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Police arrest three men after ‘boobytrap’ injures bicycle rider on I-205 path

Posted by on November 10th, 2018 at 10:47 am

Victim says she saw the three men run up this hill just south of Division St MAX station.

Portland Police say three men stretched woven string across the I-205 path last night in an intentional act that caused an injury to a bicycle rider.

Here’s more from the statement just released by the PPB:

On Friday, November 9, 2018, at 10:53 p.m., East Precinct officers responded to the report a bicyclist was injured as a result of a boobytrap that was erected across the Interstate 205 Multi-Use Path near Southeast Division Street.

Officers and emergency medical personnel arrived and located an injured adult female. Emergency medical responders provided the victim on scene medical treatment. Officers learned the victim was traveling north while riding her bicycle on the Interstate 205 Multi-Use Path when she became entangled and injured by material strung across the path.

As an officer canvased the area, he located woven string that spanned the path just south of Southeast Division Street. During the investigation, officers also located three suspects believed to have positioned the woven string across the path. The three suspects were taken into custody without incident.

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L to R: Justin Jones, Antonio R Tolman-Duran, Dakota Murphy

Police arrested 23-year-old Justin J. Jones, 27-year-old Justin R. Tolman-Duran, and 21-year-old Dakota E. Murphy. All three were booked into jail (and have since been released) on charges of Assault in the Fourth Degree and three counts of Reckless Endangering.

This is not the first time bicycle riders have faced human-caused hazards on the 205 path. In July 2017 a man was the victim of verbal and vehicular assault when a another man drove his car onto the path about 1.3 miles south of Division.

And we’ve seen similar trip-wire incidents in several other locations. In September 2017 we reported on wires placed across a trail in Gateway Green and a cross an intersection in northeast Portland. In 2014 the Portland Police Bomb Squad responded to a wire strung across a public trail near private homes in Forest Park. In 2010 someone strung a trip-wire across a street next to Ladd Circle, a location where neighbors had complained about bicycle users not obeying a stop sign.

If you come across something on a path or in a park that appears to be a booby trap, call Portland Park Rangers at (503) 823-1637 or the PPB’s non-emergency line at (503) 823-3333. Call 911 if there’s an immediate safety hazard or if you see a crime in progress.

(P.S. If you’re paying attention, behavior like this should not be a surprise. When we allow hate toward bicycle users to become normalized (as it is in comment sections in every local media outlet), this is one way it manifests. It might be fun/funny for some people to wish injury (even death) upon other people for no other reason than riding a bicycle; but it’s not funny at all when those feelings are acted upon.)


UPDATE, 12:05pm: The victim is Montavilla resident Carlene Ostedegaard. According to her partner, she was riding home from work (on Foster) when it happened. The location was just south of the Division MAX stop. “It was a couple passes of twine or thin rope at about the face/neck level,” Ostedegaard’s friend told me.

She was riding north and saw the three men run up a hill.

Here are photos of her injuries:

— Jonathan Maus: (503) 706-8804, @jonathan_maus on Twitter and 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. Also, if you comment frequently, please consider holding your thoughts so that others can step forward. Thank you — Jonathan

135 Comments
  • PATRICK November 10, 2018 at 11:35 am

    This is a very bad location because it is downhill and bike speeds can be high. I was surprised going through the underpass two weeks ago by a camp that extended half way into the path. There were also loiters on the other side of the path. It may be an area where some campers claim the space without recognizing bikers rights to transverse.

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    • Columbo November 10, 2018 at 12:07 pm

      The camps (and their mountains of trash) have been encroaching on the path lately, mostly on the north side. I’ve seen people intentionally kicking gravel onto the path from the ODOT access road that leads down there, and I’ve even seen someone deliberately place broken chunks of cinder block in the path. I try to stop and remove this stuff when I come across it, but I’m also increasingly wary of being attacked.

