Urban Tribe - Ride with your kids in front.

Arrest made in Springwater path sexual assault case

Posted by on March 24th, 2016 at 5:30 pm


Highland Drive and the Springwater path.

Gresham police have arrested a man suspected in the sexual assault that happened on the Springwater path last week. 50-year-old Thomas Peacock, a Portland resident, was brought into custody today near the entrance of the Oaks Bottom Wildlife Refuge (adjacent to the Springwater path in Sellwood).

The Gresham PD said they were acting on tips they received from the public. Detectives found Peacock had an outstanding arrest warrant for a homicide charge.

The incident struck home with BikePortland readers because the woman was cycling prior to the assault and had stopped to change a flat. Peacock approached the woman under the guise of helping her with the repair.

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Peacock will be booked into Multnomah County Detention Center on his outstanding parole warrant, Rape in the first degree, Kidnapping in the first degree, Unlawful Sexual Penetration in the first degree and Robbery in the first degree.

Gresham PD detectives are asking that if anyone had similar encounters with Peacock, are encouraged to contact the Gresham Police tip line at (503) 618-2719.

This isn’t the first crime on the Springwater we’ve reported on. There was a fatal shooting in June 2014 and we shared a series of assaults in the fall of 2012.

See a photo of Peacock and learn more about the case via KOIN.

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

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NOTE: We love your comments and work hard to ensure they are productive, considerate, and welcoming of all perspectives. Disagreements are encouraged, but only if done with tact and respect. If you see a mean or inappropriate comment, please contact us and we'll take a look at it right away. Thank you.

  • K'Tesh March 24, 2016 at 5:34 pm

    Saying prayers for the victim.

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  • John Liu
    John Liu March 24, 2016 at 5:57 pm

    Hope the perpetrator is locked up for a very long time. The victim will be damaged by this rape for her whole life.

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  • suicidarida March 24, 2016 at 6:18 pm

    Poor girl. I pray for her as well. I wish she couldve protected herself. I am scared here. And ride with protection.

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    • Erica March 24, 2016 at 7:41 pm

      Your language of “could have protected herself” and “ride with protection” implies that the victim in this story had a role to play. She did not. She was attacked. It is not useful to blame victims by saying they should have done more. The responsibility and guilt lies squarely on the shoulders of the rapist.
      I’m glad to hear the Gresham PD arrested this man after getting solid tips. Let’s hope he is put away for a long time. Good healing thoughts going out to the woman.

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      • Eric March 24, 2016 at 8:29 pm

        Can’t be sure cuz it is the Internet, but FYI it is possible that your shaming of this person’s perceived shaming stems from a misunderstanding about the intent of the comments. It is possible that English is not this person’s native language. It is possible you’ve politicized this person’s empathetic thoughts and voice of solidarity to mean the opposite of what was intended.

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        • Jeff March 24, 2016 at 9:08 pm

          Excellent point Eric. I think we’ve gone way too far in society with the PC language police nonsense. Time for understanding and compassion. Language is fluid. Erica isn’t raising any points anyway that aren’t clear to all reasonable people. Instead, she’s shaming the community here. Bad for true dialog.

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          • Skid March 27, 2016 at 2:43 pm

            There isn’t much “understanding and compassion” in stating that a rape victim should have or could have protected themself.

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            • El Biciclero March 27, 2016 at 2:59 pm

              Erica made no statement of what the victim could have or should have done. There was a wish expressed that the victim could have done something to stick it to this predator and protect herself. To me, this sounds like an acknowledgement that there was nothing expected to be done in the moment, not an admonishment that the victim failed to do anything.

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              • El Biciclero March 27, 2016 at 3:00 pm

                Sorry; I looked one comment too deep—it was “suicidarida” who expressed the wish that something could have been done.

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      • Travis Fulton March 25, 2016 at 8:18 am

        To wish that someone could have fended off an attack is not victim blaming. I completely agree with you that all of the blame lies on the perpetrator and that the survivor did nothing wrong. I just don’t see your logic here.

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        • Jennifer March 27, 2016 at 9:49 pm

          I just want to give everyone a gentle reminder that there are a lot of people who either have experienced sexual violence, or have been close to someone who has – and this can be an especially upsetting and sensitive topic.

          Wishing she could have protected herself is not enough – I’d rather wish that she didn’t have a need to. I think that is where people can read suicidarida’s comment as victim blaming (not to mention much stronger comments that have been posted recently) .

          In response to another comment, this is not a matter of being “PC.” It is a matter of being sensitive to others’ experiences.

