Urban Tribe - Ride with your kids in front.

‘Redditors’ set up donation fund for man assaulted while biking on MLK

Posted by on August 26th, 2013 at 10:31 am

Reddit user “SpanishMoles” shows off the damage.

A man who was bicycling down Martin Luther King Jr Blvd in northeast Portland on Sunday was allegedly the victim of an assault. After he posted a photo of his injuries to user-powered news site Reddit, a community of strangers has started donating money to help rehabilitate his injuries.

Yesterday morning, Reddit user “SpanishMoles” posted: “Some kids threw a traffic cone at me while I was riding my bike down MLK. Any other shitty areas I should avoid?” He called the police, whom he says were “helpful”, but they had no luck finding the three young kids who he saw throw the cone at him.

As you might expect, comments poured in and the online discussion touched on many different issues including: SpanishMoles’ route selection (most people avoid riding on MLK, which is a state highway); whether or not the assault happened because he was on a bike, or simply because he was at the wrong place at the wrong time; and so on.

As you can see in the photo, SpanishMoles suffered several chipped teeth when the traffic cone made him lose control of his bike. When fellow Redditors realized he didn’t have dental insurance, one of them decided to do something about it.

After reading about this incident, Tim Oberlander set up a campaign at GoFundMe.com to help raise money for SpanishMoles’ dental work. “He mentioned how he didn’t have insurance in his post,” wrote Tim in an email to BikePortland, “Several people also stated they felt bad for him and wanted to help. I felt like it was a way to help someone out who had something out of their control happen and needed some help.”

Tim also felt bad because SpanishMoles had just recently moved to Portland from the Midwest (which explains why he didn’t realize there are other good bike routes besides MLK) with “a duffel bag, $100, and a bicycle.” In a comment, SpanishMoles shared his gratitude for the community support:

“You guys are amazing πŸ™ I’m going to Emergency Dental later today to see about getting some caps put on the teeth while I save up for two root canals. It looks like the caps will be about $400? I just hope they hold for a long enough time to get money together for a real fix. Whoever put together the fund to help me, I’m humbled and indebted to your generosity.

I moved to Portland about a month ago with a duffel bag, $100, and a bicycle from the Midwest. Needless to say, things have been rough, but this city is beautiful and it’s inhabitants are some of the most endearing and awesome people I’ve ever had the pleasure of meeting. I think degenerates exist in every city and I unfortunately just encountered a group of ’em in a bad way.

Thanks everyone for you kind comments, advice, and everything you’ve offered me. I’m learning so much every day here.”

As for his choice to ride on MLK, SpanishMoles posted that he plans to find new routes in the future.

So far, $85 has been raised with a goal of $1,000. If you’d like to drop a few bucks in the jar, check out the donation site at GoFundMe.com.

UPDATE: For more on this story β€” and another, similar attack in northeast Portland, read coverage on OregonLive.com.

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 β€” Jonathan

  • Dabby August 26, 2013 at 10:46 am

    There is nothing wrong with riding MLK as a route.
    Sure there may be finer choices.
    But if one chooses to ride MLK, as it is a very legal route, the auto traffic must react accordingly. The fact that autos do not react accordingly is the only reason not to think about riding MLK. t is a major arterial/direct route.
    And, as shown in this incidence, neighbors must act accordingly also.

    I could retell many stories of randomly thrown items at cyclists since the 80’s in Portland. Many with big injuries. How is it randomly thrown items so often hit a person in the head?
    Some occurred on the nicest little neighborhood streets.

    It is not about the route chosen, it is about the idiots throwing things.

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    • middle of the road guy August 26, 2013 at 11:35 pm


      so no need for your dissertation on MLK being an acceptable route.

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      • Dabby August 27, 2013 at 11:24 am

        Actually there is a need as the accepted thought seems to be we should not ride on roads such as MLK.
        When the reality is we should assertively ride on all legal roads, and especially roads like MLK.
        The pigeonholing of bicycles onto side streets is not for the greater good.