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    • Eastside Loc November 10, 2018 at 12:36 pm

      1 comment in: somebody already blaming this on campers along the trail. While complaining about normalizing violence against cyclists, I see a lot of normalizing fear, hatred, suspicion and violence against houseless folks here on this site and in the cycling community. It’s like we pass along the violence! Can commenters of this blog challenge themselves to be a little less fragile and predictable and stop punching down on them as drivers do to us?

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      • Columbo November 10, 2018 at 1:01 pm

        I can tell you, with certainty, that no functional adult hangs around a dark path at nearly 11pm on a cold night.

        Do you live along the 205 path? I do. This is my neighborhood and I’m sick and tired of people making excuses. The amount of crime and violence that tolerating “campers” has brought is staggering and I no longer feel safe on the path. They’ve claimed it as their own and nothing that the city or ODOT has done so far addresses these very real problems.

        Realistically, there’s a very, very good chance that these grown, adult men are living along the path. The hillside that they ran up, after the assault, is a popular place to pitch a tent and shoot up. I know this, again, because this is my neighborhood and I keep an eye on it. I see what goes on, and I’m upset about it, rightfully so.

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        • Toby Keith November 10, 2018 at 3:11 pm

          And sadly it won’t change as long as we have a mayor who won’t lift a finger against “vulnerable citizens”.

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        • Eastside Loc November 10, 2018 at 3:20 pm

          Columbus, do you suggest we stop tolerating the campers? What does that mean not to tolerate them? Do we go ahead and descend on their camps, rifle through their bikes looking for our own, get them all swept and then bring them back as inmate work crews to clean up the path again? Cause that’s what we do over and over again- and it ain’t working.

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          • Sara Cowling November 10, 2018 at 4:54 pm

            Yeah, I do suggest that. I don’t want to see the bike path covered with camps. I rode this stretch thursday, and I was really surprised to see how many places I had to dismount and walk through. It was terrifying, to be honest – I was really vulnerable. I’ll just have to go back to not riding the 205 path until it’s safer for people to use.

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            • Taylor November 10, 2018 at 8:53 pm

              I used to be pretty tolerable of the campers.

              A few months back I was stopped at night by a camper that wouldn’t let me pass by him walking towards me on the 205 path near gateway. I would go right and he would stay in front of me, I’d go left and he would stay in front, not letting me pass. He was clearly completely out of his mind yelling at me telling me I owed him money and was stealing his stuff. He got in a defensive stance to fully stop me and yelled at me he would “fu**ing knife me if i stole it again” right up at my face. I nudged my way past him looked back and he was walking my direction. I have never ridden away from someone so fast in my life. Since then I try to avoid the 205 path as much as possible, mainly at night, but it couldn’t help but lower my tolerance for the campers.

              As of note, I’m 6’3 and he couldn’t have cared less. My girlfriend refuses to ride this trail at night, and I don’t blame her in the least.

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              • Toby Keith November 11, 2018 at 6:36 am

                I had a similar experience on the 205 path where it goes under Sandy blvd. And you are basically trapped under there with nowhere to run. This was months ago and I’ve never ridden that way again. Maybe it’s cleared by now?

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              • Johnny Bye Carter November 11, 2018 at 2:08 pm

                I was there last Sunday and the part under and around Sandy was so full of campers that on my way back I took 105th into Maywood Park. I also avoided a section north and south of Burnside.

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            • Fred November 11, 2018 at 8:00 am

              @Sara Cowling I already do avoid the I-205 path, along with most other paths on the east side. But then again I have the luxury of doing so b/c I don’t live near it and don’t demand on it for commuting or shopping. While we all should do whatever we can to support the houseless population, allowing them to transform the paths into camps is unacceptable.

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            • rachel b November 12, 2018 at 4:53 pm

              I second Sara. I stopped riding the paths awhile ago. They’re for campers, now. Enforcement is nil. And “tolerance” of crime is a ludicrous idea–and it’s crime that’s the issue, here.