          Safety specifically for women is a very big issue if we want more people on bikes and want to bring more women into the cycling community. Along with that there is the responsibility of changing the conversations we have about these issues and I’m kind of disappointed at some of what I’ve seen here.

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      • mh March 25, 2016 at 12:58 pm

        I suspect “ride with protection” may mean “carry a gun.” (Which, considering my lack of control in a fall, would probably leave me less safe.)

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      • longgone March 25, 2016 at 3:59 pm

        I fully understand the intent of the comment. They meant to imply that if the cyclist whom was attacked had a sweet little Taurus 22mag, and placed a well sited bullet in his fat face, there would be one dead rapist. I would have it noted, that I am a reformed feminist that holds firm the belief that all people have the right to defend their life in the face of hostility. I also hope my comment will be allowed. Peace. Ride well and far. Help each other out, out there.

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        • suicidarida March 30, 2016 at 7:14 am

          A magnum goes for miles and keeps on going.
          Use 9mm for protection in city.
          I dont like guns on corridor, but non lethal ok by police. Pepper.

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      • suicidarida March 26, 2016 at 7:07 pm

        Actually, I was referring to tire and tube protection.
        Tire liners
        thorn proof tubes,
        Kevlar belt tires,
        stans no flats sealer.
        Use this formula and never get flats on the corridor.

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        • suicidarida March 26, 2016 at 7:11 pm

          Or large pepper spray.

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      • suicidarida March 30, 2016 at 3:54 pm

        To you erica. I apologize for not being a wordsmith as you. I am completely amazed by your unkind, and unfounded accusation. We are all potential victims. Until we take control of this situation.
        I wish i could have protected an old woman from falling as well downtown yesterday.
        Am I in trouble for that too?

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  • Mike G
    Mike G March 24, 2016 at 7:04 pm

    As a fellow cyclist, my thoughts are with her. Thankfully he got his.

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    • J_R March 24, 2016 at 8:50 pm

      He didn’t get his. His arrest record includes attempted homicide. He and two others tried to kill a store clerk.

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  • suicidarida March 24, 2016 at 8:51 pm

    Good healing thoughts going out to you as well dear lady.
    i too have been attacked on corridor.

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  • Adam March 24, 2016 at 9:58 pm

    Holy ****, I read the KOIN news back story article about this specimen. He is petrifying.

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    • still riding after all that March 24, 2016 at 11:50 pm

      Yeah, not someone we want walking among us. It’s sad that the authorities turned him loose to prey on decent people.


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      • Adam March 25, 2016 at 10:54 am

        He had been in prison for like, 30 years, and had only been out since 2015.

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        • lyle w. March 25, 2016 at 12:57 pm

          Probably thinking the whole time about doing stuff like this the second he got released, unfortunately. That’s how pyschopaths like him think like.

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        • Mike Sanders March 25, 2016 at 5:29 pm

          On an attempted murder charge, I understand. He deserves to have the book – no, several books – thrown at him.

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  • Kittens March 25, 2016 at 4:34 am

    He is makes a very compelling case for life sentences without parole.

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    • Rob March 25, 2016 at 11:06 am

      And castration.

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    • wsbob March 25, 2016 at 12:21 pm

      According to the Oregonian story, only 50 years old, and been incarcerated continuously for 30 of them. Out most recently for only 8 months, and may have been committing crimes during that time.

      Apparently a violent guy while locked up. Was it the right decision to let him out on parole? Better believe this kind of question goes through the minds of the parole board members. Was there some way of knowing at some point during the thirty years he was locked up, that rehabilitation would not take with this person?

      The guy likely figured he was going back in. What did he have to lose by committing this most recent crime, if in fact he is the perp and not just a suspect? He could have committed any degree of crime he chose to…it didn’t really matter in terms of whether he was going back in or not. I wonder what can be the capacity of society to hold behind bars, all the people thought or determined to be beyond hope of incarceration and redemption.

      Thankfully…the lady survived.

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      • Spiffy March 27, 2016 at 1:20 pm

        rehabilitation? you don’t get any of that in prison…

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  • SE March 25, 2016 at 7:06 am

    I’m a little confused.

    >>Gresham police have arrested a man …. was brought into custody today near the entrance of the Oaks Bottom Wildlife Refuge (adjacent to the Springwater path in Sellwood).

    How does GPD have arrest power outside of their jurisdiction ? The PPD apprehending and then turn over to GPD makes more sense ?

    No matter, just happy to see the creep off the streets. Interesting to see if he was, in fact, a MUP homeless camper. RIH.

