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Portland Police on lookout for double hit-and-run suspect – UPDATED

Posted by on September 21st, 2010 at 10:22 am

This just in from the Portland Police Bureau (apologies for the brevity but I just landed in Las Vegas at Interbike. I’ll update the story when I can):

PORTLAND POLICE INVESTIGATE TWO BIKE RIDERS STRUCK BY THE SAME VEHICLE

At approximately 8:00 a.m. this morning, September 21, 2010, Portland Police responded to an accident involving a bike rider who was struck by a vehicle in the area of northeast 1st Avenue and northeast Multnomah Street. The vehicle was described as a silver Subaru WRX.  The vehicle did not have a rear plate and may have a temporary sticker in the back window.  Witnesses said there was also a green sticker in the back window similar to a “Monster” drink type sticker.  

The male bike rider suffered minor injuries in the accident and the Subaru fled the scene.  There was vehicle damage to the Subaru from the collision with the male bike rider.  The Subaru is missing the right front head light, which was left at the scene.  

Portland Police Traffic officers are investigating the possibility this was an intentional hit and run of the male bike rider.  Shortly after this accident, witnesses said this vehicle attempted to leave the area and hit another bike rider in the area of northeast 1st Avenue underneath the Interstate-5 Freeway overpass.  The second victim is a female bike rider who was transported to an area hospital.  

The Portland Police Traffic Division is asking for the public’s help in identifying and locating the driver of this vehicle.  The driver was described as a dark complected male, 18 to 20 years of age.  Anyone seeing this vehicle is asked to call 911 and anyone with additional information about these accidents or vehicle is asked to call the Traffic Division at 503 823-2103.

More information to follow as this investigation continues.

UPDATE, 11:27 a.m.:

The location of the first collision involving the Subaru and bike rider has been corrected to northeast Martin Luther King Boulevard and northeast Lloyd Boulevard. After this first collision, the vehicle fled the scene northbound on northeast 1st Avenue and westbound on northeast Multnomah Street which is not a through street. The Subaru turned around, and upon exiting the area struck the second female bike rider at northeast 1st Avenue and northeast Multnomah Street.

The male bike rider had minor injuries and has been identified as 47 year-old John Lieber. The female victim bike rider is still being treated at an area hospital for more serious, but non-life threatening injuries. She is expected to be released today and her name is not available at this time.

After further investigation, Traffic Officers learned the vehicle light left at the scene was a 5″ diameter front “fog” type light, and not a head light as first reported. The Portland Police Traffic Division Officers continue to work on this investigation.

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. Also, if you comment frequently, please consider holding your thoughts so that others can step forward. Thank you — Jonathan

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PDXbiker
Guest
PDXbiker

This guy is nothing more than a murderer on wheels, intentionally mowing down cyclists for whatever twisted reason. With enough publicity, hopefully this vehicle will be found before someone else is injured or killed.

Jeff TB
Guest
Jeff TB

Or, he may be a scared kid who is only now realizing what he did. Glad (lucky)no one was killed. Hope he turns himself in. And I hope the DA shows some guts.

spare_wheel
Guest
spare_wheel

i wonder if this guy was influenced by Dan Christensen’s death threats?

middle of the road guy
Guest
middle of the road guy

@3…..

you know who else made death threats?

Hitler.

Do you think that an 18-20 year old male with an apparent dislike of cyclists is going to be reading a blog by a bus driver?

spare_wheel
Guest
spare_wheel

@4, godwin’s law.

Charley
Guest
Charley

Even if he is caught, he’ll probably walk away from all charges, saying “I never saw them”.

Whyat
Guest
Whyat

@spare_wheel- I’ll bet you a million dollars that NO, he was not influenced by Dan Christensen.

Nick V
Guest

Not to be dramatic, but he has no license plate and these incidents happened during the morning commute/rush hour? I would guess it’s intentional. I hope they find the kid and the two victims heal up quickly.