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          • J_R November 10, 2018 at 5:08 pm

            In a word: YES!

            WTF, they were already released even with multiple convictions for a couple of them.

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          • Middle of The Road Guy November 12, 2018 at 8:55 am

            I don’t see how your solution works, either. Oh wait…you don’t have one.

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      • JJ November 11, 2018 at 5:32 am

        “campers”? Come on…not campers. The bulk of the folks living in and around the 205 path are homeless addicts(of one substances or another). Heroin is being opening sold at the junctions to the 205 path at Holgate, Powell, and especially around Stark. The reason these folks live in these areas is the proximity to the substances of choice and the market that has evolved around them. Young men with backpacks hanging around the path and surrounding areas are not sightseeing they are the dealers. It is sad and unfortunate and I am not sure what to do about it. I feel sad for the folks that need help and are living out there, the residents of the area, and for any cyclists that are forced to ride in the area. It’s a shame .

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    • Mike Quigley November 11, 2018 at 5:54 am

      Yes, the poor can an irritant. But, you might try slowing your bicycle in their presence?

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      • Chris I November 12, 2018 at 9:26 am

        Slowing down is a good idea, but it also leaves you open to knife attacks. Can you suggest what one should do when an urban camper blocks the pathway while wielding a knife, refusing to let you pass?

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      • rachel b November 12, 2018 at 4:55 pm

        You should be nicer when someone’s trying to stab you. Or shouting invective at you. Or clotheslining you. You should be nicer. YOU should be nicer.

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  • Dan America November 10, 2018 at 11:40 am

    Wrong photo given the location of the incident was actually just south of Divison St on the path.

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    • Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) November 10, 2018 at 11:42 am

      Thanks. It wasn’t meant to show exact location.

      I should be in touch with victim soon and will find out exact location.

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  • Bruce November 10, 2018 at 12:17 pm

    In October of 2015, I got to flip over my bike underneath Strawberry Lane overpass on 205 path in Gladstone when I hit some construction equipment either left on the path or put there. Not fun for weeks thereafter. Spot has subsequently added lighting so you can see anything strewn on path.

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  • Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) November 10, 2018 at 12:18 pm

    UPDATE, 12:05pm: The victim is Montavilla resident Carlene Ostedegaard. According to her partner, she was riding home from work (on Foster) when it happened. The location was just south of the Division MAX stop. “It was a couple passes of twine or thin rope at about the face/neck level,” Ostedegaard’s friend told me.

    She was riding north and saw the three men run up a hill.

    Here are photos of her injuries:

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  • John Mulvey November 10, 2018 at 1:00 pm

    Columbo
    The camps (and their mountains of trash) have been encroaching on the path lately, mostly on the north side. I’ve seen people intentionally kicking gravel onto the path from the ODOT access road that leads down there, and I’ve even seen someone deliberately place broken chunks of cinder block in the path. I try to stop and remove this stuff when I come across it, but I’m also increasingly wary of being attacked.Recommended 0

    Your basis for assuming that acts of these three suspects have anything to do with homeless people in the area…?

    PS. You’re not going to be attacked. Try to get a grip.

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    • Columbo November 10, 2018 at 1:11 pm

      Personally? I’ve been yelled at in a threatening manner. I’ve had “campers” intentionally block the path in front of me, forcing me to detour into the grass. I have felt unsafe on the 205 path multiple times. Ask anyone who lives nearby, as I do: there are some very unstable people living along the path and most feel they have very little to lose. Even a lengthy arrest record won’t keep you in jail for long– for instance, the suspects in this story: multiple arrests for violent offenses, still out on the streets victimizing people on a bike path. Can’t deny what’s staring you directly in the face. I’m tired of Portlanders bending over backwards to excuse this antisocial behavior.

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    • Chris I November 10, 2018 at 2:51 pm

      People have been attacked on the I205 path. Are you naive or just trying to be difficult?

