Urban Tribe - Ride with your kids in front.

Alleged shooting by fellow camper sends Springwater resident to hospital

Posted by on July 5th, 2016 at 8:46 am

trail motion

The Springwater Corridor in January.
(Photo: M.Andersen/BikePortland)

A man living on the Springwater Corridor survived an early-morning “non-life-threatening gunshot wound” Tuesday near the path just east of SE 82nd Avenue, police said.

A news release from the Portland Police Bureau said the suspect also lives along the path, parts of which have become an informal home for people living in tents as local home prices have continued to climb.

The release said police “located and detained a person of interest in the shooting” but did not describe the detainee as the “suspect.”

Here’s the full release:

On Tuesday July 5, 2016, at 3:06 a.m., East Precinct officers responded to the report of a shooting on the Springwater Trail just East of Southeast 82nd Avenue.

Officers and medical personnel arrived and located the 48-year-old male suffering from a non-life-threatening gunshot wound. The victim was transported by ambulance to a Portland hospital for treatment.

Officers learned that the victim and suspect both reside along the Springwater Trail.

Officers searching the area have located and detained a person-of-interest in the shooting.

Assault detectives and Criminalists from the Forensic Evidence Division are responding to continue the investigation.

Updates will be released later today.

ā€” Michael Andersen, (503) 333-7824 – michael@bikeportland.org

Our work is supported by subscribers. Please become one today.


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 ā€” Jonathan

55 Comments
  • Matt S. July 5, 2016 at 10:49 am

    What is supposed to be one of Portland’s most beloved off street paths has become one of the most unsafe places in all of the city.

    Recommended Thumb up 44

  • T.S. July 5, 2016 at 11:06 am

    I commute from Gresham to Hollywood on the Springwater. My workday starts at 6AM, so I rode near here at about 5:30 this morning, and didn’t see any police presence. Granted I turn onto the 205 before 82nd, but there was nothing different.

    Even at that early hour, the path is regularly blocked by people. This morning, I was approached by a person at Foster, and had to jump the red light, because he was heading straight for me talking nonsense.

    Recommended Thumb up 14

  • SE 34th July 5, 2016 at 11:17 am

    My 15-year-old stepdaughter was the victim of an assault yesterday, when two people walking on the Springwater near Powell Butte tried to push her off her bike as she passed by. She swerved and kept her bike upright, and took off sobbing. I picked her up off the Trail and filed a report with the police. It’s a tragedy that a 15-year-old cannot ride her bike on the Springwater in the middle of the day without fear of being assaulted.

    Recommended Thumb up 60

    • Chris I July 5, 2016 at 11:19 am

      It is just a matter of time before neighbors start banding together and policing this stretch themselves. Something terrible is going to happen if the police don’t do something.

      Recommended Thumb up 30

    • Kate July 5, 2016 at 11:37 am

      I’m sorry to hear this and hope it doesn’t keep your step daughter off her bicycle for long. It is so disheartening to have these things happening. The springwater was once a favored link in my recreational rides, but I won’t ride there any more either since I’m usually riding alone. I feel for those who rely on the path as part of their commute or connections in and out of the city.
      I feel for those who are living alongside the lawlessness and violence (neighbors and others sharing the space out of necessity). I wish their was a stronger patrol/ beat on the path where officers were getting to know all the folks living there so that could be a resource for those wishing for a safe place to be and enforcement for those making it unsafe.

      Recommended Thumb up 10

      • SE 34th July 5, 2016 at 1:25 pm

        Right now she is afraid to ride her bike anywhere. And that sucks. I can’t help but feel we are sliding backwards by not dealing with this problem.

        Recommended Thumb up 18

    • gretchin July 5, 2016 at 12:49 pm

      Oh, no! I’m so sorry this happened to her. It’s NOT OK. šŸ™

      Recommended Thumb up 9

      • Jeff July 5, 2016 at 7:30 pm

        Edited for civility. Please talk here the way you would in person. Thanks. -ma

        someone is shot with a GUN out there and you’re more concerned about the feelings of a 15 year old? how about the victim of …you know…the bullet wound?