Uncle Muscles
Guest
Uncle Muscles

I’m just hoping the first one was an accident and the second one came due to panicked driving by a 17 yr. old in a car much too fast for him. Wannabe rally legends out hunting cyclists would make for a much more depressing day.

Justin
Guest
Justin

I believe the Oregonian article described it as a “new Subaru” so the lack of plates might mean it was fresh off the lot.

Joe
Guest
Joe

#10 Or Waiting for Custom plates, someone has to spot this car with a broken light.

spare_wheel
Guest
spare_wheel

@Whyat, even if you are right threats violence by public figures are not helpful. there are clearly people who have a lot of anger towards cyclists (see oregonian comment section).

spare_wheel
Guest
spare_wheel

http://blogtown.portlandmercury.com/BlogtownPDX/archives/2010/09/21/driver-hits-two-cyclists-today-in-lloyd-one-sent-to-hospital

sounds like this was at the very least a road rage incident:

“It had what sounded like a jet engine muffler, revving its engine,” says Lieber. “He was right on my tail and I was trying to go left, signaling with my arm. He was really mad at me.” Very quickly, the car decided to cut around Lieber on the right, but as it roared past, it clipped the front of his cargo bike, sending Lieber toppling into the road.”

trail abuser
Guest
trail abuser

The Subaru WRX forums should know about this. NASIOC.com. Let’s see who’ll be ordering a new headlight. WRX/STI drivers are total douches too. My cousin is one of them. What a ricer.

Mike on Alberta
Guest
Mike on Alberta

It looks like the people at the Oregonian are finding the cyclists at fault.

Are these a few trolls or are they representative of the readership there?

Roma
Guest
Roma

@5 – Ha! Beat me to it.

All you have to do is read the comments on any bike related story in the Oregonian to know that sooner or later, some whack job is going to intentionally hit a cyclist. Scary.

Anton
Guest
Anton

Can’t the police coordinate with DMV to find the silver Subaru WRX awaiting new plates that did this? How many can there be?

Sean Casey
Guest
Sean Casey

If the victims (or others who witnessed the incidents) got a good look at the perp, I could make a forensic composite illustration (if that would help). Email: 2007.casey (at) gmail (dot) com.

I wish a speedy recovery to both.

kemblepdx
Guest

The DMV lookup is not going to happen the traffic division of PDX Police are useless. I saw a guy swearve and almost hit a car while drinking a beer I called it in and they said if they dont catch him on the road there’s nothing they can do even tho I gave them his license plate number apparently license plates are on our cars for no reason cause the cops don’t use them for identification!

151
Guest
151

This will be another case of plea bargaining for a slap on the wrist. With few witnesses and no way to prove that the owner of the vehicle was the person driving the vehicle at the time of the two hit-and-runs, they’ll get off with probation and maybe some community service. That’s assuming the person is ever found. Just watch and see if I’m not right.

Jim O'Horo
Guest
Jim O'Horo

This is downright scary, though from the O’s story it sounds more like the 2nd collision was the result of trying to get away, not deliberate assault. Still ….

http://www.columbian.com/news/2010/sep/21/subaru-driver-twice-hits-cyclists/

http://www.oregonlive.com/portland/index.ssf/2010/09/portland_police_looking_for_dr.html

Spiffy
Guest
Spiffy

yeah, I read the UPDATE on another site…

it does seem that they panicked once they realized that they hit a cyclist and were doing a bad job of the run portion of the offense…

I hate to say it, but typical enraged driver… I’ve been there… but I never hit anybody during the rage…

Andrew
Guest
Andrew

To echo a couple comments above, this really ought to take nothing more than a ten-minute DMV database search and a couple of home visits to find the one with the missing fog light.

Who wants to bet this guy knew what he did then remembered the Ski Bowl owner’s story and decided to just flee so he’d have a good chance of getting off without losing his license?

bh
Guest
bh

Lots of security cameras in that area, aren’t there?