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    • Bjorn November 10, 2018 at 5:33 pm

      Folks from Montavilla have told me that this isn’t the first time there have been tripwires at this exact location and they believe them to be associated with the camp.

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    • Beth H November 10, 2018 at 6:25 pm

      I’ve been blocked, threatened and had bottles thrown at me on the Springwater MUP. I’ve been spat on and blocked twice on the I-205 MUP. ALl within the last five years. I’m no longer riding those paths unless I’m riding with a large group of people. And that’s not paranoia; it’s common sense. I’m sorry that people are reduced to camping along these paths, but it’s a huge, interstate and frankly unsolvable problem right now. There is neither the money or the political will to spend it to make the staggering changes in healthcare, housing and employment that are needed on a NATIONAL scale.

      Until there is, I have compassion but it only goes as far as me not being attacked or injured.
      Past that point, I need to take care of myself and preserve whatever safety I have left in this rapidly-growing city. I don’t believe there are bogeymen lurking behind every corner; but I do believe that if our elected officials and law enforcement cannot keep us safe on these paths, then I have to choose where I ride more carefully. Am I conceding the MUPs to those who camp alongside them? Yes, for now. I have no other solutions that are actually doable at this point. Sorry.

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      • SE 34th November 10, 2018 at 7:08 pm

        My 15-year-old step daughter was assaulted on the Springwater last year. We called the police to make a report, who basically inferred that these paths were no longer safe for women riding alone, even in daytime. It’s a shame that it’s come to this.

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        • John Lascurettes November 12, 2018 at 10:29 am

          I guess “To Protect and Serve” is somebody else’s responsibility to PPD? This is highly upsetting.

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          • onegearsneer November 13, 2018 at 10:59 am

            I have a good friend that’s a cop, and avid cyclist/commuter, and would love nothing more than to help with the safety concerns but as mentioned by other commentators, the mayor has mandated a “hands off” policy which is very obviously not working….

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            • John Lascurettes November 16, 2018 at 1:16 pm

              I was speaking to the specifics of the young woman’s case where she was assaulted. That should have definitely triggered an explicit investigation and that is outside of the “hands-off” attitude of the mayor. Instead it is being used as a scapegoat to do nothing.

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        • X November 12, 2018 at 10:17 pm

          To me that sounds like a confession that they don’t have an effective way to do law enforcement in these places. Their equipment, training, and tactics don’t work there. They don’t really do bike patrols in places other than downtown, and two bike cops aren’t considered to be critical mass in a place like the Springwater corridor. One bike cop? Fuhgeddaboutit.

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      • curly November 11, 2018 at 6:49 pm

        I would encourage everyone to contact police chief Danielle Outlaw to encourage her to fund officers to patrol, by bike, along the I-205 MUP and other problematic areas in east Portland.
        I met several officers from East Precinct at a Gateway Green event last summer who are actively seeking such a patrol. They were “on the ground” officers who strongly believe such a patrol would be beneficial to the community. We can’t lose this active transportation facility because of unsafe conditions.

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    • jeff November 12, 2018 at 10:09 am

      I was attacked, without provocation.

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    • rachel b November 12, 2018 at 4:59 pm

      It stands to reason that if all human being are capable of being jerks, at least SOME (will you accept one?) of these campers will be jerks. Especially in a drug-saturated environment dominated by young unemployed men, egging one another on.

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  • John Mulvey November 10, 2018 at 1:23 pm

    Sounds like you’re sick of people calling out your bigotry.

    When you read a story about three housed people committing an assault, your response is to go on a tirade about homeless people. There’s your “antisocial behavior.” Stop doing that.

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    • Carlin November 10, 2018 at 1:38 pm

      Where does it say the assailants are/aren’t homeless? Protecting territory makes more sense to me as a motive than general malice towards all cyclists.

