Harvest Century September 22nd

Gresham PD: Woman sexually assaulted while bicycling on Springwater path

Posted by on March 21st, 2016 at 8:24 am

View from Springwater path looking westbound at the SW Highland Drive overpass.

The Gresham Police Department reported on Sunday that a 22-year-old Portland woman is recovering after she alleged she was sexually assaulted Friday afternoon (3/18). The suspect is still at large.

Here’s how police describe the incident:

At 4:20 p.m. on March 18, police were called to Walmart in the 3900 block of W. Powell Blvd., where the victim ran to call 911. She had been riding her bicycle westbound on the trail when her tire went flat. While changing the tire, the woman flagged down a man riding a dark colored mountain bike and asked for his help.

The man talked with her for a short time before threatening to kill her with a knife if she screamed. He then forced her into a wooded area to the south of the trail and sexually assaulted her.

Advertisement

Big sale at Community Cycling Center

Aerial view with Springwater path and Walmart in the upper right.

The suspect is described as a bald white man in his 40s, “medium build,” approximately 6-feet to 6-feet-two-inches tall and clean shaven. He was wearing a red jacket, blue jeans and a dark colored backpack.

If you saw anything related to this case, please call the Gresham Police tip line at (503) 618-2719.

— Jonathan Maus, (503) 706-8804 – jonathan@bikeportland.org

BikePortland can’t survive without subscribers. It’s just $10 per month and you can sign up in a few minutes.

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

190 Comments
  • Avatar
    LCL March 21, 2016 at 8:34 am

    I’m male and I’m scared to ride Springwater.

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Avatar
    Justin March 21, 2016 at 8:53 am

    I am nauseatingly livid and saddened. So many alarms have been raised about the Springwater. No authority has done a thing.

    Recommended Thumb up 0

    • Avatar
      q`Tzal March 21, 2016 at 2:25 pm

      Well, people that don’t drive cars are just not worth as much.

      I do wish this was sarcasm.

      Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Avatar
    Joe March 21, 2016 at 8:56 am

    ok saturday 4wheel atv police were just passed the springwater trail start, wish they would go passed into 205 path :/

    Recommended Thumb up 0

    • Avatar
      Joe in Spokane March 23, 2016 at 1:41 pm

      Good thing they have an ATV, otherwise they would have no way to access these locations.

      Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Avatar
    Chris I March 21, 2016 at 8:57 am

    Time to clear out that whole section. Everything into dumpsters. No mercy for these criminals.

    Recommended Thumb up 0

    • Avatar
      nuovorecord March 21, 2016 at 9:49 am

      How do you know the rapist was related to the homeless camping activity?

      Recommended Thumb up 0

      • Avatar
        Erinne March 21, 2016 at 10:15 am

        Agreed. All we know is the rapist was riding a bicycle. Scapegoating everyone who sleeps along the Springwater is misguided and malicious. Most of them are just looking for a safe night’s sleep – just like you and me.

        Recommended Thumb up 0

      • Avatar
        Chris I March 21, 2016 at 10:17 am

        Until they catch the perp, there is now way of knowing for sure. But the crime data shows significant increases along that corridor since camping has increased. Do you think that the increase in camping along the Springwater has made it a safer place to ride?

        Recommended Thumb up 0

        • Avatar
          bjcefola March 21, 2016 at 10:37 am

          I don’t like the city taking punitive actions against people just because they live in apartments instead of single family homes, I don’t like the city taking punitive actions against people just because they live under a tent instead of a roof.

          That doesn’t preclude police from concentrating on areas where crime is concentrated, but they should do so as law enforcement, not class enforcement.

          Recommended Thumb up 0

          • Avatar
            Chris I March 21, 2016 at 1:14 pm

            I don’t like the city selectively enforcing public camping bans; effectively creating zones where drug addiction and crime are concentrated, particularly when these zones happen to be contained in one of the few off-street “safe” places to recreate. I don’t know if you have personally spent much time in this area, but it is a disaster. When you enable an environment where people are afraid to recreate or travel through, you are inviting this kind of crime.

            Recommended Thumb up 0

        • Avatar
          CaptainKarma March 21, 2016 at 1:14 pm

          Which crime data, please.

          Recommended Thumb up 0

          • Avatar
            Chris I March 22, 2016 at 7:06 am
            • Avatar
              bhance March 22, 2016 at 8:42 am

              … which, unless I’m missing something, does not currently report crimes and hasn’t done so since an IT systems change in 2014 when portlandmaps was getting overhauled. I’ve been looking for better crime stats ever since.

              Recommended Thumb up 0

        • Avatar
          jd March 21, 2016 at 1:39 pm

          Having other people around may have prevented this from happening.

          Recommended Thumb up 0

          • Avatar
            jd March 21, 2016 at 1:40 pm

            Argh, I mean “might have”. Sadly, it did happen, possibly because there were no other people around.

            Recommended Thumb up 0

            • Avatar
              rachel b March 21, 2016 at 4:19 pm

              Homeless camps don’t make me feel safer. Quite the opposite. This string of comments is making me feel not just a little insane. Sending my furious and fervent wishes for healing to the woman who was raped.

              Recommended Thumb up 0

          • Avatar
            matt March 21, 2016 at 1:56 pm

            Great, blame her for not having a companion… And don’t say you’re not, because you are. Parties of two or more should not be required to be safe in any city, especially this one.

            Recommended Thumb up 0

            • Avatar
              David March 21, 2016 at 3:47 pm

              What I took from his comment is that if there were other users on the trail too, not if she had a companion with her, but feel free to read into it what you will I suppose. The blame isn’t on her for no one else being on the trail or nearby. If ifs ands and butts were wishes and nuts we’d all have a merry Christmas.

              Recommended Thumb up 0

      • Avatar
        Jon March 21, 2016 at 10:49 am

        We don’t know if this rapist is homeless. What we do know is that the cities along the Springwater have decided not to enforce laws related to people squatting on public land. The authorities have created an atmosphere of lawlessness that invites more lawlessness. Chop shops, litter, drug use, etc. all follow the camps.
        As a person that supports separated bike routes like the Springwater all this lawlessness is very bad. What do you think the chance that any city in Oregon is going to support building bike paths like the Springwater in the future? At this point there is no way in the world that I would want a bike path like the Springwater near my where I live because they have become a magnet for lawlessness and local authorities do nothing. The Springwater has become a cautionary tale and something to avoid in the future.

        Recommended Thumb up 0

      • Avatar
        J_R March 21, 2016 at 12:26 pm

        What we know is that the homeless camping intimidates others (myself for example) from riding along the path. The absence of law abiding people using the path allows the criminals to prey on the vulnerable.

        Recommended Thumb up 0

      • Avatar
        Todd Hudson March 21, 2016 at 1:38 pm

        You have a point, but they are the broken windows of the Springwater Corridor.

        Recommended Thumb up 0

    • Avatar
      Tyler March 21, 2016 at 5:32 pm

      No dumpsters. Bonfires. No dumpster diving allowed.

      Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Avatar
    Clark in Vancouver March 21, 2016 at 8:58 am

    This is bad.
    About the headline, it’s not technically accurate. She wasn’t cycling at the time. She was standing (or crouching down to fix the flat.) She wasn’t grabbed while in the act of cycling. Sorry to get all picky like this but it kind of sends a message that one could be assaulted while one is cycling.

    Recommended Thumb up 0

    • Avatar
      Random March 21, 2016 at 9:03 am

      “Sorry to get all picky like this but it kind of sends a message that one could be assaulted while one is cycling.”

      As opposed to fixing a flat tire while cycling.

      After all, we wouldn’t want to “send a message that one could be assaulted while one is cycling.”

      What would people think?

      Recommended Thumb up 0

    • Avatar
      Ted Timmons (Contributor) March 21, 2016 at 9:17 am

      She was cycling. It’s not like she had cycled to go play baseball and she was actually playing baseball at the time. By your definition I’m not cycling if I stop on the path?

      I don’t see any implication this is related to the homeless/hobo/drifter activity that has been problematic, especially in Gresham, but in any case, this is horrible.

      Recommended Thumb up 0

      • Avatar
        Derp March 21, 2016 at 10:48 am

        No you’re not cycling :p I’d be pretty upset if I was ticketed for riding on the sidewalk while walking my bike.

        I have a similar real life example of this. I came across a one-way road closure on a two lane road. My preferred direction of travel had a 3 mile detour (rural WA). I asked the traffic controller if I could walk my bike through on the shoulder (facing oncoming traffic). He said no problem, go ahead. When I come up to another worker after a hundred feet or so, he yelled sarcastically at me “I thought cyclists are supposed to follow the rules of the road just like everybody else”. Were you that guy?