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  • Kiel Johnson
    Kiel Johnson August 26, 2013 at 11:17 am

    having just finished a Henry Schmidt fundraiser I think it is interesting how people are generating their own ways of advocacy and shows of support using online donation sites. they are doing this on their own and outside of traditional groups, like the BTA. It seems like this is happening a lot now and it is pretty easy to set up. I wonder if it is a fad or a useful way to draw attention to an issue or if we will just become over-saturated with campaigns. I personally think it is pretty useful/powerful.
    That tooth looks pretty gnarly, hope he is okay.

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    • d August 26, 2013 at 11:35 am

      I can suggest OHSU Dental School for an accident like that, .. in the picture :-} – You can get the latest care, procedures, and materials from OHSU Dental School. At a reduced rate too. It will be cheaper, and you will receive more professional care. Call them now to get-in and set an appointment. They can help a brother-out. πŸ™‚


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  • Terry D August 26, 2013 at 11:17 am

    There is always going to be the occasional conflict no mater what the route or neighborhood, but with quality choices this conflict can be minimized.

    MLK is legal to ride on, but unless I was going to a specific location it would be my last choice. Everyone should have choices. The 7th-9th Greenway could be sharrow’ed and signed for about $50,000 from the Lloyd buffered bike lanes north to the Holman Greenway. This should be done immediately so everyone knows about this choice. I do not see any difference in this request than striping a double yellow line in the center of the road to prevent automobile crashes on busy arterials. It is a question of equity for both modes of travel.

    Add another Quarter million or so for targeted diverters to cut down on NE 7th traffic and a few dozen speed bumps and there would be a quality parallel alternative for cheap and be just as direct. During congested periods it would also be faster, not to mention safer.

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  • Robert August 26, 2013 at 12:26 pm

    The danger from cars on MLK isn’t the issue.

    Here, black youths injured a white cyclist who was riding through a neighborhood with a history of this kind of violence.

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    • Michael August 26, 2013 at 1:00 pm

      Robert, I don’t think race is relevant in this issue. I’ve lived block off NE MLK for years and never experienced animosity based on the color of my skin. On the other hand, I’ve had teens harass me and/or threaten violence because they are bullies and I look like an easy target. Anecdotal, I know, but I would advise caution when citing race relations as the motive for a conflict that you “experienced” third hand.

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      • pixelgate August 26, 2013 at 2:41 pm

        We don’t know if race is an issue any more/less than if the rider being on a bike was an issue. I know this town is very PC, but why does this story omit the part where he mentions the suspects (3 black kids wearing hoodies)? Because they were black we must zip our mouths and discuss nothing about who did this? Lame.

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      • Vance Longwell August 30, 2013 at 11:11 am

        For the love of…right, guy. I bet race would suddenly become relevant if the racial roles were reversed. Why should blacks always get a pass when attacking whites? Ever heard of, “…polar-bearing…”, “white-out”, and other racially attacks on whites by blacks? Why do you feel the need to defend this behavior? In your view, are blacks so weak that they need you to defend them? Lucky them.

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    • melody August 26, 2013 at 2:50 pm

      Can someone point out the part in the article where the kids’ ethnicities are reported? CTL + F “Black” NOT FOUND.

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    • Hugh Johnson August 26, 2013 at 5:43 pm

      Hate crime. But it never gets called that when it’s black on white.

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  • SilkySlim August 26, 2013 at 12:58 pm

    This type of attack makes me so incensed. Going after a vulnerable person that is at that very moment causing less harm to the world than just about everybody else around them?!?!? Might as well kick some who is bending down to plant a flower.

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  • Michael August 26, 2013 at 1:01 pm


    Did you verify this story at all? Have you spoken with the victim or seen a police report?

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    • Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) August 26, 2013 at 2:46 pm

      Nope. And Nope. It’s a Reddit post, which is clear from the story. And some folks reacted to the post to set up a donation campaign. That’s what my post is about. It wasn’t something I spent the time to reach out to the alleged victim or the police about.