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      • John Mulvey November 10, 2018 at 2:45 pm

        So unless the story says someone isn’t homeless, you’re justified in assuming they are? Your bigoted suppositions aren’t facts –they’re merely bigoted suppositions.

        And wtf does “protecting territory” mean? The homeless don’t allow bikes on the 205 trail? I ride that trail daily and no one has ever blocked my passage (except ODOT).

        You’ve crafted a whole storyline here based on nothing but your pre-existing hatred of people you don’t know.

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        • Dan S November 10, 2018 at 3:25 pm

          As have you…

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        • Sara Cowling November 10, 2018 at 4:59 pm

          I was blocked by multiple camps and groups of people on this path Thursday. If that kind of behavior doesn’t scare you, congratulations – that’s an awful lot of male privilege there.

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        • Carlin November 14, 2018 at 6:25 pm

          All I said is that it being a homelessness issue seems more likely given the evidence provided. You are being rather vicious for someone who doesn’t have any supporting evidence for their position.

          Have you been reading the news lately? Homeless people attack cyclists all the time. So why are you assuming that these assailants weren’t homeless when the pattern indicates that they are and there’s no evidence to the contrary.

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      • Eastside Loc November 10, 2018 at 3:23 pm

        This is the reasoning we are using in 2018. Where is the evidence that they AREN’T homeless? Is this Bicycle Fox News?

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    • Columbo November 10, 2018 at 2:42 pm

      You’re trying to twist this into a debate about social justice, and ignoring the very real facts: the 205 path is a hotbed of criminal behavior. Put the issue of “camping” aside for a moment and realize that you’re marginalizing a very real assault that occurred against one my neighbors. I find it sickening that people are defending violence, drug abuse and environmental damage. The longer we ignore the root cause, the worse it will get.

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      • Eastside Loc November 10, 2018 at 3:35 pm

        We don’t have this problem because we tolerate people taking shelter in our public spaces. We have this problem because we tolerate our wealth being drained by excessive housing costs.

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        • KTaylor November 10, 2018 at 5:25 pm

          Yes–and if you want to zoom it that far out, you might as well blame every problem in the world on human beings evolving from apes and retaining a lot of undesirable chimpanzee behaviors–which incidentally is where our territoriality issues come from. People who are allowed to claim a place as their home will defend it against other people they don’t want in their home. This is why public shared spaces should not be used as homes.

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          • Matt S. November 12, 2018 at 10:13 am

            You forgot one thing, the chimpanzees were sober…

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        • Chris I November 12, 2018 at 9:29 am

          This is primarily an addiction issue. Housing prices don’t help, but most of these people would still be out on this path if we had, say, Boise-level rental prices.

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          • Matt S. November 12, 2018 at 10:22 am

            I recently was in a profession where I had frequent high contact with heroin addicts on the street. I always made sure to ask these two questions: how much do you spend each day? And how do you get your money? Responses ranged from $45 to $80 per day. Most said they collected cans to raise money. One individual said he stopped at $45 because he knew if he collected more he would smoke more. He also said when he’s really working, he could collect upwards of $150 a day.

            It’s an addiction issue.

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  • Bryan Hance (The Bike Index)
    Bryan Hance (The Bike Index) November 10, 2018 at 1:42 pm

    Justin Jones – many prior arrests: menacing, concealed weapons, interfering public transit, theft

    Tolman-Duran – couple of prior “theft of services” arrests

    Dakota Murphy, just the one.

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    • Jolly Dodger November 10, 2018 at 2:36 pm

      Gotta think the “brains” was the menacing guy. They’re all about dickweed looking fucks to me. Hope they up the charges to intent to do bodily harm…isn’t that a felony assault charge? They should all be in jail still. I’d liken it to swinging a sword in a Walmart.

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    • Eastside Loc November 10, 2018 at 3:39 pm

      [gets my bike stolen 9 times]
      why would the homeless do this

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    • Bald One November 11, 2018 at 7:43 pm

      The three suspects and your additional info here, almost seems like a chrono-story – Drugs: before, during, after. What happened? So sad, and I am sorry for the victim, what a terrible thing.