        Recommended Thumb up 0

        • gretchin July 5, 2016 at 11:28 pm

          It’s not either/or, Jeff. Both things can exist at the same time.

          Recommended Thumb up 14

        • Middle of the Road guy July 6, 2016 at 3:43 pm

          Well, the 15 year old probably did not initiate the conflict. Someone getting shot usually is not a random thing.

          Recommended Thumb up 3

    • Fitzy July 6, 2016 at 8:46 pm

      I am so sorry.
      At 15 riding her bike should be her freedom and independence.
      I hope the two of you can find a place she feels safe to ride again.

      Recommended Thumb up 2

    • Ryan W. July 7, 2016 at 11:14 am

      This area is part of my commute to work. On my way home several months ago, I had a woman stop me just before this section and ask if she could ride with me through it, because a few days before she had someone try to knock her off her bike as well. I’m happy to slow down and ride with anyone who needs it to feel safe, but it’s sad that anyone needs it to begin with.

      Recommended Thumb up 3

  • Todd Hudson July 5, 2016 at 11:36 am

    I’m lucky that my house isn’t near a multi-use path or city-owned property. Remember when having those things nearby was a plus? Oddly, that transition coincides with our illustrious mayor’s term in office.

    Recommended Thumb up 18

    • Oliver July 5, 2016 at 12:36 pm

      It also coincides with the market adjustment in 2008, and the subsequent rebound in both the stock market and incomes at the upper end, and the shedding of jobs and incomes below that.

      Recommended Thumb up 13

    • B. Carfree July 5, 2016 at 2:59 pm

      I do remember when having a bike path nearby was a major plus to a house. A colleague moved to Atlanta from Davis and promptly got involved in trying to get a bike path established. Homeowners near the route were concerned about a decline in property values, so my colleague asked me what I could find out about that. Since the head of planning for the city of Davis was on my basketball team, I asked him. He just happened to have done a little study that showed that, at least in Davis, being adjacent to a bike path added $100,000 to the value of a house (average house prices were about $300k back then, so this was substantial).

      I suspect that the value of being adjacent to a bike path is still positive in places that enforce so-called quality of life crimes. However, in Oregon and other places with commuter cops and/or inadequately managed (and too small) municipal budgets, bike paths may now subtract from house value. What a shame.

      Recommended Thumb up 6

      • ColdSwim July 5, 2016 at 3:47 pm

        I think it may depend where in Oregon. Bend might be a good example of where having your house near a bike path would actually increase the value of your home.

        Recommended Thumb up 9

        • Matt S. July 5, 2016 at 8:16 pm

          The point of the comment was to highlight how having a bike path adjacent to your property should be an asset booster, not a negative. The Springwater should be a positive piece of recreation infrastructure, but not if people are getting raped and shot along the corridor.

          Recommended Thumb up 11

      • pdxbikeworm July 5, 2016 at 4:32 pm

        I have noticed gentrification occurring along the bike boulevards – particularly noticeable in Lents and NE Portland. Sad to hear of a young lady being attacked on the SC.

        Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Adam H.
    Adam H. July 5, 2016 at 11:51 am

    Clearly the camps need to be better policed, primarily for the protection of the people living in them. PPB’s “hands-off” approach to homeless camps is a poor strategy if it denies security to the campers. Homeless people deserve to be safe just as much as anyone else.

    Recommended Thumb up 9

    • dwk July 5, 2016 at 12:07 pm

      Actually the camps and campers need to be removed from this public park.
      I don’t care where…

      Recommended Thumb up 61

      • Eric Leifsdad July 7, 2016 at 1:33 am

        Plenty of free parking spaces.

        Recommended Thumb up 2

  • Mark Smith July 5, 2016 at 12:10 pm

    Lawless camps are lawless camps. They need to go.

