i am, for once, satisfied that cyclists are not getting screwed over and brushed under the rug. justice feels so unfamiliar, yet nice.

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Robert Dobbs May 1, 2008 at 12:00 pm

    About f\’in time!

    I still maintain that if you are going to kill someone in Oregon, it\’s best that you do it with a car.

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Ben May 1, 2008 at 12:32 pm

    thanks for the support. the new DA handling this case deserves all the credit. I do hope that this case receives more attention as more starts to happen with it – what better opportunity for precedents to be set? And I haven\’t ridden a bike since – mine is looking like it\’s been though an industrial trash compactor.

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Torfinn May 1, 2008 at 3:08 pm

    Good luck recovering.

    Hope this charge sticks.

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • wsbob May 1, 2008 at 4:16 pm

    Note that the Oregonian article states:

    \”But his attorney, Des Connall, indicated his intent to pursue a \”guilty except for insanity\” defense.\”

    Eschweiler being charged for crimes against vulnerable road users is progress, but he\’s a ways yet from being convicted, if he ever is.

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • David4130 May 1, 2008 at 4:28 pm

    Burn him at the stake!!!

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Opus the Poet May 1, 2008 at 4:51 pm

    Keep the heat on, people. Letters to the editor, blog posts (and not just here) and frequent contact with the DA\’s office will help, so long as you are respectful. Go ahead and be vitriolic about the perp, that\’s permissible, but be respectful to blog owners, editors and most especially the DA.


    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • KTesh May 1, 2008 at 10:12 pm

    I\’m not for paying taxes to keep him fed/clothed/medical care while he gets to spend the rest of his life in jail.

    I\’m all for giving him an ocean cruise and a pair of new shoes… made from cement.

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Robin May 2, 2008 at 1:02 pm

    Being that I live three blocks from this spot I was pretty upset for a while. I\’m really happy to know this man isn\’t behind the wheel.
    Hopefully justice is served and hopefully drivers give more room when passing someone on a bike.

    Thanks for keeping up on this Jonathan.

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Helen Wheels May 2, 2008 at 10:05 pm

    DDA Kirsten Snowden ROCKS! Finally JUSTICE!


    I was hit and run and permanently injured in 2001 and still have excruciating episodes of ribs slipping out of place, neck pain, etc., so I hope Ramsdell gets justice.

    Recommended Thumb up 0