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      • grumpcyclist August 26, 2013 at 5:23 pm

        That’s not exactly journalism…

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        • CaptainKarma August 26, 2013 at 6:54 pm

          This is a blog.

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        • Paul in the 'couve August 27, 2013 at 9:20 am

          Q-6 covered it last night, interviewed MoleSpanish… How much digging did they do?

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    • KJ August 26, 2013 at 6:19 pm

      The O did a piece to, mentioned a police report. Quotes officer, also for a separate indecent in the same area with a simialr mo. http://www.oregonlive.com/commuting/index.ssf/2013/08/two_bicyclists_injured_in_unpr.html

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      • Michael August 27, 2013 at 10:37 am

        Actually, the Oregonian only cites the account on Reddit, just like this. There is no mention of a police report, and the “quote” from an officer is actually a paraphrase fromSweeny/SpanishMoles saying the alleged officer thought he had a concussion.

        Serious lack of journalism across the board.

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        • KJ August 27, 2013 at 11:56 am

          Really? The quote I was referring to was from Lynch. Not Sweeney. A search of the Reddit thread I get not hits on Lynch. You’ll have to ask Joe Rose about his sources.

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    • BIKELEPTIC August 28, 2013 at 8:49 am

      saw this on the TV last night. Guess some people aren’t as bitter to the world and take incidents for what they are without the need to cross reference. KATU put it on so they must have checked as much. Dentist is doing the work for free.


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  • TOM August 26, 2013 at 6:27 pm

    I was riding North on se 122nd between Powell & Division couple of days ago in the bike lane… . 2 teens came the wrong way down the path straight at me, fast. They bailed out at the last possible moment before a collision, then laughed. Sure seemed aimed at harassing bikers to me.

    I couldn’t move left into traffic and there was no chance of going right ,,,,they just jumped the curb, which my heavy Touring Bike is unable to do.

    To avoid the PC police, I won’t mention their color or hoodies.

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  • redhippie August 27, 2013 at 10:52 am

    Has anyone mentioned how this is very similar to the spat of attacks on n. Williams about 4 or 5 years ago?

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  • tom August 27, 2013 at 12:58 pm

    nice way to censor my previous comment. it was mostly sarcasm. the greater point being, A, self indulgent bike riding because its legal should be trumped by route safety. dont ride your bike on a multi lane road where cars routinely travel 45 mph. but really, sorry about your tooth dude but yeah, stick to the back roads and in north portland, dont stop moving….

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  • kgb August 27, 2013 at 1:17 pm

    Yes, let’s not mention their description. We might actually catch these thugs.

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  • tom August 27, 2013 at 2:28 pm

    thinking outside the ahem, bike box for a moment. please remember what part of town you are riding in, you, newly minted portland resident from elsewhere. not too long ago in portland history, north portland was not the whitey part of town. for two decades before your arrival to funtown, it was the only minority, majority neighborhood. fast forward to now and you can see how white hipsters in a former black burg could be seen as contentious. so yeah, dont ride slow clunker bikes down mlk. ride them sure, but tread cautiously. you are the newcomer in these parts. k-thanks.

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    • melody August 29, 2013 at 7:57 am

      Yes, Tom! everything you just said is totally right on. thanks for saying it!

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  • Hugh Johnson August 27, 2013 at 6:02 pm

    Yeah I could see where people moving in and bringing in new life to run-down old areas is a point of contention. Abandoned houses, broken-down cars, and boarded-up businesses are all things we should try to preserve. If people cared so much about those areas before “whitey” started moving in, they sure as hell didn’t show it. And I can say that as someone who grew up in North Portland not far from MLK.

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  • tom August 27, 2013 at 6:36 pm

    ^^^sure, gentrification brings “new life” to run down areas, but it does so at a price, usually displacing the poor people who lived there before new, more affluent residents moved in. anyway, im not going to get into a social pissing match about the have’s and have nots of american society, you can do your homework about social inequality. but, yeah, dont ride your bike on a high traffic, high speed state route through the former hood, especially if you are a new, out of town caucasion hipster, especially when there are still plenty of surly urban youth running about.