    Recommended Thumb up 47

  • Rob Chapman July 5, 2016 at 12:11 pm

    Mad Springwater, Fury Road.

    Recommended Thumb up 6

  • CaptainKarma July 5, 2016 at 12:32 pm

    I’ve been threatened by and accosted by sketchy people in every quadrant of the city. But they were driving.

    Recommended Thumb up 18

    • Adam H.
      Adam H. July 5, 2016 at 12:33 pm

      I wish the city would address the lawless drivers that are decreasing our quality of life and threatening our friends and families.

      Recommended Thumb up 12

  • David Hampsten July 5, 2016 at 2:12 pm

    Dear BP community,

    There’s been homeless camps on the Springwater for over 20 years, including lots of weird people. True, the rapidly rising rents that have forced many more into camps or even to leave town altogether (like for myself.)

    Blaming Hales instead of yourselves for doing nothing to fix ongoing East Portland issues may be convenient, but it is hardly fair. Those of us who have been trying to improve the area over the past 25 years since annexation have historically gotten little help from either the city or from the greater Portland bike community. Only in the past year has the violence on the Springwater and elsewhere gotten so bad that bicyclists from inner Portland paid attention.

    I’m sorry anyone has ever been hurt along the path, but in many ways, such incidents help East Portland in the long run, by pushing active users of biking and walking to use city streets in East Portland. The Springwater, the I-205 MUP and Marine Drive paths are essentially bypasses around or through East Portland, designed for Inner Portlander’s to ignore the diversity that is East Portland and its many communities.

    Now that you are finally convinced that the problems on the Springwater are not going away any time soon, maybe you’ll use your collective influence (which you have gobs of, believe me) to finally get PBOT to implement the $70 million of improvements they have already got funded for East Portland.

    Recommended Thumb up 8

    • ColdSwim July 5, 2016 at 2:49 pm

      David says, “Iā€™m sorry anyone has ever been hurt along the path, but in many ways, such incidents help East Portland in the long run, by pushing active users of biking and walking to use city streets in East Portland.”

      I wish I could agree with you David, but I see a scenario where the Springwater trail gets ignored. Coming from NoPo the only reasons we biked out in East Portland and used the Springwater was because of the trail itself, used for recreation. I’m sure that many still use it to commute into Portland, but I have a feeling that most of the users that you want to keep will stop using the trail as it becomes bad experience after bad experience. My wife and I haven’t been out that way for a few years, all because of the bad press that it’s received. We haven’t ourselves had any negative interactions with others on the trail, but unfortunately we’ve decided it’s not worth the risk. It’s not to the level that we fear for our lives, but if we have a choice of riding to Kelly Point Park, up to Forest Park, or using the Spring Water, then we’ll choose one of the first 2 just because we don’t want the possibility of having to deal with the issues on the trail.

      It’s sad, I know. My heart breaks for the tragedy that was once something I was proud to have out of town visitors ride and see what a wonderful place this is to live.

      Recommended Thumb up 8

      • David Hampsten July 5, 2016 at 3:21 pm

        Chris, I have no doubt that the Springwater will continue to be ignored. That’s kinda my point. Next time to become inclined to visit Gresham or Boring from North Portland, I dare say you’ll be inclined to avoid the Springwater, so you’ll seek some other of the many alternatives. As you explore, I hope you’ll advocate to make “transportation” improvements to East Portland bike routes other than the Springwater, rather than “security” improvements to the Springwater, which has nothing to do with PBOT, but with Parks and police. PBOT has money for East Portland, lots of money; give them directions on how to use it.

        Recommended Thumb up 3

        • ColdSwim July 5, 2016 at 3:42 pm

          It’s a lofty goal to try to encourage more bike advocacy in outer East Portland, especially much needed from us who live closer to inner Portland. I guess I was trying to get the point across that the majority of riders aren’t advocates and will be difficult to get involved. I think the reality will be that instead of an encouraging sign of more people on the surface streets of outer East Portland, that you’ll instead see less people riding anywhere in outer East. All because the Springwater could be considered (atleast to me) an entry level ride for any novice rider who might be thinking of getting into regularly riding their bicycle. And now that entry point into happy experiences that lead to more people getting out on their bikes has been compromised. Keep up the good fight, but I see darker skies coming. I hope I’m wrong.