        So, yes, it’s pedantic. But it’s also accurate. I’m not personally concerned about the marketing effects of “one could be assaulted while one is cycling”

        Recommended Thumb up 0

      • Anne Hawley
        Anne Hawley March 21, 2016 at 11:52 am

        I’ll weigh in with Clarke here. When I read the headline, my first visual was that she was pulled from a moving bicycle. It made a big difference to me viscerally to understand that in fact, she was not moving.

        In every report of bad things happening to bike-riders, we’re quick to point out victim-blaming. Victim blaming is an important problem to keep in mind.

        But there’s a perfectly valid human reaction to these stories that has nothing to do with victim blaming – and really very little to do with the victim at all: it’s the selfish, personal cautionary risk assessment: “Do I do any of the things that victim did? Can I improve my survival chances by learning from this?”

        That part of me (which, after all, is probably very reptilian-brain) said, okay, so if I keep moving, my bike can still get me out of a bad situation. Phew.”

        It’s not the most noble thought in the world, but it’s also not the same thing as thinking, wow, she brought this on herself by stopping. It’s probably best to keep these visceral reactions to ourselves on this public forum, but it doesn’t hurt to understand them.

        Recommended Thumb up 0

    • Avatar
      J_R March 21, 2016 at 12:36 pm

      So, Clark. If you are astride a bicycle and stopped at a traffic signal and a motorist plows into you, I guess you’d classify that as a “motor vehicle-pedestrian crash” or better yet a “motor vehicle-standee crash” since you standing and not cycling, right?

      Your comment and definition of cycling versus non-cycling is of absolutely no consequence.

      Recommended Thumb up 0

      • Avatar
        Tyler March 21, 2016 at 5:36 pm

        You are exactly right.

        And to those above who are relieve she wasn’t assaulted while moving, I seem to recall articles on BP where the rider was hit in the face with bricks, so, just because she wasn’t assaulted while moving, doesn’t mean it can’t happen. It would not be hard in an isolated area such as the Springwater trail.

        Recommended Thumb up 0

    • Avatar
      Bradwagon March 21, 2016 at 1:13 pm

      Stopping to change a flat tire is a perfectly reasonable expected activity of cycling.

      What should we tell people? “You can bike the trail, but better, don’t stop for anything or they might get ya!”

      As sad as this is, the reality is you can clean up this trail and monitor it all you want but it won’t change the fact your in Gresham.

      Recommended Thumb up 0

    • Avatar
      SGM March 22, 2016 at 9:25 am

      I actually have been physically removed from my bicycle while in motion and had my bicycle stolen. I was young at the time and I was riding with a friend. The two criminals clotheslined us, knocking me from my bike and giving me a bloody lip. So, yes it can happen while riding with a buddy. This was on an urban bike path in another state. Now I’m all grown up, 6 feet tall and packing heat.

      Recommended Thumb up 0

    • Avatar
      SGM March 22, 2016 at 9:37 am

      I actually have been assaulted while in motion on my bicycle and riding with a friend. We were around 11 years old. They clotheslined us, knocking me off my bike and giving me a bloody lip. We walked home without our bikes. This was on an urban bike path in another state. Now I’m all grown up, 6 feet tall and packing heat.

      Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Avatar
    Tom Hardy March 21, 2016 at 9:14 am

    Sympathies are with the young lady. She was doing everything right. I will volunteer to show her how to fix flats and supply a tube or 2.

    Recommended Thumb up 0

    • Avatar
      jeff March 21, 2016 at 9:27 am

      I would think, in time, she may be more interested in how to use a can of pepper spray or a small firearm instead.

      Recommended Thumb up 0

      • Avatar
        Ted Timmons (Contributor) March 21, 2016 at 9:40 am

        It’s both wrong and horribly insensitive to all victims to imply they should have fought back.

        “[in research of survivors of a serial rapist] no two women responded in exactly the same way when faced with the same rapist. The assumption that a woman, faced with rape, would automatically ‘fight back’ is a common myth, with people often assuming that that is how they personally would react to the threat of rape.” In one study 22% of victims fight/scream, 56% beg/plead, many are frozen.

        Talking about a discussion, “Some … argued that when a man weighs more than a woman and has a lot more physical strength, then she may fear that if she fights back he would just get angrier and cause more injuries, perhaps even killing her.” (note this guy was > 6ft)

        Further, “research has demonstrated a correlation between rape myth acceptance and self-reported likelihood to rape… people who hold negative attitudes towards rape victims and believe in rape myths attribute blame to victims”

        main source with plenty of cites: “The promotion and resistance of rape myths in an internet discussion forum“, Journal of Social Criminology Vol. 1 No. 2.

        Recommended Thumb up 0

        • Avatar
          anna March 21, 2016 at 10:11 am

          thank you for saying this.

          Recommended Thumb up 0

          • Avatar
            jd March 21, 2016 at 1:42 pm

            My thoughts exactly.

            Recommended Thumb up 0

      • Avatar
        Kat March 21, 2016 at 10:38 am

        What Ted said. It’s never the fault of the person who is raped. Though, FYI rapists, there are those of us who DO carry pepper spray or firearms, and will have no problem shooting you with either in the face if you screw with us or we see you screwing with other people.

        Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Avatar
    Todd Hudson March 21, 2016 at 9:33 am

    The victim reported the crime a few blocks from the Gresham Woods Natural Area, which the city closed off because homeless campers were trashing it.

    Recommended Thumb up 0

    • Avatar
      Chris I March 21, 2016 at 10:13 am

      But the perp was on a bike, so it’s very likely that they are a camper staying somewhere along that corridor. We’ve all seen them. Many of us have seen them committing crimes in broad daylight.

      Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Avatar
    Mike Sanders March 21, 2016 at 9:39 am

    Worth noting that the connector between the Springwater and the Highland Dr. Overpass isn’t signposted (and should be). It’s on the right of the above camera shot, between the camera and the overpass. Did anybody crossing that bridge see anything?

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Avatar
    Brad March 21, 2016 at 9:48 am

    Armchair psychology and sociology arguments aside, when can we expect law enforcement to do their jobs? It is beyond time to clear out the camps and to place routine police patrols on the Springwater both in Portland and Gresham!

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Go By Bike
    Go By Bike March 21, 2016 at 9:56 am

    This is so tragic and upsetting.

    What if we designated the Springwater trail a tiny house corridor to attract more activity and eyes on the trail? It is too empty. I think that Google maps photo with the vacant parking lots next to the trail illustrates one of the reasons why the trail is not alway safe. People are living there anyways let’s give them some dignity (for $2,200 you can provide a homeless person a tiny house) and bring in more people.

    Recommended Thumb up 0

    • Avatar
      Granpa March 21, 2016 at 10:05 am

      Terrible idea. Build a ghetto of cheap box houses to replace a ghetto of tents and tarps. Ahem, this is a linear park. The notion that because it was the location of a rape is not an excuse to give it over to people who don’t have a place to live.

      Recommended Thumb up 0

    • Avatar
      rick March 21, 2016 at 10:05 am

      What about the watershed and nearby wetlands?

      Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Avatar
    Robert Chapman March 21, 2016 at 10:02 am

    I hope the young woman in question recovers fully. This is awful.

    Would the Springwater be a good candidate for the type of emergency call boxes like we see on university campuses? I have no idea how much those things cost. Of course they require someone to actually show up…

    Another idea (that I may have read here before), how about a vetted volunteer bike patrol that helps people with basic repairs or even escorts to people traveling alone? I would absolutely volunteer here in North Portland.

    Recommended Thumb up 0

    • Avatar
      Mike Sanders March 21, 2016 at 4:25 pm

      In CA, call boxes are standard practice on almost every freeway and many highways in rural areas (US 395, I think, has a few). Might make sense to install them on the Springwater and I-205 trails, and any others established in the future.

      Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Avatar
    rick March 21, 2016 at 10:05 am

    What else to expect with so many strip clubs in the Portland area?

    Recommended Thumb up 0

    • Avatar
      Ted Timmons (Contributor) March 21, 2016 at 10:12 am

      Exactly what are you implying, Rick?

      Recommended Thumb up 0

    • Avatar
      JeffS March 21, 2016 at 11:25 am

      Let’s see: glitter, sweaty poles, clear heals, expensive drinks.

      Yea… trail assaults really doesn’t factor into my expectations. Have you been to a club lately?

      Recommended Thumb up 0

    • Avatar
      Mike March 21, 2016 at 11:34 am

      What else do you expect with so many breweries in the Portland area?