      Since we have them in custody, it might be interesting to learn first hand what motivates people to commit such random acts of violence directed to bikers on the path. Were they acting on socio-pathic impulses, or perhaps they missed their intended target? Maybe follow-up reporting will learn why this act was committed….

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      • rachel b November 12, 2018 at 5:03 pm

        I think I understand their motivations just fine. I’m really done with trying to understand aholes and jerks, at this point. (No offense to the great Bald One). 😉

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  • B. Carfree November 10, 2018 at 3:33 pm

    Why isn’t this an Assault 3 charge, which is a felony?

    ORS 163.165 (1) A person commits the crime of assault in the third degree if the person:
    (e) While being aided by another person actually present, intentionally or knowingly causes physical injury to another

    Clearly the cops believe the three of them acted together and were all present and knowingly caused physical injury to another. Why are they charging it down as a misdemeanor, especially when these charming young men have priors (including menacing)?

    I suspect the reason is that our cops cannot envision themselves or their families riding bikes and being victimized by such a booby trap, so they take it less seriously. Maybe one of our legal beagles can set me straight on why such a violent crime is charged at such a low level.

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  • Christine November 10, 2018 at 4:10 pm

    How horrible to have that happen! At night time too! Everything from it’s a bad prank to I’m going to get raped, robbed, and/or killed.

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  • Fozman November 10, 2018 at 5:19 pm
    • mark November 10, 2018 at 11:14 pm

      Earlier when his profile was more public someone commented asking why he did it and he made a joke about being innocent until proven guilty with a winking emoji… not quite an admission but pretty close.

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  • Mark November 10, 2018 at 5:20 pm

    From what I read, and the pictures of the ladies neck, I think they should be charged with attempted murder. It looks like that was set up as a garrote cord. They basically tried to decapitate her. I have heard of situations where people on snowmobiles have been decapitated by fence wires. It can also kill by crushing windpipe and knocking person unconscious when the fall off the bike. Those boys need to spend some time in the state pen. And if your prosecutor doesn’t try to put them there, then you probably need a new prosecutor.

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  • Bjorn November 10, 2018 at 5:40 pm

    According to a group that has been working towards improving public safety in Montavilla all 3 of the accused were camping near where the tripwire was set. Seems pretty clear that some of the homeless folks along this stretch of the path are trying to make it unusable so they can own it as their territory similar to what has happened by the tunnel under sandy near the parkrose transit center. Totally unacceptable in my opinion.

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    • Columbo November 10, 2018 at 6:23 pm

      I know that tunnel! It’s become a real problem recently. One half or more will be blocked by tarps or shopping carts, forcing bikes into a minefield of broken glass and rocks that looks awfully intentional. Do the people defending “campers” understand how terrifying it is to be in an isolated area, far from help, and meet these obstacles? It’s escalated, too: I never used to see this type of intentional provocation a few years ago. Now I’m left to wonder if I should be riding with one hand on my pepper spray canister.

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      • Bjorn November 10, 2018 at 7:20 pm

        Yeah I use Sandy even up the hill now instead, which is really not awesome but feels safer than the path and less likely to get a flat too. They are clearly intentionally breaking glass bottles there to discourage people from biking through.

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    • soren November 11, 2018 at 5:05 pm

      “According to a group that has been working towards improving public safety in Montavilla all 3 of the accused were camping near where the tripwire was set.”

      A second hand account from some unspecified “group”.

      Boy that’s convincing!

      Based on past experience on this site, if it does turn out that those who carried out this crime are not houseless there will be absolutely no apology from those who are angrily stereotyping.