          Recommended Thumb up 9

          • David Hampsten July 5, 2016 at 4:14 pm

            I’m not particularly worried about having fewer bicyclists in East Portland – the numbers have been rising steadily, and though it is officially no longer “affordable”, East Portland is still cheaper to live than any other part of the city by a huge margin. As far as I’ve observed during the 8 years I lived in East Portland (2007-15), few of the bicyclists on the Springwater are actually from East Portland. This is especially true of the many “road” cyclists in spandix on fast bikes, who have lots of indirect and direct influence on city policies, as well as the homeless. The “roadblock” on the Springwater effectively pushes such bicyclists into the hills of conservative Happy Valley or into the heart of East Portland, for rides to rural east county or the Edgefield brewpub.

            Recommended Thumb up 1

            • pdxbikeworm July 5, 2016 at 4:42 pm

              I live near the SC, and have regularly ridden it since before it was fully paved. There are places of heavy usage, depending on the time of day, particularly from the Beggers Tick/Zenger Farms area to Jenne Rd. Lots of strollers, families – mostly local. Oddly, Mondays often seem when usage is heaviest. I think a lot of the folks are blue collar service workers getting Mondays off after working weekends. Its around Johnson Creek Blvd that the “homeless zone” encroaches (past the new restoration area), and this typically extends to where Beggers Tick begins. At times this is almost a solid homeless city. Many encampments are well organized and peaceful, but sadly, it seems almost inevitable that crime encroaches. As a guy/6-2/200 lbs, I feel pretty safe here, but no longer at night. I can imagine how single females/children/families feel.

              Recommended Thumb up 5

    • J_R July 5, 2016 at 3:36 pm

      David: Implementing $70 million of BOT improvements in east Portland will have not one lick of impact on improving the safety of the Springwater Corridor.

      The improvements may make east Portland more desirable, but what we need is clearing the lawless “campers” who threaten citizens trying to use public parks and transportation corridors.

      Recommended Thumb up 13

      • David Hampsten July 5, 2016 at 4:00 pm

        I agree, it won’t improve the safety of the Springwater, but it will provide better alternatives than which exist right now. The Springwater is a bit like a rural freeway that is the site of random violence and shootings, and no hope of any local enforcement of the law (comparisons to Mad Max are apt).

        But the irony here is that Inner Portland is not famous for off-street paths, is it? It is nationally famous for traffic-calmed residential streets that most bicyclists actually use, even here in Greensboro. East Portland is technically and legally part of that same city, so there is no real reason that it couldn’t be part of the same bike network of traffic-calmed residential streets; the money is there, but the political will and advocacy to get the city to spend it is lacking.

        A bigger question I have: Given a choice, do you prefer to bike on-street? Or do you prefer to bike on the multi-use off-street paths, like the Tom McCall Waterfront Park?

        If you prefer to bike on-street, and most people in Portland certainly seem to, why are you concerned so much about the Springwater?

        If you prefer to bike off-street, how is the Springwater different from the Tom McCall path? Because all 8 of the Parks Bureau police rangers are patrolling that, rather than the Springwater. Given a choice, would you be willing to give up the rangers for the Springwater, and ignore patrolling the McCall, and risk similar behavior there? Or split them 4 & 4, and do a half-a**ed job in both? What would be your choice?

        Recommended Thumb up 4

        • J_R July 6, 2016 at 12:23 pm

          I don’t think I should have to make a choice between adequate enforcement on the Springwater Corridor and the McCall Waterfront Park. Nor do I think I should have to make a choice between my personal safety or that of my children depending on our mode of travel.