      Recommended Thumb up 0

    • Avatar
      Oliver March 21, 2016 at 12:50 pm

      What else do you expect with so many men in the area?

      Recommended Thumb up 0

      • Avatar
        Rob Chapman March 21, 2016 at 3:11 pm

        I expect men not to rape people, that’s solution #1.

        Recommended Thumb up 0

        • Avatar
          Tyler March 21, 2016 at 6:19 pm

          We all expect that, but some don’t live up to the expectation. Bad apples in every bunch.

          Recommended Thumb up 0

    • Avatar
      bjorn March 21, 2016 at 10:33 pm

      I don’t think a stripper did this.

      Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Avatar
    Audrey March 21, 2016 at 10:06 am

    I am feeling physically ill because of this story. I wish this young woman peace and gentle hugs to get through this awful ordeal.

    I hate that women cannot move around freely in our world without fearing for our safety.

    Recommended Thumb up 0

    • Avatar
      KristenT March 23, 2016 at 3:43 pm

      Me too, and I hate that when these stories come out, I get to hear The Talk from my parents and partner about what I should do when I’m out riding or running by myself. Again.

      I don’t hear them having the same Talk with my brothers.

      Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Avatar
    Terry D-M March 21, 2016 at 10:12 am

    One idea is periodic emergency call boxes like on college campuses that directly connect to local police. Sort of old school considering cell phone usage, but sometimes the expectation of getting caught is enough to stop the violence.

    Recommended Thumb up 0

    • Avatar
      shirtsoff March 21, 2016 at 11:52 am

      I like this idea a lot and if nothing else, I think it would do a lot to improve the public’s perception and resulting sense of safety if there were blue-light emergency call stations every 800 yards or however far apart would seem reasonable.

      Recommended Thumb up 0

    • Avatar
      Pete March 21, 2016 at 12:22 pm

      It’s an excellent idea, but sadly I suspect persistent vandalism would render it unfeasible.

      My thoughts go out to this woman and her full recovery. 🙁

      Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Avatar
    SE March 21, 2016 at 10:17 am

    The activity of biking and location (SW mup) are only incidental to the event (rape ?) .
    This can happen anywhere, to anyone doing any activity.

    To tie this to SpringWater is iffy. Compare the actual number of crimes there to other PDX locations and I don’t think you’ll find any concentration on SW.

    To tie this to the homeless (not proven) , is conjecture. Don’t get me wrong, I’m a frequent SW rider and am not positive about the situation, but
    not everything can be blamed on them.

    Recommended Thumb up 0

    • Avatar
      still riding after all that March 21, 2016 at 12:52 pm

      “Compare the actual number of crimes there to other PDX locations and I don’t think you’ll find any concentration on SW”

      You have confused actual number of crimes (impossible to know) with number of REPORTED crimes. Not all crimes get reported. Plus, we face the additional obstacles of city leaders who at best don’t care, at worst encourage the “homeless camps” and associated criminal activity AND police whose “hands are tied” because they aren’t allowed to profile likely offenders – political correctness run amok.

      My sincere sympathies to the victim. May she recover fully, and soon.

      Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Avatar
    Joe March 21, 2016 at 10:22 am

    I bet this guy wasn’t homeless, look at the the discription. agh!

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Avatar
    Matt S. March 21, 2016 at 10:23 am

    The City of Roses
    “The City that works”

    The city is failing us

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Avatar
    Joe March 21, 2016 at 10:30 am

    We need to look out for eachother, how I ride. feel sooo bad for this girl 🙁

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Anne Hawley
    Anne Hawley March 21, 2016 at 10:34 am

    I wonder how many women were involved in the design of a long, long, isolated, dark-at-night active transportation corridor with virtually no escape routes. It’s an inherently scary design to me and, I would imagine, to many women. We’re mostly used to thinking of Being Female In Public as a series of low-level, constant risks and vulnerability.

    If this young woman had had a way to walk her bike off the SWC and to a busier area, she’d have been safer.

    Recommended Thumb up 0

    • Avatar
      Audrey March 21, 2016 at 10:44 am

      But it was broad daylight… I think it is irresponsible to say “if she had pepper sprayed him” or “if she had walked her bike to a busier area” this wouldn’t have happened. This has been a surprisingly respectful dialogue on a very difficult subject, I just don’t want it to slide down the path of shoulda/woulda/coulda or trying to find blame beyond the person who committed the crime.

      The woman did NOTHING wrong and the only person to blame for this is the man who assaulted her.

      Recommended Thumb up 0

      • Anne Hawley
        Anne Hawley March 21, 2016 at 11:00 am

        I’m sorry if my comment came across as victim blaming. That wasn’t at all my intent. I was putting myself in the young woman’s place and thinking how frightened I would feel, getting a flat on the SWC that I couldn’t fix myself. That feeling of no-escape, of having no options, of being isolated with an aggressor.

        My point was that the whole design of the SWC is unsafe in a way that less-vulnerable users/designers obviously never thought much about.

        Recommended Thumb up 0

        • Avatar
          JeffS March 21, 2016 at 11:22 am

          I didn’t think your original comment was victim-blaming at all.

          Recommended Thumb up 0

          • Anne Hawley
            Anne Hawley March 21, 2016 at 11:31 am

            Audrey did, and her perspective is valid. Should women-as-vulnerable-users have to be taken into account in infrastructure design? No, not in the world we’d like to have. I just felt like, in the world we do have, if women users had been consulted, there’d probably be more exits on the SWC. The lack of exits is one of the main reasons I don’t use it. My sense of fear is greater there (outside of the busiest sections as the busiest times) than on the street, even though my actual statistical danger is greater on the street. The visceral fear of rape/assault/being trapped is greater than the realistic fear of cars and drivers.

            I can see how my perspective can be boiled down to victim-blaming. There’s a point at which these two perspectives become irreconcilable. I can respect both sides of the divide.

            Recommended Thumb up 0

            • Avatar
              Audrey March 21, 2016 at 12:40 pm

              No worries Anne. I get what you meant, and sadly you are likely correct. It just sucks that we even have to suggest a woman should fear for her safety at 4:30PM on a sunny Friday afternoon on a popular bike path.

              Recommended Thumb up 0

              • Avatar
                rachel b March 21, 2016 at 6:37 pm

                Audrey & Anne–I appreciate your comments. But I used to ride the Springwater regularly (this is more than five years ago) and never felt unsafe–even when it was just a bumpy as-yet-unpaved wasteland.

                I disagree with your assertion, Audrey, that “the only person to blame for this is the man who assaulted her.” The City, through inaction and tacit (and, recently, explicit) encouragement has fostered an unsafe environment along Portland’s popular trails and parks. A place that once felt safe has been made to feel unsafe by, at best, uneven enforcement and a “look the other way” policy coming from the top down.

                I agree with you that the assailant is the one who is ultimately responsible for the crime. What I’m saying is that the area where the crime took place has been rendered more attractive to criminals–like him–in recent years. The area now feels neglected, out-of-control and lawless, and via excessive tolerance and neglect by the City and officials, more welcoming to the lawless. This is a big problem, and dangerous.

                Recommended Thumb up 0

            • Avatar
              jeff March 21, 2016 at 12:43 pm

              it isn’t valid if it misinterprets and/or misconstrues what the other poster actually stated.
              I would consider it actually less valid.

              Recommended Thumb up 0

        • Avatar
          rain waters March 21, 2016 at 8:27 pm

          It was totally safe ten years ago. What part of the “design” has changed, physical or social?

          They steal everything that isn’t tied down and wherever urban outdoors-man congregate other nasty “stuff ” happens

          Recommended Thumb up 0

    • Avatar
      Mike Sanders March 23, 2016 at 10:05 am

      Great point. East of I-205, there aren’t that many exits off the trail, and none of them are signposted. The money recently appropriated for new signage by Metro should be put to use in signing exits like the one at Highland Dr. Same goes for the I-205 trail and the one alongside I-84 east of 122 Av. And you’re right, I don’t think there were any women on the original SWT design team.

      Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Avatar
    chasingbackon March 21, 2016 at 10:55 am

    I have long felt that camping along the springwater corridor is a public safety issue above all.The public right of way needs to be safe at all times fro all modes.

    I wish all the best to the young lady in these trying times.

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Avatar
    mran1984 March 21, 2016 at 11:13 am

    Did anyone notice the Thaimatches.com ad that accompanies this report? Ironic and indicative of our culture. Life changing event for a young lady…my heart goes out to her. In regards to the Springwater issue, who is going to fund all of this enforcement? Green paint is cheap. Officers on duty are not. We are cheap.

