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‘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 🙁 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 — and another, similar attack in northeast Portland, read coverage on OregonLive.com.

NOTE: We love your comments and work hard to ensure they are welcoming of all perspectives. Disagreements are encouraged, but only if done with tact and respect. BikePortland is an inclusive company with no tolerance for discrimination or harassment including expressions of racism, sexism, homophobia, or xenophobia. 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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Dabby
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Dabby

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.

Kiel Johnson (Go By Bike)
Guest

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.

Terry D
Guest
Terry D

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.

Robert
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Robert

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.

SilkySlim
Guest
SilkySlim

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.

Michael
Guest
Michael

Jonathan,

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

TOM
Guest
TOM

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.

redhippie
Guest
redhippie

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

tom
Guest
tom

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….

kgb
Guest
kgb

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

tom
Guest
tom

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.

Hugh Johnson
Guest
Hugh Johnson

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.

tom
Guest
tom

^^^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.

Bankerman
Guest
Bankerman

MLK is in NE , not North Portland

rl
Guest
rl

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.

Trek 3900
Guest
Trek 3900

“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:
http://www.amazon.com/White-Girl-Bleed-Lot-5th/dp/1479299022/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1377760315&sr=1-1&keywords=white+girl+bleed+a+lot

melody
Guest
melody

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

Terry D
Guest
Terry D

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.

Laura
Guest
Laura
Trek 3900
Guest
Trek 3900

Some crime statistics from the Government:
http://www.examiner.com/article/federal-statistics-of-black-on-white-violence-with-links-and-mathematical-extrapolation-formulas

Links to government statistics are near bottom of the article.

Trek 3900
Guest
Trek 3900

Excellent short article on interracial crime:
http://www.jewishworldreview.com/cols/williams081899.asp