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    • Todd Hudson March 25, 2016 at 8:24 am

      I *think* officers are deputized by the state, which means they can make arrests anywhere in Oregon. It’s not common, but GPD and county SWAT probably had the intel they needed to quickly swoop in on the guy at his camp. It’s not like the Dukes of Hazzard, where they stop at the city line and throw their hats on the ground in frustration.

      Portland Police wasn’t available because they had to wait for permission from the mayor’s office to make contact with a homeless camper. /s

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      • The Bike Concierge March 25, 2016 at 11:35 am

        Correct, any sworn officer in the state of Oregon has jurisdiction throughout the state.

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    • Spiffy March 27, 2016 at 1:21 pm

      he was a wanted felon, I think anybody on the street could have arrested him…

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  • Chris I March 25, 2016 at 7:12 am

    Given the location of the incident, and the location of his arrest, I think it’s pretty clear that this man was, in fact, living in and around the Springwater Corridor.

    I rode from Fairview to downtown yesterday, and the situation on the path, particularly between Foster and 82nd is dire. The camps are well established, with open fires and public drug use. I had to avoid loose pitbulls, human and dog feces, and menacing individuals blocking the path. I saw individuals selling bike components to each other under the I-205 overpass.

    This whole situation is so frustrating, given that the Springwater is one of the few off-street pathways in our region. I have ridden my bike along here since I was a kid, but now I am second-guessing if I want to anymore. I definitely won’t be riding it with my wife or children.

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  • Mike Reams March 25, 2016 at 7:43 am

    I wonder if the flat was an accident or, if it was caused.

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    • Bryan March 25, 2016 at 9:20 am

      I would say accident. Only because I ride by here just about everyday and have not seen anything suspicious like that.

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  • Adam H.
    Adam H. March 25, 2016 at 11:49 am

    I can’t even imagine how horrible this is for the victim but hopefully this can at least provide a bit of closure. Wishing her well!

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    • longgone March 25, 2016 at 4:03 pm

      Maybe the first comment you and I see eye to eye on. Wink,wink. Peace.

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  • B. Carfree March 25, 2016 at 12:34 pm

    Correct me if I’m wrong, but it looks like the person (using the term loosely, considering his past) arrested for this attack was indeed one of the illegal campers along the bike path.

    I expect howls of anger, but it seems that the police do have the authority to regularly check into the camps and identify who is there. The campers are breaking the law, so there doesn’t seem to be any legal hurdle to running them through the system. It seems worth the trouble to identify the campers with violent histories and outstanding warrants and removing them from the paths.

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    • Adam H.
      Adam H. March 25, 2016 at 12:41 pm

      I strongly object to “running someone through the system” just for being homeless. This causes more problems than it solves, as the person is often unable to pay any fines. However, I am absolutely in support of having more police presence around homeless camps to help prevent actual crimes. The people living on the Springwater deserve to be protected from criminals too.

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  • eddie March 25, 2016 at 10:49 pm

    Combing the encampments for would be criminals is just impossible. Sending a cop by on a bike from time to time is, on the other hand, totally feasible. I don’t particularly like the police – but this would be a good example of them doing their job, to protect and serve or whatever. Why don’t they do this? Has there been any discussion about it?

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    • dan March 26, 2016 at 6:41 am

      What exactly do you think “sending a cop by on a bike from time to time…” would accomplish?

      I think a more holistic approach is going to be required if you want the “interested but concerned” crowd to ride the Springwater. For starters, is it legal to camp on the trail? Is it legal to have camps set up 24/7? Perhaps addressing that aspect of the situation would be a better place to start.

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      • clear the trail March 26, 2016 at 2:46 pm

        I agree, you wouldn’t let people camp in the middle of the street on 82nd avenue, why do we let people camp along the trail. Sweeps are needed for safety and to put an end to the severe environmental damage these people are doing.

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  • suicidarida March 26, 2016 at 7:36 am

    As it turns out. He was staying with his brother.
    Who called in as to police after returning bloody.
    Must of been bad. i wish this creep to be worm food.

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    • Todd Hudson March 26, 2016 at 10:18 am

      A more recent article says he listed his address with his sister – and he stayed with her one day before going bush. He had probably beenliving in camps on the Springwater….that’s why he was able to jump his warrant for nearly six months.

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    • Ted Timmons (Contributor) March 26, 2016 at 10:52 am


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      • Dan March 26, 2016 at 1:20 pm

        Less then a ten second search – Google is your friend.

        The report says he “showed up at his brothers house,” not that he was living there. It also says he took the knife he used in the attack from the victim. I guess it was a good thing she didn’t have a gun.