    Recommended Thumb up 0

    • Avatar
      BB March 21, 2016 at 11:56 am

      The ads I see are for an apartment building, and a physical therapy clinic.
      The ads generated are based on your personal internet browsing habits. Ironic and indicative indeed.

      Recommended Thumb up 0

    • Avatar
      RushHourAlleycat March 22, 2016 at 4:35 pm

      Ads are often tailored to the user’s own browsing habits these days..

      Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Avatar
    JeffS March 21, 2016 at 11:31 am

    Sadly, this reads like an OLive comments section.

    – glance at article
    – use it as an opportunity to complain about an unrelated issue
    – insert as many baseless assumptions as possible.

    Recommended Thumb up 0

    • Avatar
      mran1984 March 21, 2016 at 2:50 pm

      That is not true. I read the entire piece and ride this area as well. My comment is simply the wish of enforcement without the drive to pay for it. If I come of as you say I apologize. It was not at all what I was driving at. Oh, now I view the apartment ad in the same location. Your point was off as well.

      Recommended Thumb up 0

    • Avatar
      Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) March 21, 2016 at 3:57 pm

      I disagree JeffS. I see a lot of people sharing their experiences and I see many productive members of the community flagging inappropriate comments and doing their part to make our comments a valuable resource.

      I’m cleaning up the thread now and should have it under control in a few minutes.

      Recommended Thumb up 0

      • Avatar
        Skid March 22, 2016 at 11:12 am

        I see the homeless being blamed for sexual assault that may not have been committed by a homeless person. I would think that the description of the assailant would include dirty or smelly, because if you were sleeping in a camp along the Springwater Corridor is the rain, you would be smelly and dirty.

        Recommended Thumb up 0

      • Avatar
        soren March 22, 2016 at 11:47 am

        I would like to flag this entire comment thread.

        An important post/piece about the sexual assault of a woman has devolved into a thread full of off-topic and demeaning comments about the houseless. When an Oregonian piece about the death of a cyclist devolves into commentary about “cyclist scofflaws” there is at least a tangential connection to the topic. There is nothing in this piece that suggests the person cycling who sexually assaulted this woman lives is houseless.

        Recommended Thumb up 0

        • Avatar
          dwk March 22, 2016 at 11:56 am

          I also doubt that the attacker was a homeless (or houseless) person, more likely a repeat offending predator. However, the reason something like this could happen on a sunny day on the Springwater trail with no one else around is because people have stopped using the trail BECAUSE of the camping problem, so yes, they are related.

          Recommended Thumb up 0

          • Avatar
            dwk March 22, 2016 at 12:00 pm

            Why on earth would this comment be flagged for moderation?

            Recommended Thumb up 0

          • Avatar
            soren March 22, 2016 at 2:15 pm

            the reason something like this could happen on a sunny day on the Springwater trail with no one else around is because people have stopped using the trail BECAUSE of the camping problem, so yes, they are related”

            evidence please.

            Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Avatar
    Tony H March 21, 2016 at 11:57 am

    Such a terrible thing. I am sad for the young woman. And angry that this happened. The thought popped into my mind that her flat tire may not have been a coincidence. I wonder if the rapist somehow engineered it, by setting out a tack strip, etc. Thus, if anyone gets a flat in an isolated place, be aware. Let’s look out for each other.

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Avatar
    kyle March 21, 2016 at 12:34 pm

    Swears that aren’t allowed, this makes me so sick and angry. I’m with those calling for clearing the camps. No, it might not have been anyone related in any way to the campsites, but their presence and the lawlessness of their presence surely means the trail is not being enjoyed and populated the way it shoud/could be. You know, peopled. Walkers and birders and whistlers bikers all mingling in the BROAD DAYLIGHT, enjoying the nature trail and being there or about to be there. That’s what eliminates opportunity for rapists. Dammit.

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Avatar
    stace March 21, 2016 at 12:47 pm

    So sad and angry to hear about this. Sending lots of love and positive thoughts to the victim.

    As a woman who mostly rides solo and has ridden the Springwater many times, I find this information scary and shocking. I agree with the previous comments that there are inherent design flaws in the corridor design of this trail especially the eastern portion there are too few points to enter and leave the path and many/ most portions are isolated and have no visible connection to public streets. In many ways, this separation from the streets is part of what makes riding along the springwater so pleasant, but stories like this show the downside of that isolation. I hope that they find the man who committed this crime and that Portland and Gresham take action to make this path safer for all users. I hate thinking about what I would have done in this situation because no one should ever have to deal with being threatened and sexually assaulted. This is a wakeup call that I should probably be less naive and trusting of people and invest in some pepper spray and be hypervigilant of my surroundings.

    Recommended Thumb up 0

    • Avatar
      jeff March 21, 2016 at 1:03 pm

      we all should in and around the Springwater now. I’ve quit riding there entirely. Last year was the last time I did. I witnessed 2 drug deals and verbal harassment of other trail users in about a 2 mile stretch. Coupled with the garbage, the homeless shelters, and the obvious drug use – I’m over it. I would honestly rather ride in traffic.

      Recommended Thumb up 0

      • Avatar
        Tom Hardy March 21, 2016 at 1:25 pm

        Same here Jeff. I quit riding the Springwater last summer when I encountered several sections plastered with human excrement. No way to dodge it and it got over everything.

        Recommended Thumb up 0

      • Avatar
        SD March 21, 2016 at 2:26 pm

        Interesting, my reaction after reading this story was to want to ride the spring water more often to help make it safer. I typically choose rides with more elevation and less stops, but maybe I should work the spring water- marine drive loop back into my rotation.

        Recommended Thumb up 0

    • Avatar
      Tyler March 21, 2016 at 6:18 pm

      I’m not weak or female and the SW trail makes me uncomfortable. But don’t think that it’s just “bad areas” that are unsafe. Ask the folks at the office party in San Bernardino, or the folks in the theater in Paris – today is not like it was when we grew up – be prepared all the time. Sad. But true.

      Recommended Thumb up 0

      • Avatar
        Gary B March 22, 2016 at 1:25 pm

        When did you grow up? I don’t even need an answer; I assure you it’s very much like when you grew up. Except, odds are, it’s actually quite a bit safer.

        Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Avatar
    SE March 21, 2016 at 1:39 pm

    I ride SpringWater about 3X/week. The area just East of 82nd is getting so big that they may need a zip code soon. 🙁

    The garbage is overwhelming , as is the misery of living like that, but I make eye contact and most seem friendly. No, I don’t stop and chat, but disapproving , incendiary comments like “clear them all out” “reclaim our path” certainly don’t help the difficult situation.

    Sure, I’ll be glad when the “emergency” is over and everyone can be properly housed. I have NO solutions to that, but geeze…have a little compassion.

    I know for myself (and I suspect many BP readers) , a bad/wrong decision/event in my past and I might have been out there with them and branded negatively as seems the flow here.

    Recommended Thumb up 0

    • Avatar
      Brad March 21, 2016 at 2:46 pm

      The police simply need to run motorcycle patrols on the trail. That will clear the undesirables out, reduce crime along the trail, and create a safer environment for cyclists and homeless alike.

      Excrement on the trail, used needles, garbage – these are public health issues. Taking back the trail does not need to be a draconian endeavor but it is necessary. The alternative is forcing more riders, runners, and walkers to use trafficked streets instead of perfectly good (and paid for!) infrastructure and that will lead to more injuries or potential fatalities.

      Recommended Thumb up 0

    • Avatar
      Jeff March 21, 2016 at 7:02 pm

      did this woman’s attacker have any compassion? do the drug dealers out there have any thoughts or compassion to how they’re destroying the trail for other users? do those intimidating or shooting up in front of us have any of this compassion you speak of?

      Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Avatar
    Lester Burnham March 21, 2016 at 1:52 pm

    I’ve said it before. We’re losing this path. The city has admitted it will do nothing and many here seem to think it’s just fine the corridor has turned into trash strewn homeless refuge.

    This is a tragic incident and I hate to think that more will likely follow as it deteriorates further.

    Defend yourselves by any means necessary. Avoid riding the Springwater alone if you can. Be careful out there!

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Avatar
    Tyler March 21, 2016 at 2:18 pm

    **Comment deleted by moderators.. thank you readers for flagging it as inappropriate. Tyler, you are now on auto-moderation.**

    Recommended Thumb up 0

    • Avatar
      Ted Timmons (Contributor) March 21, 2016 at 2:25 pm

      Tyler, that’s incredibly insensitive. It is also based on a myth about the victim’s response to violence. See my summary of “The promotion and resistance of rape myths” above.

      I’m ashamed to see someone posting such a crass comment, in public or in private.