TonyT
Guest
tonyt

@spare_wheel #5,

Whoosh! Did that mess up your hair when it went right over your head?

Joe Rowe
Guest
Joe Rowe

Even if they catch the driver, he will most likely see few consequences.

Look at these 2 recent cases of drivers getting off easy.

http://bikeportland.org/2010/08/26/owner-of-mt-hood-ski-bowl-pleads-guilty-to-hit-and-run-duii-and-assault-38539

http://bikeportland.org/2010/06/09/oregonian-man-who-backed-into-mike-luther-gets-probation-34615

I don’t suggest we fill up our prisons. I’m suggesting we use GPS tracking technology to keep them from driving again. Take away their free time with lots of community service. Give them fines that fit their disposable income, take away their luxuries.

jim
Guest
jim

Did anybody check to see if there are any stolen siler suburu’s?

chelsea
Guest
chelsea

What a waste of space. I hope he never drives again. Best wishes to the victims.

nuovorecord
Guest
nuovorecord

@26…that’s my thought. Wentworth Subaru is just down the street. Maybe the Subaru was stolen. The whole incident sounds straight out of “Grand Theft Auto.”

Hope everyone recovers quickly!!! I don’t think this is a “bike hate crime.” I think it’s just an idiot kid being an idiot. Hope they catch him ASAP!

Did I miss it? Again?
Guest
Did I miss it? Again?

#14-
If I made a comment of that color about a cyclist riding a type of bike, I’d be labeled a troll.
Please don’t be one or a total douche yourself.

freeman
Guest
freeman

Q. – how does a biker ‘hit and run’?
A. – with a gun.

bullets take random lives when fired recklessly…cars in the hands of the reckless have the same results…

when will we start ‘hitting’ back?

B.A.C.K. – Bikers Against Car Kind.

(not a call for violence, just a reasoned response…”Modest Proposal” stylee….LOL)

HooKooEKoo
Guest
HooKooEKoo

I ride through Multnomah and 1st twice daily,year-round. So, does anyone happen to know how are perpetrators typically treated when they are involved in a hit-and-run of another car or pedestrian? For a city with bike-friendliness national fame, cyclists seem to be treated as 3rd class citizens. Blame the victim. And the yellow journalism of the local papers only makes matters worse by whipping up anti-cycling anger. Gee, maybe all the hefty revenues from car ads does make a difference.

BURR
Guest
BURR

actually I’m thinking this might turn out more like this guy’s story:

http://bikeportland.org/2009/04/09/eschweiler-found-guilty-except-for-insanity-in-2007-road-rage-case-17028

Crazy
Guest
Crazy

I’ve cycled regularly for decades. I made up my mind early on that if I were ever knocked down by a car and able to get up, I would pummel the driver to a pulp, and plead temporary insanity from having been knocked on my head. I will fight back. Drivers, beware.

Crazy
Guest
Crazy

Oh, and one more thing.
I ride very defensively and as far away from cars as I possibly can.
That means, to the far right in a bike lane.
That’s defensive riding and self-preservation, which has worked for 35 years. When I see cyclists straddling the bike lane line, that just riles motorists whose car lane is now needlessly encroached upon. Sharing the road cuts both ways, people.

Surveil
Guest
Surveil

Be on the lookout after 5:00. Just a thought. The driver was probably on his way to work, right? He leaves work at 5 or 6, drives home . . .

Seager
Guest

I’d like to see an “assault with a deadly weapon” or “attempted murder” charge if they catch this guy. None of this “failure to yield, hit and run” slap on the wrist crap.

Anthony
Guest
Anthony

No plates, maybe it was the lot boy from the subaru dealership.

are
Guest

re comment 35, if you are riding far to the right in a bike lane, and you have not been doored or right hooked — or left hooked or had someone come out from a side street on the right because you were not out in the road where anyone could see you — you have been lucky. this is not “defensive” riding, this is cowering. yes, share the road cuts two ways, but hiding out at the edge of the road cuts only one way: against the cyclist.

q`Tzal
Guest
q`Tzal

If intent can be proved there is no reason this driver should ever get his driver’s license back for the rest of his life.
Need a bit of that ole make an example of someone justice.