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      • Hello, Kitty
        Hello, Kitty November 11, 2018 at 5:31 pm

        Regardless of the housing status of the accused, can we all agree that this sort of behavior is not tolerable? I think we should all work together to ensure our bike paths are safe for everyone who uses them, be they housed or homeless. Those camping there, are, after all, highly vulnerable to the violent and predatory, and they too deserve protection from criminals.

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        • Resopmok November 12, 2018 at 9:21 am

          Not only that, but that instances of violence, intimidation, assault, and use of dangerous illegal drugs in this corridor have increased in the past couple years. This includes multiple first hand accounts right here in the comments section.

          The impulse to defend a vulnerable houseless population is noble, but the logical correlation between these increases in crime and the increase in campers along the path cannot be ignored. Furthermore, these problems are actively discouraging people from using a public facility, yet the city seems ambivalent at best. What suggestions do you have for increasing safety, reducing trash and pollution, and protecting the houseless at the same time? Is it even possible to accomplish all these simultaneously, or do we need to create priorities for focus?

          I for one think we should start with stings to arrest the dealers, find help and rehabilitation programs for the users, and institute safety patrols which keep the path clear during daylight hours at a minimum. You’ll notice I’m not suggesting campers move necessarily, but clearly work needs to be done in facilitating conversation that can help the populations determined to remain there in helping to keep a safe environment for all path users.

          TLDR: there is clearly a problem here and pretending it will solve itself hasn’t/isn’t working. Projecting bias on a group of people who voice concern about this problem is not a viable solution for fixing the problem.

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          • soren November 12, 2018 at 10:49 am

            “Projecting bias on a group of people who voice concern about this problem is not a viable solution for fixing the problem.”

            Houseless folk are typically more at risk of potential abuse and violence in these areas than housed folk. This is exactly why projecting bias on a group of people with no evidence is problematic.

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        • soren November 12, 2018 at 9:26 am

          can we all agree that it’s dishonest and abusive to suggest that there are people posting here who believe this sort of behavior is tolerable?

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          • jeff November 12, 2018 at 4:06 pm

            Can we agree that it is dishonest and abusive to claim it isn’t going to happen and that we should all get a grip? Because it does happen, it has happened. I stopped riding for a long time after I was attacked and so did the other person who was attacked at the same time as me.

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      • Chris I November 12, 2018 at 9:33 am

        People are angry for good reason. We are being threatened, injured, and our active transportation options are being blocked. Do you ever ride these areas? The surface street alternatives are unsafe. I can no longer safely bike with my daughter to get her to Gateway Green now. I guess I’ll just drive my car. Are you happy now?

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        • Dan A November 12, 2018 at 10:47 am

          How do you drive to GG?

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          • Chris I November 12, 2018 at 10:57 am

            Driving would allow me to park in Maywood Park, to access GG from the north. We live south of Gateway, so it is not safe to ride around if the I-205 path at Gateway is blocked. Both alternatives add many miles on busy surface streets, and the Prescott overpass. 102nd Ave is not an option on a bike with kids.

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        • soren November 12, 2018 at 2:59 pm

          “Are you happy now?”

          Another completely false claim that I support violence.

          Do you folk even realize that this is a widely read public forum and that the movement that increasingly controls our city government sees and reads your comments? If this kind of angry and biased rhetoric is making me disinterested in bike advocacy, what kind of effect do you think it has on many progressives who are even more distrustful of “white-lane” advocacy?

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          • Chris I November 12, 2018 at 8:06 pm

            You may not support it, but your are complicit because you advocate for relaxed enforcement based on housing status, rather than purely the crime committed. Homeless advocates didn’t create the crisis, but they have prevented the needed enforcement that would keep our bike paths safe.

            You must have given up on bike advocacy already, because you are turning a blind eye to something that is deterring cycling in Portland.

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          • Hello, Kitty
            Hello, Kitty November 12, 2018 at 8:32 pm

            >>> what kind of effect do you think it has on many progressives who are even more distrustful of “white-lane” advocacy? <<<

            Something akin to the effect of advocates downplaying lawlessness by (some of) those camping along bike corridors.