      Recommended Thumb up 0

    • Avatar
      daisy March 21, 2016 at 2:37 pm

      More likely, and as statistics show, she would be dead, killed by that same gun.

      This is victim blaming at its worst.

      Recommended Thumb up 0

      • Avatar
        daisy March 21, 2016 at 2:46 pm

        For more on this:
        “Guns don’t offer protection – whatever the National Rifle Association says”
        The insistence that guns protect people from rape and violence is not rooted in scientific reality
        “… those with firearms were about 4.5 times more likely to be shot than those who did not carry…”

        https://www.theguardian.com/science/blog/2013/mar/25/guns-protection-national-rifle-association

        Recommended Thumb up 0

        • Avatar
          Portly Porlander March 21, 2016 at 6:20 pm

          If somebody jumps out of the bushes, he is going to have the element of surprise on his side, and a gun would be absolutely useless. Same thing if somebody stops by pretending to want to help out with fixing a flat. Fortunately, these types of incidents are rare, but carrying a weapon is not going to do any good.

          Recommended Thumb up 0

    • Avatar
      lyle w. March 21, 2016 at 2:47 pm

      EVERY single one of your posts is in some way victim blaming, minimizing cycling concern or just stating completely irrelevant (and arguable) opinions.

      You REALLY don’t have anything better to do?

      Recommended Thumb up 0

    • Avatar
      J March 21, 2016 at 2:55 pm

      This is one of the most upsetting comments I’ve seen. Please take the time to educate yourself on the human stress response (fight, flight, freeze, or submit). We do what our bodies tell us to do in order to survive the situation we are in. I can almost positively assure you that if she had been concealing, the outcome would be the same.

      It is never, NEVER, the fault of the person who was assaulted. She did what she needed to in order to survive the attack.

      Recommended Thumb up 0

      • Avatar
        Tyler March 21, 2016 at 6:02 pm

        I did not say it was her fault. It was 100% the fault of the criminal. My comment is 100% correct, notwithstanding the censorship by moderators who cannot handle the truth.

        Recommended Thumb up 0

    • Avatar
      younggods March 21, 2016 at 3:37 pm

      Had all men been castrated shortly after puberty, this would not have happened. BUT, you probably don’t believe in doing that. You may start believing in it now after it’s too late in this case. OR you may not, and next time it may be worse. Live and learn.

      Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Avatar
    Adam March 21, 2016 at 2:32 pm

    Something NOBODY has mentioned here is the Tennant’s of good urbanism.

    How have I biked this multi use path 50 times, and never even known there was a Walmart ten feet away?!

    Because connectivity is poor in this neighborhood, and because the trail is overgrown and unsafe – that’s why.

    If you are riding on a trail, and you don’t know what is 50 feet to your left, then the planners have failed. The definition of a safe trail would be one where a mother with her two year old child on a stroller would feel safe walking alone.

    By this very simple standard, this trail gets an F-minus.

    Recommended Thumb up 0

    • Avatar
      Ryan Francesconi March 21, 2016 at 5:51 pm

      Hide the Walmart from me. I don’t want to see it. The objective of the trail is to give the impression that you’re in nature. This is largely achieved despite going through fairly rough urban areas. It’s not the fault of the trail design – which is simply just a rail line, but of many other human problems. Despite the actions displayed in this story – the trail is still largely a refuge.

      Riding the actual roads in Gresham and Happy Valley towards Boring is very dangerous due to aggressive drivers and very depressing in the same ways being described. 3 people hit this week and 2 dead?

      The Springwater has value.

      Recommended Thumb up 0

      • Avatar
        Adam March 22, 2016 at 1:00 pm

        I’m sorry, the last time I checked, the fifty thousand acres of Himalayan Blackberry (invasive species galore) did not constitute “nature” along the Springwater.

        Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Avatar
    kittens March 21, 2016 at 2:34 pm

    maybe the police should get off their hindquarters and patrol by bike once in a while.

    The overall feeling of lawlessness is pervasive and expected on the Springwater trail due to the economy and lack of oversight.

    Recommended Thumb up 0

    • Avatar
      Doug March 21, 2016 at 3:08 pm

      The police are not going to do this without direction from the city. They are not seen as peace officers in the public eye due to media headlines giving the impression that ALL police are discriminating and using excessive force. How would the media portray an officer involved in an altercation with a predator on the Springwater trail? It would likely be a headline about a homeless person being attacked by the police. It’s upsetting that the police as a whole are viewed so poorly.

      I ride the Springwater about once a week and the loitering, trash, drugs and predators is at an all time high. The few that circle on their all flat black stolen bikes and just stare me down as I ride by scare me.

      My thoughts are with the woman violated by this crime.

      Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Avatar
    Sio March 21, 2016 at 4:11 pm

    So! Any suggestions on where to buy pepper spray? How to use it? Should I mount it on my bike or carry it in my jersey pocket? I’m a roadie training for a century. Can I strap it to my body or stick it in my bra? These are serious questions. And giving up my training is NOT an option. Side note: I have tire liners and always leave the house with proper tire pressure. Trying to keep it together at work today is not easy. Constantly lying when people ask how you’re doing zaps every ounce of strength.

    Recommended Thumb up 0

    • Avatar
      dan March 21, 2016 at 5:20 pm

      It’s sold online, as are pepper spray holsters for your bike. But probably best to train elsewhere, the spring water isn’t great for full speed road training, too many pedestrians moving unpredictably.

      Recommended Thumb up 0

    • Avatar
      kyle March 21, 2016 at 5:42 pm

      You can buy a little can that’ll go on your key chain at most drug stores, I think. I know Central Drugs (downtown, 4th & Alder) sells them. Instructions come in the package. I’ve never used one, so can’t speak to that, but I’ve given them as gifts.

      Recommended Thumb up 0

    • Avatar
      Tyler March 21, 2016 at 6:04 pm

      You can buy it at Fred Meyer, Dicks Sporting goods, most outdoor stores, REI, etc, etc, etc.

      But hey! why fight back? The PC police above seem to think that’s not cool.

      Recommended Thumb up 0

    • Avatar
      Tyler March 21, 2016 at 6:11 pm

      It comes in big cans (about 8 or 10 ounce) at REI and is called Bear Spray – it will spray about 30 feet. OR you can buy small cans that will fit in a shirt pocket or clip onto your belt or cycling shorts, or you can put them in a cycling jersey pocket. The big cans at REI can be put in an extra water bottle cage by cutting a water bottle up, putting in some soft foam so it doesn’t fall out, etc. But you can never leave it on your bike unattended and don’t put it near a heat register or in the sun where it will get too hot.

      Recommended Thumb up 0

    • Avatar
      Tyler March 21, 2016 at 6:13 pm

      Scroll down this page and see the pepper spray holster for your bike if you want a big can:
      http://www.dickssportinggoods.com/products/pepper-spray.jsp

      Recommended Thumb up 0

    • Avatar
      eddie March 22, 2016 at 9:43 am

      Female friends of mine who travel alone recommend carrying a punch dagger. Sharpen both sides and you have a weapon which if wielded properly (aim for eyes, nose, throat) is quite effective, and hard to disarm.

      Recommended Thumb up 0

    • Avatar
      Sio March 22, 2016 at 12:05 pm

      Thanks for your support on carrying pepper spray. I appreciate the link for Dick’s. My sis lives in Oakland and appreciates the info too. Also, there’s nothing wrong with riding a road bike on the spring water. i’ve been doing so for almost three years. I’ve had a lot of weird stuff happen but I’ve always managed to not hit any living creature.

      Recommended Thumb up 0

    • Avatar
      Oliver March 23, 2016 at 2:56 pm

      Just remember that if you do have to ask someone for help, you will need to remove the spray (or better yet firearm, Tyler) from it’s holster and train it on your potential assailant for the duration of your interaction. I’m sure they won’t mind.

      Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Avatar
    rachel b March 21, 2016 at 4:39 pm

    To tie this to the trail camp residents is logical and sensible. Over half the prisoners released from Oregon prisons are released to homelessness. https://multco.us/dcj/newsroom-2015

    Portland has more sex offenders per capita than any other state (except, maybe, Delaware). Additionally, “In Portland, about 275 of 3,992 registered sex offenders — seven percent — are homeless.” http://portlandtribune.com/pt/9-news/128257-portland-sex-offender-magnet

    At least it didn’t happen while she was actually riding her bike?

    ????

    We’ve all officially gone crazy here.