          I used to commute on the Springwater Corridor to my job in Gresham. My children’s commute to school would have been great on the Springwater Corridor, but we prohibited them from using it alone.

          The Springwater Corridor and the on-street options for bicyclists should both be safe. As I’ve stated on this forum previously, I’ve given up riding on the Springwater Corridor unless I’m with a group. Abandoning public parks and transportation corridors to the lawless is unacceptable.

          Recommended Thumb up 6

          • David Hampsten July 6, 2016 at 3:37 pm

            And yet here you are. You have to constantly “unacceptable” budget choices, more police or more housing? Do you raise taxes, such as income or property taxes? No, you are (collectively) unwilling to do the first, and you are constitutionally restricted on the second. Do you implement a sales tax, as regressive as it is? No, Oregonians overwhelmingly vote against sales tax whenever it is on the ballot. So you have a more or less fixed budget, rising costs, high rent inflation, and as a consequence you have had to cut police and other law enforcement on a regular basis since 1992.

            Recommended Thumb up 0

            • J_R July 6, 2016 at 5:06 pm

              I voted against Measure 9, Measure 47, and Measure 50. I would vote in favor of a sales tax. I reject the idea that every tax measure needs to be equitable, but rather that the entire structure should produce reasonable equity. I think that the knee jerk reaction against a sales tax by a majority of Oregonians is short-sighted and has caused numerous problems.

              I generally favor a larger role for government because of economies of scale and a belief that there should be more equity among the citizenry. I have participated in budget hearings and have testified at numerous public meetings. I’m involved in the government process. I would also make some different choices in the way various governments spend their revenues. I would also favor more revenue and more expenditures. Enforcement is one of the places I’d support increases along with higher fines for non-compliance.

              Recommended Thumb up 4

    • Jeff July 5, 2016 at 7:32 pm

      and what the hell does infrastructure changes by PBOT have to do with homelessness?

      Recommended Thumb up 3

      • David Hampsten July 6, 2016 at 3:44 pm

        But this story is not about homelessness. It is about security. Specifically about the security of non-homeless cyclists passing through a public park, and the apparent lack of security for those non-homeless cyclists. Why are the cyclist riding in a public park (the Springwater) and not nearby streets? Partly because they have using the Springwater as a bike highway for over 25 years. But also partly because there are no other good transportation choices in the same area through the same corridor. So it is really an article about both security and transportation choices, IMO.

        Recommended Thumb up 0

    • Chris I July 6, 2016 at 7:47 am

      I pay taxes and elect leaders to solve problems like this. It’s not my fault that they waste money on expensive infrastructure (roads for cars and streetcars) while neglecting low-cost bike infrastructure. We have enough tax revenue to solve these problems; we just lack proper leadership. Blaming random residents of Portland for this problem is an outrageous position.

      Recommended Thumb up 3

      • David Hampsten July 6, 2016 at 3:49 pm

        Democracy isn’t just about paying taxes and voting, worthy as they are. It also about advocacy and working with your community to effect change, to affect the outcome of political decisions and decision making. I encourage you to join an advocacy group or three, such as the BTA, EPAP, or your local neighborhood association. Change your world, rather than bitch about it.

        Recommended Thumb up 0

    • Spiffy July 6, 2016 at 8:05 am

      if people can no longer stand the Springwater then they won’t tolerate the lawlessness an assault on the roads any better…

      they won’t switch to biking on roads, they’ll switch to driving…

      once the Springwater is fixed they’ll return there…

      a bad Springwater doesn’t mean more bikes on local roads, it means less bikes…

      Recommended Thumb up 14

      • Fitzy July 6, 2016 at 8:53 pm

        I am one who IS taking Burnside instead of Springwater now. That said, I expect that some folks who only rode on the springwater, aren’t riding at all now.

        Recommended Thumb up 3

  • Kyle Banerjee July 5, 2016 at 3:35 pm

    The harassment I have personally received late at night in certain areas is considerably worse than anything I’ve experienced on the roads.