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        • Ted Timmons (Contributor) March 26, 2016 at 3:43 pm

          Grudge much?

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        • longgone March 26, 2016 at 5:16 pm

          Why is it a good thing she didn’t have a gun? Hell, I want to buy her one, and pay for her training. I’m not sure I understand your statement.

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        • suicidarida March 26, 2016 at 7:31 pm

          Actually I stated returned.

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      • suicidarida March 26, 2016 at 7:28 pm

        mine was kxl news at 7 am this am.

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  • suicidarida March 26, 2016 at 7:39 am

    What do we do? Wear A chastity device when riding the corridor??

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  • Katie Taylor March 26, 2016 at 1:50 pm

    The homeless camps need to be cleaned out of there. It’s not compassionate to do nothing about them – it’s lazy and irresponsible. It’s ridiculous to invest so much to create, maintain and protect public space and then not do even the bare minimum to keep it public – namely, not allowing individuals to break off pieces and keep it for themselves. Public space is the wealth of people with few resources of their own, and like any treasure, it needs to be protected from activities that diminish everyone’s freedom to enjoy it.

    Humans are apes. We’re territorial. Once a person is allowed to call a place their ‘home,’ it’s not public space anymore. You should expect to be treated however this person would treat you if they got you alone in their house. The public agencies with jurisdiction over the Springwater Corridor are absolutely accountable in part for what happened to this woman.

    I’m assuming I’ll hear from someone saying ‘but where will they (the homeless) go?’ I don’t understand the point of this question – it only seems to serve to make the person asking it sound virtuous and to stop the conversation — also to justify maintaining the status quo, which isn’t working. You might as well ask what we as the public are supposed to do about the feelings, compulsions and circumstances that drive people to other forms of antisocial behavior. If I don’t have an answer for that, does that mean it’s not ok for me to try to make them stop?

    If a City decides it is going to let individuals requisition public space for their own use (and in what way is this fair?), at the very least it should lay down rules and expectations, and it should absolutely know who each one of these people is, and if they’re a danger to the people around them (including other homeless people). Allowing a lawless and totally unaccountable shadow society to grow up around you out of sheer inertia is dangerous and foolhardy.

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    • Skid March 27, 2016 at 4:21 pm

      I ask the question “where are they supposed to go?” because without providing some location for the homeless to live they will just be moved around from place to place, with the crime and property damage following them.

      I don’t like all homeless people being painted with the same brush, but it is a fact that many of them are criminals. Many of them are not criminals though. Some even have jobs. In a city where the rents have doubled in a couple of years and wages have stagnated, and affluent people are moving here from other places, the money needed to get yourself back on your feet is nearly unattainable. And the waiting list for housing via social services is around 2 years long.

      Here is where I break camp from “the bleeding hearts” though, and honestly when I was younger I never thought I would have this view. The camps need to be swept for criminals, by means of ID checks for outstanding warrants for theft and violent crime. In a way it is for the homeless population’s protection as well because having criminals amongst the camps is just as dangerous to non-criminal homeless people as it is to the rest of the population, possibly more because there sure as hell aren’t any Police patrolling the Springwater Corridor or the I-205 bike path.

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  • JeffS March 26, 2016 at 10:56 pm

    So, all those rants about the homeless in the last article were baseless?

    Who could have guessed.

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    • Chris I March 27, 2016 at 10:55 am

      Um… The guy was living along the path off and on. He was arrested along the path. Did you read the article?

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  • SE March 27, 2016 at 10:14 am

    I rode The Badlands of SpringWater yesterday. Most of the campers are not visible, not sure if they stay inside the tents or are gone for the day.

    Did have a group blocking the path , just east of 82nd.

    The fort at Beggars Tick has pallet walls and smoke from their fire is evident.
    The few campers under the 205 overpass seem friendly & non-threatening.

    The 30 (40?) tents just east of 82nd are filthy. In the past, one of their fires spread to a bus on the other side of the fence they are butted up against. Charred it.

    BUT, I haven’t witnessed the bike chop shops of the past with the current campers.

    Never thought I’d witness this kind of thing in America.

    WAKE UP City Council/CH !!!

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  • Skid March 27, 2016 at 3:08 pm

    So far I have not found anything supporting the idea the he was a homeless person camping on the Springwater Corridor. In fact, his brother said to Police “he lives in a house near the Springwater trail with his wife…and that they had seen the defendant shortly after the rape occurred. Peacock explained that the defendant is his brother, and that he matched the description he saw on the news of the suspect.”