    My sympathy is adamantly reserved for the woman who was raped on this public trail, and for all of us who are at wit’s end with the seemingly endless quantities of patience, understanding and compassion we’re expected (by a seemingly enervated City) to have in the face of years of increasing threats, crime, property destruction and rapidly putrefying and unusable public spaces.

    Recommended Thumb up 0

    • Avatar
      Tyler March 21, 2016 at 6:14 pm

      Thanks for the common sense.

      Recommended Thumb up 0

    • Avatar
      soren March 22, 2016 at 10:49 am

      “To tie this to the trail camp residents is logical and sensible. Over half the prisoners released from Oregon prisons are released to homelessness.”

      Most of the prisoners released are clean-shaven caucasian males, like the rapist. I will not feel safe until the police conduct sweeps on places where caucasian males live (e.g. HAND, Richmond, Sunnyside, or Buckman). Until these people are cleared out and their stuff thrown in the dumpster Portland will not be safe!

      My sympathy is adamantly reserved for the woman who was raped

      And yet your comment focuses on the houseless.

      Recommended Thumb up 0

      • Avatar
        rachel b March 22, 2016 at 4:24 pm

        I was responding to comments re: the homeless camps.

        Recommended Thumb up 0

        • Avatar
          soren March 23, 2016 at 11:14 am

          ~80% of the houseless have lived in Portland for more than 2 years. This is their home and they have just as much of a right to live here as you do.

          Recommended Thumb up 0

          • Avatar
            dan March 23, 2016 at 11:35 am

            As someone that’s eager to ask for cites, you should be able to provide them for this statistic. I’d be curious to see the info, it’s back up and how it was gathered.

            Recommended Thumb up 0

            • Avatar
              Ted Timmons (Contributor) March 23, 2016 at 11:39 am

              71-79% according to the stats I found with 10 seconds of googling.

              Leaving the sources as an exercise to the reader. I found it faster than the length of time it took me to write this reply.

              Recommended Thumb up 0

          • Avatar
            rachel b March 23, 2016 at 6:10 pm

            I don’t recall saying anything in my post to prompt this response.

            Recommended Thumb up 0

            • Avatar
              rachel b March 23, 2016 at 6:15 pm

              I was addressing soren’s comment.

              But I’d like to know the definitive source for that stat–OLive and several others have been throwing it around for awhile. My understanding was that it had been called into question and that no recent comprehensive survey had been done to determine the makeup of Portland’s homeless community. I understand it’s quite difficult to do.

              Recommended Thumb up 0

            • Avatar
              soren March 23, 2016 at 8:04 pm

              offensive: “the homeless camps”

              Recommended Thumb up 0

              • Avatar
                rachel b March 23, 2016 at 11:09 pm

                Why is that offensive?

                Recommended Thumb up 0

              • Avatar
                soren March 24, 2016 at 8:37 am

                Those communities are homes.

                Recommended Thumb up 0

  • John Liu
    John Liu March 21, 2016 at 4:55 pm

    There is a general atmosphere of lawlessness on the Springwater. While the rapist may or may not have been from the homeless camp, the camps and the conditions they create discourage other people from using the corridor.

    Recommended Thumb up 0

    • John Liu
      John Liu March 21, 2016 at 6:45 pm

      Sorry to reply to myself (is that the internet equivalent of talking to yourself?) but there is something else I wanted to say, but didn’t have time to type earlier.

      I think that people like me, who have little personal reason to fear riding on the Springwater but have nonetheless started avoiding it simply due to the general unpleasantness there, may not be doing the right thing.

      We should be riding the trail, not gradually abandoning it to neglect and crime.

      So I think it would be good if we made an effort to ride there more often, in a way and to the extent that each of us considers personally safe. In groups, in pairs, or individually – as appropriate.

      As you ride along, please stop if you see another cyclist who may need help.

      Recommended Thumb up 0

      • Avatar
        rachel b March 21, 2016 at 11:34 pm

        I get what you’re saying, John, but this issue really frustrates me. It’s the off-loading of yet one more thing onto “the people”–policing, in this case. Shadow work.

        And I’m weary of this oft-repeated idea that we should all go on “in spite of,” with gumption. I don’t want to have to steel myself against more daily unpleasantness than I already do, thanks, when the fact is our representatives are just not advocating for us or our collective safety as they should, as the used to. I’d like clean, safe parks and trails–a reasonable desire. And I don’t see the lack of cleanliness or safety now as a given, as something inevitable or unavoidable. If it WERE unavoidable, your approach would have merit. But it’s very much avoidable. We suffer from a complete lack of enforcement. Period. An abdication of a City’s duty to its citizens.

        We used to employ people in multiple, everyday positions to combat bad human behavior with order, enforcement, and consequences. It was a successful investment. Little things add up to a lot. We’ve jettisoned all that in modern society–at least, many places have. No more train or bus conductors and therefore nobody to kick off disruptive or threatening people, or those who didn’t pay. No more regular cleaners for public transit or public spaces.

        Our police force is understaffed so there’s no one to enforce order or orderliness anymore in the small things (now known as “livability issues), and letting go of the small things leads to bigger problems. Letting go of littering, inappropriate/disrespectful use of public spaces, civil discord, speeding/reckless (or careless) driving creates an atmosphere conducive to more serious crimes, not to mention apathy and a community sense of hopelessness and helplessness.

        That’s where I find myself, as a matter of fact; feeling exactly, precisely that. The state of things in this city is frustrating beyond words.

        Recommended Thumb up 0

        • John Liu
          John Liu March 22, 2016 at 7:06 am

          This particular problem isn’t a police staffing issue. It would take one day for the camps to be cleared out. This is an issue of political will and misguided good intentions.

          Recommended Thumb up 0

          • Avatar
            rachel b March 22, 2016 at 4:30 pm

            I thought what I said made it clear I concur with that assertion, John–police understaffing wasn’t my sole focus in the comment above. Inadequate police staffing does play a part in the problems we’re experiencing in parks and on trails, though. Their work’s been offloaded onto park rangers and park rangers have likewise been thinly dispersed, underpaid and overwhelmed with a job they should never be doing.

            Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Avatar
    dan March 21, 2016 at 5:04 pm

    Sad to think that if I had biked by, I would have seen a cyclist with a flat was getting help and biked by, thinking that everything was under control.

    Recommended Thumb up 0

    • Avatar
      DIMCyclist April 1, 2016 at 12:29 am

      Dude, this is a city where 8 out of 10 people wouldn’t bother to stop a bike theft in progress if it meant having to look surprised or having to put out their cigarettes. I’ve seen this personally and been the only person on site who stepped in to stop it.

      Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Avatar
    SE March 21, 2016 at 5:08 pm

    Tom Hardy
    Same here Jeff. I quit riding the Springwater last summer when I encountered several sections plastered with human excrement. No way to dodge it and it got over everything.
    Recommended 4

    How were you able to determine that it wasn’t dog poop ? Many many dog walkers use the trail too.

    Recommended Thumb up 0

    • Avatar
      rachel b March 21, 2016 at 6:23 pm

      Let’s have neither dog nor human poop on the path. I’m sure there’s ample evidence of both. If it’s more dog than human, that doesn’t negate the fact we have a problem with human campers polluting and acting territorial with the path.

      Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Avatar
    wsbob March 21, 2016 at 6:15 pm

    The police report description of the incident is very interesting.

    Besides being a creep, what kind of person was this? Would the perp have stopped if she hadn’t flagged him down? Sounds like a coward from the get-go. Didn’t just pull the knife out and put it to her throat. Was that because he had to wait until there weren’t other people passing by that could view what he had in mind to do?

    Or that he had to talk with her awhile to work up the courage before making the threat, and sense whether he’d landed someone that was vulnerable and wouldn’t give him a problem.

    If there’d been a number of people passing by, maybe not all, but I’m almost certain many of them would have been willing to stop and help this woman get her tire fixed and on her way. People have offered the same to me before.

    Should be able to ride or walk down a beautiful trail like this without fear. Be wary of what are opportunities for bad people. It’s not just on the Springwater that opportunities for this kind of thing exist.

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Avatar
    SE March 21, 2016 at 6:45 pm

    rachel b
    Let’s have neither dog nor human poop on the path. I’m sure there’s ample evidence of both. If it’s more dog than human, that doesn’t negate the fact we have a problem with human campers polluting and acting territorial with the path.
    Recommended 0

    yes, well, I encountered horse poop there too.

    the camping problem MAY clear up someday, but the dog walkers will always be there, hence the name “multi user path” = MUP. It’s NOT exclusively for cycling, but it is also not for camping.

    They’ve even installed “beg buttons” for horse riders at Foster , on both sides.