And I’m with crazy @ #34: you road ragers better kill me on the first try bcause I’ll take my time retributing.

Auto drivers lack fear and it needs to be reintroduced to the driving experience.

K'Tesh
Guest
K'Tesh

Wonder if this is the same A$&%&*!!!! who swerved at me while I was walking in Beaverton last night.

Was walking on SW Center, when this whitish car suddenly rev’d up its engine then swerved out of the WB lane, into the EB lane, crossing into the bike lane, then sped off. I honestly thought they were going to try to leave the roadway, and try to get me on the sidewalk.

Didn’t get a look at anything of value it happened so fast. Did call 9-11 and reported it.

spare_wheel
Guest
spare_wheel

“which has worked for 35 years”
35 years of riding like a dangerous n00b.

El Biciclero
Guest
El Biciclero

Seager–

“I’d like to see an ‘assault with a deadly weapon’ or ‘attempted murder’ charge if they catch this guy. None of this ‘failure to yield, hit and run’ slap on the wrist crap.”

First, keep in mind that it is not illegal to kill people with your car per se. It is illegal to flee the scene of an “accident” that you were involved in or caused. It is a minor violation (technically illegal) not to yield to a “rider upon a bicycle lane or path”. Also remember that this was “just a scared kid”, and the whole thing was “just an accident”. My bet is that any resulting charges will be along the lines of exactly what you mentioned: failure to yield, and failure to perform the duties of a driver. The punishment for the former, if it sticks, is a fine of around $200. The punishment for the latter could involve jail time, but probably won’t.

Red Five
Guest
Red Five

Hey Trail Abuser:

Nice generalization you idiot. Just like all cyclists are lawless morons who deserve to be hit because some choose not to follow the rules of the road.

Red Five
Guest
Red Five

Hey Jonathan, with all the censorship I see going on around here sometimes, do you plan on censoring the calls to violence? Beatings? Shooting people? Is this what Bike Portland has become? A bunch of cycling jihadists?

q`Tzal
Guest
q`Tzal

Red Five#45
WOOOHAAA!!!
CYCLIST JIHAD!!!
Terroist fixie hipsters in Guy Fawkes masks setting fire to SUVs!!!

or perhaps simply equal justice in the legal system for cyclists killed and injured and written off as the price of traffic.

BURR
Guest
BURR

#45. motorists talk sh/t about running down cyclists all the time in places like the Oregonian comments, and yet when it happens in real life we’re supposed to be all polite and contrite about it? I call BS on that.

One Less :(
Guest
One Less :(

How about we discuss riding the wrong way down the street by people who should know better while we are at it.

Messengers, racers, and all the people in spandex I see riding the wrong way on one ways cause you think you can beat the traffic. DUMB!

Johnathan, I emailed you guys today. I think the picture on the top of the web page, in the banner, is a disgrace to your web site and the cycling community! Two, what looks like fixie style bikes, riding on the wrong side of the street, over the double yellow, at an angle that looks as if they have just crossed over center, against traffic (that is clearly going the opposite direction behind them), and CLEARLY breaking the law. So, I wonder how many others have noticed this banner photo and when you might take it down? Encouraging this, by showing the picture in my opinion, is bad for the community at large.

trail abuser
Guest
trail abuser

One Less:(

[insult deleted]

That picture is of cyclists following directions for the Broadway bridge construction to ride on the south side path. If you would have read the post regarding the reopening of the Broadway bridge, you would have known this.

trail abuser
Guest
trail abuser

Is there a clarification of what year WRX was involved? They changed the fronts from year to year and would help in ID’ing the car. Also, the 2008+ WRX’s only came in wagon form, IIRC. The 2003 “bugeye” and earlier WRX’s had the stock 5″ fog lights, which would match the description of the assailant.