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  • Bankerman August 28, 2013 at 6:43 pm

    MLK is in NE , not North Portland

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    • Hugh Johnson August 30, 2013 at 7:16 am

      You are aware MLK is one of the borders of North Portland right?

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      • Michael Andersen (News Editor)
        Michael Andersen (News Editor) August 30, 2013 at 9:47 am

        Actually, Williams is. Bankerman is correct; MLK is in NE (or SE south of Burnside).

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        • Hugh Johnson August 30, 2013 at 10:28 pm

          Hey smarty pants at what point did I say MLK was *in* North Portland?

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        • Hugh Johnson August 30, 2013 at 10:30 pm

          Wow so SE is south of Burnside. After living in this city my entire life I NEVER knew that! Thanks for straightening me out Michael!

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  • rl August 28, 2013 at 11:21 pm

    The other eve I was riding E on Russell toward Mlk (right near the substation). Three young males (similar description) were walking W on the sidewalk, one skinny one said watch this, other said something like ‘get em’, and the skinny guy stepped off the sidewalk toward me like he was going to do an uppercut right as I rode by (but was slowed down as there was a pole right between us), and the third guy yelled boom. Seemed all too casual/no hesitation- I was glad they didn’t see me earlier/weren’t more organized.

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  • Trek 3900 August 29, 2013 at 12:16 am

    “I have a dream, that one day light-skinned people will not be attacked in huge numbers by dark-skinned people, and that when they are, the news media will report the facts of the case including skin color. And in my dream I dreamed that the POTUS got all bent out of shape, and threatened a hate-crime charge when dark-skinned people attacked light-skinned people the way he does when it’s reveresed. But I’m not holding my breath.”

    Learn some facts for your own safety:

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  • melody August 29, 2013 at 9:44 am

    wow. and here I was holding Portland’s bicyclists to higher standards than this racist garbage.
    reverse racism does not exist, bruh.

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    • Hugh Johnson August 30, 2013 at 7:29 am

      Actually Melody you are exactly right. Hate is hate. Blacks taking swings at people, throwing things at them, or pushing them off their bikes because of their skin color is pure simple racism. Let’s stop dancing around it and calling these “random” or “isolated” incidents. That’s pure politically correct 100% certified bullshit.

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    • Opus the Poet August 30, 2013 at 6:45 pm

      Actually it does, just not in the same quantity as white-on-black racism. Get out and see the world “bruh”. And I say this as a guy that was mistaken for being Hispanic because I had to swap my road bike for a full-suspension MTB with road slicks for a year because the roads I commuted on had gotten so bad I was buying new headlights and tail lights about every two weeks because they would fall off from the rough roads breaking the mounts. I won’t mention what those roads did to my teeth…

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      • melody August 31, 2013 at 8:12 am

        I do not really see that as “reverse racism.” that sounds more like people being straight up racist, assuming people who ride mountain bikes are Hispanic. You were not profiled for being white.
        Also, in my opinion, the concept of “reverse racism” is not valid. Being caucasian comes with SO MUCH privilege that even if we were treated unfairly in a certain situation, the rest of our lives are so privileged that it can never, ever match the oppression felt by all other ethnicities and races in this country.

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  • Terry D August 29, 2013 at 11:46 am

    Coming back after a few days….all I can say is OUCH! The classism, rascism, neighorhood prejudice. As a city we need to learn from the grentification mistakes made in this neighborhood that has caused so much resentment and not replicate them around 82nd and in SE. We CAN find a way to redevelope, in-fill and uplift our poorer neighborhoods if we think creatively without as much local displacement and destroying the local character…. which is the stem of much of the resentments and stereotypes being thrown around in this case.

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  • Laura August 29, 2013 at 2:41 pm

    New update, dentist donates work; asks for original donations be given to charity.


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  • Trek 3900 August 30, 2013 at 1:08 am

    Some crime statistics from the Government:

    Links to government statistics are near bottom of the article.

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  • Trek 3900 August 30, 2013 at 1:47 pm

    Excellent short article on interracial crime:

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