    DO NOT think that I find the campers/trash/grocery carts/groups blocking the path or poop (of any kind) to be what I’d expected (before the city threw up their hands and abandoned it’s responsibilities)

    Come on City Council , can’t you do better than this ???

    Recommended Thumb up 0

    • Avatar
      rachel b March 21, 2016 at 6:53 pm

      Hi SE–hear hear, re: your plea to City Council!

      Like attracts like, and so it goes for poop and crime. But I’ll gladly take horse poop (and the like horses it attracts) on the trail over the human element evidencing itself and attracting more and more of the same.

      Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Avatar
    SE March 21, 2016 at 7:01 pm

    Tyler
    **Comment deleted by moderators.. thank you readers for flagging it as inappropriate. Tyler, you are now on auto-moderation.**
    Recommended 1

    auto-moderation ??

    does that mean “self moderation” or “everything he posts gets moderated”, as neither seems to be working well right now.

    Recommended Thumb up 0

    • Avatar
      Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) March 21, 2016 at 10:10 pm

      I think I didn’t have it set right until now. Sorry. Definitely set to automatic moderation now — which means that all Tyler’s comments are set to “pending moderation” and must be approved by Michael or myself before they get published.

      Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Avatar
    Andy March 21, 2016 at 8:48 pm

    If cities had viable approaches to homelessness, then it is highly unlikely that there would be as many homeless people camping along the Springwater Trail and police would be fully justified in removing the remainder. If I understand it correctly, it is the lack of shelter space that caused the courts to rule as they did about camping prohibitions. Unless you advocate shooting them or locking them up, the homeless will go somewhere and moving the problem around is not solving it.

    That said, there is nothing to suggest that this crime is related to homelessness. Let’s let the homeless, along with everybody else, be assumed innocent until proven guilty

    Finally, as a tall, large male, I am concerned about threatening comments regarding the use of pepper spray or guns. I’ve always tried to be helpful in the past, particularly on the more remote parts of the Springwater, but I’ll be very cautious about stopping to help in the future.

    Recommended Thumb up 0

    • Avatar
      Chris I March 22, 2016 at 7:14 am

      As a tall, large male, I would think that you could just ask “do you need help?” If they say “no, I’m fine” you can keep riding. If they ask for help, stop and help. I don’t see how you could be pepper-sprayed or shot if you follow this approach.

      Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Avatar
    Tom March 21, 2016 at 9:38 pm

    Its seems strange to me seeing people camping so close to the water. In many places around the country this would be highly illegal and aggressively enforced due to point source pollution concerns. But in Portland, supposedly so into environmentalism, I rarely hear concerns about this. Official camp sites near rivers are usually done with careful planning and site selection to avoid polluting the river, with bathroom facilities designed not to leak into the river. I don’t see how the city could condone uncontrolled camping at a riverbank, or why there are no environmental groups suing the city over this.

    Recommended Thumb up 0

    • Avatar
      eddie March 22, 2016 at 9:20 am

      I doubt the people camping along the river are a significant source of pollution. All the new cars on the streets, however…

      Recommended Thumb up 0

      • Avatar
        Middle of the Road guy March 22, 2016 at 1:41 pm

        are generally low-emitting vehicles per EPA standards.

        Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Avatar
    still riding after all that March 21, 2016 at 9:55 pm

    Don’t look now, but searching for “springwater” on koin.com finds these 2 articles as 1 and 2:

    1. Cyclist reports sex assault on Springwater Corridor

    2. 7 arrested in Gresham decry ‘extreme use of force’

    Seems the homeless don’t feel they’re getting adequate services (yes, services is the word) from the city, and they don’t like being arrested for being “unruly” at a Gresham City Council meeting. They’re going to fight for the right (is it a right?) to camp along the Springwater Corridor and do whatever the heck they want, and I suspect that will put us decent folk in greater danger as this battle heats up.

    It appears that Gresham’s mayor and city council are taking a more pro-active approach to cleaning up the Springwater mess than Mayor Hales and the other powers-that-be in Portland.

    Recommended Thumb up 0

    • Avatar
      soren March 22, 2016 at 11:12 am

      …and do whatever the heck they want, and I suspect that will put us decent folk in greater danger as this battle heats up.

      Are you saying that being houseless excludes someone from being a decent person?

      Recommended Thumb up 0

      • Avatar
        dwk March 22, 2016 at 11:24 am

        Not exactly (or at all) what he said, but putting up strawmen is fun, isn’t it?
        Does being “houseless” sound better to you than “homeless”?
        I am sure it makes a big difference to people who have none.
        I think that a lot of people are just trying to point out that the Springwater trail is a public park and no one should be camping in it. Is that OK with you?

        Recommended Thumb up 0

        • Avatar
          soren March 22, 2016 at 12:08 pm

          dwk, unless you are “still riding after all that” that question was not directed at you.

          Does being “houseless” sound better to you…

          the term houseless is preferred by many whose homes are not legal dwellings. why is this an issue for you?
          https://right2survive.wordpress.com/

          Recommended Thumb up 0

          • Avatar
            still riding after all that March 22, 2016 at 3:38 pm

            Soren, dwk is right.

            We “decent folk,” by which I mean those of us who do NOT commit acts of assault, menacing, theft, destruction of property, and rape are being put in danger by the criminal behavior of some of the people in the homeless camps. Feces on and adjacent to the trail, trash including syringes dumped all over the place, and attacks on people who simply want to walk or ride there put ALL of us at risk.

            The issue is not living indoors vs. living outdoors, it’s criminal behavior. The homeless-houseless-lawless types exhibit a wanton disregard for the property, safety, and LIVES of the people that they attack. So far, they are getting away with a multitude of crimes up to and including rape. It pains me to say it, but murder probably isn’t far behind. You understand that raping a person while threatening to kill her with a knife is very close to murder, right?

            I’ve ridden on the Springwater a number of times, but I’d be afraid to go near it now. If Hales, Fritz, and the police chief don’t take steps to clean up the mess, the situation will continue to get worse. Mister Mayor, are you listening? Hello? Hello? Is this thing on?

            Recommended Thumb up 0

            • Avatar
              soren March 22, 2016 at 3:49 pm

              Thanks for clarifying what you meant.

              “You understand that raping a person while threatening to kill her with a knife is very close to murder, right?”

              I’m not sure why that comment is addressed to me.

              Recommended Thumb up 0

            • Avatar
              Brian March 22, 2016 at 7:35 pm

              Damn dude, you make the Springwater sound like place I grew up and it is not. If you actually took time to check up on Hales, this is the actual results of his policies, which was to do massive homeless sweeps of downtown and inner SE neighborhood repeatedly forcing more people out into these areas just out of safety for place to sleep. If you actually wanted to clean up Springwater, you would demand that city establishes rent control, hauls evictions, has a living wage, and stops sweeps. But I kind of get the feel you are one of those alarmist privileged white people that Hales wants to make the city comfortable for. You don’t even know if this guy was homeless or just some creep using trail.

              Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Avatar
    catherine feta cheese March 21, 2016 at 11:27 pm

    I really wish that news of the assault had been released by Gresham Police on Friday rather than Sunday. I was commuting on the Springwater (different segment) Friday evening and Saturday night and would have been on the alert for the predator as described. It could have helped with gathering information and allowed many people to make an informed decision as to whether or not to be on the trail with a violent offender possibly still in the vicinity.

    My sympathy and outrage for the woman involved, and hoping that justice and healing will be hers.

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Avatar
    Mark smith March 22, 2016 at 7:34 am

    So…let’s sum up bp.org. We can’t say the victim here would benefit from pepper spray or a gun because some article says it’s too dangerous. We can’t say that the cops need to patrol and remove the lawless. We can’t say that portland is attracing the lawless and this path is quickly becoming a lawless area.

    Sand, insert collective heads.

    Recommended Thumb up 0

    • Avatar
      Ted Timmons (Contributor) March 22, 2016 at 8:47 am

      pepper spray/gun: “because some article says it’s too dangerous”. Meaning- it doesn’t help, except to make commenters think it’s the victim’s fault.

      Recommended Thumb up 0

      • Avatar
        dwk March 22, 2016 at 9:06 am

        I think that men should not be in the business of telling a women in a situation like this, what or what no she should be doing……

        Recommended Thumb up 1

    • Avatar
      Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) March 22, 2016 at 2:07 pm

      that’s not what’s going on here at all Mark.

      you can say pretty much anything you want here on bikeportland… But you must do it with tact and respect for others. Pretty simple actually.

      Oh, and other thing is, as owner of this business I have sole discretion and use it to delete/moderate/edit comments in any way I choose. If you don’t like how I moderate, please feel free to tell me and I’ll answer your questions and consider changing my approach.