    There are criminals in some of these camps. 100% of the people who cause me trouble are younger males in excellent physical condition. Some of them wear masks so they can’t be recognized. But you also have to keep an eye out for the mentally ill and drug addled since they can be unpredictable.

    Easier and safer to take the roads.

    Recommended Thumb up 21

  • Racer X July 5, 2016 at 4:16 pm

    Here is a DYI rack for cyclists seeking a bike more security:
    http://www.instructables.com/id/Bicycle-batonanything-carrier/

    Recommended Thumb up 1

  • Mike Sanders July 5, 2016 at 4:55 pm

    Shoving a girl on her bike with deliberate intent like that should have resulted in waves of police coming in to help her. Instead, silence from the city, and remember, Hales doesn’t leave office for another 6 months. Right now, filing a report with PDX police means nothing worthwhile happens. It’s time to bring in the state police to enforce protection for trail users because Portland’s won’t. The Metro Council should be upset as hell about this. They did fund the SWT’s construction originally.

    Recommended Thumb up 18

    • jeff July 6, 2016 at 11:42 am

      Sure, just like what happened when two people were tackled on the Eastbank just a year ago.

      Recommended Thumb up 0

    • Ted G July 6, 2016 at 12:03 pm

      With this statement are you saying that waves of police should be dispatched anyone that is shoved with deliberate intent? If so, I am wondering how you would expect the police to accomplish anything else. Or is it because she was riding a bike that you think that response is warranted?

      Recommended Thumb up 0

  • rachel b July 6, 2016 at 2:12 am

    I can’t believe we’re still having this conversation. But I pity our hogtied police department. Our police are forced at present to triage between ever-escalating gang shootings and crimes that once were considered serious but now have been demoted to the “quality of life” pile, simply out of necessity (poor management, insufficient staffing, underfunding). It worries me greatly. Especially the short shrift given lately to stalking/flashing/threatening crimes against women.

    It’s a slippery slope. People learn all too quickly when and where they can get away with things with impunity, and once bad behavior and crime become entrenched, it’s a herculean task to restore order.

    (an article from January detailing the PPD’s frustration and record-breaking low morale)

    http://1190kex.iheart.com/articles/portland-local-news-123543/portland-police-say-bureau-is-broken-14269381/

    Recommended Thumb up 6

  • SE July 6, 2016 at 8:21 am

    I was riding East on SW at about 90th the other day. Couple of riders in black on MTB’s passed me. PPD Officers.

    They waved and smiled at the “campers” as if they were in the Rose Parade and never slowed down , past the chop shops that were very visible -( at least to me. šŸ™ )

    Recommended Thumb up 4

    • rachel b July 6, 2016 at 9:39 am

      Ugh. Well, that’s aggravating (in the real sense of that word).

      Recommended Thumb up 4

  • Paul Z July 6, 2016 at 4:49 pm

    “…have become an informal home for people living in tents as local home prices have continued to climb.”
    That’s quite a leap, from tent camper to first-time homebuyer.

    Recommended Thumb up 7

  • SE July 7, 2016 at 5:27 pm

    Funny thing is that the “campers” now seem to have a sense of entitlement. They group up and block the path. You call that a bike is coming and …no reaction. Have had to divert to the off trail grass to pass them.

    In contrast, I ride the 205 path often too. Near Flavel there are sometimes gaggles of 15-20 geese blocking the path. But they DO see me coming and open up a passage . Interesting how ODOT has cleared out campers along 205, but the City can’t do the same for SW-MUP.

    Recommended Thumb up 3

    • Matt S. July 8, 2016 at 8:41 am

      Maybe the city is allowing people to camp “out there” on the Springwater because the lack of an alternative. If the city displaces them, where are they going to go: along the water front, in downtown under overhangs, other parks, etc.. I think it’s blatantly obvious the city prefers people to be down on the Springwater, out of sight from tourists.

      Recommended Thumb up 2