    Also for all the victim-blamers saying that people should carry weapons to protect themselves against rape: The woman told officers he “started to hand her a bicycle pump, but then quickly grabbed her forearm with one hand and used his other hand to grab a knife that was clipped to [the victim’s] front pants pocket. He then held the knife to her throat and told her he would kill her if she screamed or tried to get away.”

    And unlike other commenters I will cite my source http://www.kgw.com/news/crime/suspect-arrested-in-sex-assault-along-springwater-corridor-bike-trail/100477755

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    • Ted Timmons (Contributor) March 27, 2016 at 4:27 pm

      Thanks for the quotes and cite- more information is coming out, and the news sites are updating their stories. Actually holding a bike pump- OMG. This gets scarier every time more information is added.

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    • Ted Timmons (Contributor) March 27, 2016 at 4:29 pm

      Oh- the article says (near the top) “Police said that Peacock was homeless.”.

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  • Skid March 27, 2016 at 4:54 pm

    Yes well “staying with friends/family” is still regarded as homeless. It has not been reported that he was camping along the Springwater Corridor.

    Would you like to continue mincing words?

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  • Skid March 27, 2016 at 5:00 pm

    SRSLY try to stay with me til the end of the sentence

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    • Ted Timmons (Contributor) March 27, 2016 at 5:34 pm

      I assume you are replying to me? I thought I was agreeing with you. As I said, “this gets scarier every time more information is added.”. Walking up holding a bike pump would be a (mentally) disarming move. Progressing from that to a knife horrifies me.

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  • Skid March 27, 2016 at 5:56 pm

    You must ride freewheel the way you backpedal.

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    • Ted Timmons (Contributor) March 27, 2016 at 5:57 pm

      I’m sorry I wasn’t clear in the original message, Skid.

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      • rachel b March 27, 2016 at 8:18 pm

        Just passing by but I don’t think you’re the one owing any apology, Ted.

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  • Danny March 28, 2016 at 7:10 am

    Perhaps you should say “Peacock ALLEGEDLY approached the woman” – for journalistic integrity

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  • Eric March 28, 2016 at 12:57 pm

    Unfortunately this particular instance seems like a textbook “PC” shaming moment.
    The commenter’s sentiments were completely empathetic and supportive — they just did not use the *correct* words to express that.

    Doesn’t sound like anyone is doubting the toll such sickening violence takes on victims. Quite the opposite in this specific instance!!

    It will not help past or future victims to ostracize those who are making an effort to engage with the community in a supportive way, simply for the thrill of rushing to take offense to a word without considering the context.

    Equally sad is the people projecting their opinions about guns onto this same commenter’s reference to puncture proof tires.

    Peace, love, and unity y’all!

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  • Dora Kesslar July 4, 2016 at 1:22 pm

    I am Peacocks sister he was not a homeless camper on the trail
    And to the victim or victims. PEACOCK has all was been a troubled (THING)
    To the young lady he did this to you are in my prayers PEACOCK should not have been let out of prison. I am so so sorry for what he did to you. They got him and now he will die in prison. There are a lot of other people who should have to ancer for this. When PEACOCKS name went infront of the board members. His mental health council staded that if relesed that PEACOCK would reafiend and should not be released !!!!!!!!! But they let him out anyways. I let PEACOCK stay at my apartment. I was staying with my boyfriend. He wasn’t out a month be had hes prison friends staying there the police were called almost got me kicked out. I went over to pick something up and noticed my TV was missing among other things. I kicked him and his buddies out. I was claiming up and in my kitchen I found drug paraphernalia.
    PEACOCK moved to our little sister. Witch PEACOCK was arrested across the street. On bike path. Our brother lives in Gresham by the path PEACOCK was riding his bicycle out there and staying with him on weekends. before PEACOCK went to prison for the 30 years PEACOCK was in and out.
    PEACOCK is 1 out of 5 kids PEACOCK stold from all of the family even our Mom and step Dad. PEACOCK KIDNAPPED a lady at nife point made her drive him to Iowa were our Dad lives. They must if got tired of PEACOCK here. They let PEACOCK off of chargs and let PEACOCK live there with our Dad and family. He lasted maybe 4 months our Dad and the family went on vacation left PEACOCK there. When they returned PEACOCK had cleaned them out and stold there other car. So i hope this gives you all some answers.PEACOCK IS RIGHT WHERE HE BELONGS BEHIND BARS……….. its just to bad that PEACOCK ANDgot the chance.and he destroyed a young womans LIFE
    I do believe in forgiveness but I don’t think I will be able to.

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