      I hope you understand. If not. Let me know.

      Recommended Thumb up 0

      • Avatar
        Mark smith March 25, 2016 at 12:46 pm

        I actually wasnt referring to the moderation. I was referring to the commenters.

        Recommended Thumb up 0

  • John Liu
    John Liu March 22, 2016 at 7:42 am

    Mark smith
    So…let’s sum up bp.org. We can’t say the victim here would benefit from pepper spray or a gun because some article says it’s too dangerous. We can’t say that the cops need to patrol and remove the lawless. We can’t say that portland is attracing the lawless and this path is quickly becoming a lawless area.
    Sand, insert collective heads.
    Recommended 0

    I’ve said those things and, afaik, not been placed on auto-moderation. I believe the problem is expressing those views using insulting language, as Tyler does.

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Avatar
    Joe March 22, 2016 at 8:03 am

    I just feel so bad for this lady, i’m the kinda dude that helps ppl and not like this monster, totally gives most ppl bad rap. cycling is a fam base far and wide.

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Avatar
    eddie March 22, 2016 at 9:41 am

    Anywhere there are people you’re going to have crime. Portland has people, so there is crime. And as more and more people move to Portland there is going to be more and more crime. All over town.

    There’s no telling if drug use / commerce makes the Springwater unsafe. That’s an easy assumption to make. Same with the encampments. Correlation does not imply causation.

    Also I am told that those “chop shops” are more likely just work zones where people piece together working bikes out of recovered spare parts.
    Most stolen bikes are sold as soon as possible and don’t end up getting chopped. So I’m told by people who work with the houseless.

    I used to be scared of the encampments. But now I approach them and offer the people there cigarettes or candy bars. They’re super appreciative, and then when they later recognize me riding by, they might wave and want to talk a little.

    So if something goes down I might get the scoop, you know? And I definitely feel better about the area ’cause I know people there, they know I’m a good guy, and it “works”.

    Portland, the city that “works”.

    Recommended Thumb up 0

    • Avatar
      rachel b March 22, 2016 at 11:18 pm

      Not sure if you’re being facetious here or not, eddie…
      But next time I’m riding past needles ‘n’ shite and am not comfortable with the way a sketchy dude leers at me or approaches me, I’ll bring him and his friends candy bars.

      Your solution sounds a little like placating a schoolyard bully, or prison politics. In no way does it improve things, ultimately.

      A handy guide!

      http://www.wikihow.com/Bribe-Someone
      “Decide whether your situation calls for bribery. Bribery can be useful, but can backfire on you if you’re not careful… Before deciding to bribe someone, answer the following questions honestly:
      • Do I really need the thing I’m asking for? Can I handle the situation myself or just go without?
      • Can I afford to offer something in return?
      • Will this bribe change people’s opinion of me?
      • Will that make my life harder down the road?
      • Will the bribe become an expected part of our relationship?”

      Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Avatar
    Brian March 22, 2016 at 7:28 pm

    Has there been any information to believe this was actually homeless man, or just some creep riding on the Springwater that lives in area. I think it’s a rush to blame EVERYBODY that is homeless while Charlie Hales did alot of sweeps of downtown forcing people into these far out areas. aka lets make the city safe for white people with money.

    Just saying this creep could having a house right near there, but alot of people seem quick to blame whole homeless population out of rage.

    Yes there are bad people all around Portland, but lay off the homeless blaming. be safe and I hope they find this creep.

    Recommended Thumb up 0

    • Avatar
      Oliver March 23, 2016 at 2:54 pm

      Clean shaven. Not many bums I see out in the Bartertown area look as if they use razors with any regularity.

      Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Avatar
    Robin March 23, 2016 at 8:52 am

    As a woman who rides the Springwater late at night to get home, this area has always concerned me with safety. This is NOT the first sexual assault on this trail.

    I got my concealed handgun license and carry every time I ride through Portland. I highly encourage other women to get some training and start carrying their handgun.

    Recommended Thumb up 0

    • Avatar
      Dan A March 23, 2016 at 1:52 pm

      You ride with a gun on your person? Where does it go? I’m not being rhetorical, I’m honestly curious. Jersey pocket? Ankle holster?

      Recommended Thumb up 0

      • Avatar
        Rob Chapman March 23, 2016 at 8:25 pm

        Assuming an upright riding position and street clothes it’s no problem at all comfortably and discretely carrying a service-sized handgun in a quality holster while riding. Every body is different so it takes some experimentation.

        I haven’t done any riding in Lycra kit in awhile so I can’t speak to that.

        Recommended Thumb up 0

        • John Liu
          John Liu March 23, 2016 at 9:21 pm

          Jersey pocket holds a can of OC spray or a weapon, as easily add it holds a spare tube and mini pump.

          Rob Chapman
          Assuming an upright riding position and street clothes it’s no problem at all comfortably and discretely carrying a service-sized handgun in a quality holster while riding. Every body is different so it takes some experimentation.
          I haven’t done any riding in Lycra kit in awhile so I can’t speak to that.
          Recommended 0

          Jersey pocket.

          Recommended Thumb up 0

      • Avatar
        Robin March 23, 2016 at 9:37 pm

        Dan A > “You ride with a gun on your person? Where does it go? I’m not being rhetorical, I’m honestly curious. Jersey pocket? Ankle holster?”

        I use a bra holster (Flashbang) if I’m wearing a skirt or dress. When I’m wearing lycra or jeans though, I carry an IWB holster from Remora (the clip version).

        Recommended Thumb up 0

      • Avatar
        dan March 24, 2016 at 2:51 pm

        Oregon is open carry, right? So technically you could just have a big old shoulder holster.

        Recommended Thumb up 0

        • Avatar
          Robert Chapman March 25, 2016 at 3:03 am

          Oregon is open carry outside of Eugene and Portland (without a CHL. I can walk around with a rifle on my back but that would be weird). I’m not sure how a “big old shoulder holster” would play into this discussion? I’ve also never personally known any armed professional who has used a shoulder holster ( I still think Miami Vice was awesome though).

          Somebody please tell me what your solution is to make our city safe for everybody to get around. There aren’t enough SWAT teams for everybody.

          Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Rivelo
    Rivelo March 23, 2016 at 9:30 am

    A word about pepper spray: Pepper GEL is better, and safer for users. Fires a stream of the stuff…more accurate, and less chance of coming back at you. Lands a big glob of burning goo right where you want it: the perpetrator’s face.

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Jim Labbe
    Jim Labbe March 23, 2016 at 12:20 pm

    The Springwater Corridor and other regional trails in Gresham and East County are becoming more dangerous and it greatly threatens the larger regional trails vision. The compounding impact of divestment in local parks (especially operations, maintenance and programing) and increasing poverty and homelessness from involuntary displacement from Portland’s increasingly make East County open space- including key regional trails- dangerous and unsafe places.

    There is an effort to turn this around. The Springwater Parks District Concept is a strategy to renew local investment in East County parks, trails and natural areas; to create local employment opportunities addressing the backlog of park maintenance, operations and programing; enlist a new generation of diverse leaders; and better leverage public and community resources to address the enormous social and economic needs of East County residents. This effort could greatly use people’s support:

    http://www.springwaterpcd.org

    https://www.facebook.com/springwaterpcd

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Avatar
    Bryan March 23, 2016 at 1:04 pm

    I ride this section about 3 times a week. It is depressing to hear this story since my normal time of commuting is right around that time and i would have most likely seen her but i left early that day and hit that spot about 45 min early.

    For those of you who “use to ride the spring water in this area” it has gotten worse most noticeably over the past 2 years. As a male riding dark or light, rain or shine i have some safety concerns but have never had an issue with the homeless. one of the worst things is the human excrement on the path, and yes it is human i can assure you that.

    something needs to happen, i wish it was simple but it is far from that.

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Avatar
    bhance March 24, 2016 at 4:37 pm

    An arrest has been made:

    “Investigators received a tip that Peacock was in Southeast Portland, near Oaks Park, Thursday afternoon. The East Metro SWAT team and Gresham detectives found Peacock near the entrance of Oaks Bottom Wildlife Refuge and took him into custody.”

    http://koin.com/2016/03/24/parolee-accused-of-sexually-assaulting-woman-on-springwater-corridor/

    http://www.kgw.com/news/crime/suspect-arrested-in-sex-assault-along-springwater-corridor-bike-trail/100477755

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Avatar
    Mark smith March 25, 2016 at 12:44 pm

    This is the only thing hardened criminals understand.
    https://m.facebook.com/story.php?story_fbid=10153453173944599&id=623454598

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Avatar