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          • soren November 13, 2018 at 12:28 pm

            I support actions that target anti-social behavior, not “enforcement” that collectively punishes people who are also often victims of this same anti-social behavior.

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            • Hello, Kitty
              Hello, Kitty November 13, 2018 at 1:32 pm

              So police patrols are good, sweeps are bad?

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              • soren November 13, 2018 at 3:51 pm

                This is a chronic issue and requires a diversity of approaches. Creating safer locations for campers (until we create sufficient supportive housing) would reduce the abuse and harassment faced by both trail users and the houseless folk who live adjacent to trails.

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  • Wylie Dulmage November 10, 2018 at 6:23 pm

    Not sure which post you read because no one was talking about punching down, they were talking about making their bike path useable again. Making the 205 path safe for riding doesn’t mean exterminate homeless people. It really is tragic, I don’t even bother riding on it ever anymore, wondering when the city will decide that the 205 multi use path is a resource that should be safe to ride and walk on for everyone.

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    • David Hampsten November 12, 2018 at 1:28 pm

      Technically, it’s not a city resource, it belongs to the state (ODOT). If you really want to do something about fixing it, I’d start by contacting you county commissioner (for example Jessica Vega-Petersen) about the county working jointly with ODOT to clean up the corridor. The county supplies homeless and addiction services (not the city) while the state can supply low-risk prisoners to clean the refuse along the route. Technically the state highway patrol ought to be providing bike cops on this route supplemented by county sheriffs and then PPB.

      I’d also suggest creating a first-of-its-kind “neighborhood watch” involving roving local bicyclists, with training by local police and the cooperation of the highway patrol and county sheriffs, including and especially night-time patrols by activists like yourselves.

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  • Ex-Port November 10, 2018 at 6:35 pm

    Glad I don’t live in Port Land, anymore. It’s gloomy.

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    • David Hampsten November 12, 2018 at 4:39 am

      Amen. Officials here in NC still cite Portland as the superstar of the bike planning world, where everything works prefect. BP acts like paparazzi as it reveals all the sensational sordid details of Portland’s fall from fame – drug addiction, senseless crime, dubious politics, and constant rehab.

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      • Chris I November 12, 2018 at 9:34 am

        Violent crime per capita is still at an all-time low. Property crime is up, yes.

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  • Tyler Bradford November 10, 2018 at 7:02 pm

    I’m a little surprised here. Have we become so numbed to the definition of the word, by the ever-increasing severity of these kind of incidents in our culture, that we don’t even think to call this what it is?

    It’s terrorism. It’s literally a textbook definition of a terrorist attack

    Sure, there’s no IEDs. There’s no assault rifles. There’s not an institutional religious or governmental angle. But it sure sounds like…

    “the use of intentionally indiscriminate violence as a means to create terror among masses of people”.

    We’re those people. And this is unacceptable. And if Portland metro, Multnomah County, and the state of Oregon want anyone to believe that Vision Zero isn’t anything other than political grandstanding, these people need to be tried as terrorists.

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    • X November 12, 2018 at 6:40 pm

      A person was hurt and I will not diminish that. There was a timely law enforcement response and I hope that is a precedent if I’m ever in that situation–thanks Portland Police! If those dudes are convicted maybe they’ll quit doing violent crimes and get busy gentrifying.

      But terrorism? Really? If this is terrorism, what is it when Saudi Arabia drops US-made bombs on civilian targets in Yemen? Since the T word is busy on tbe I 205 bikepath, that must be genocide.

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  • Joe Adamski November 10, 2018 at 8:11 pm

    Sadly, the current state of affairs lessens the desires to move forward on other projects for fear they too will suffer the same fate.

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    • curly November 11, 2018 at 11:26 am

      Already has. Gresham/Fairview trail will not be constructed, as hoped, because of the issues on the Springwater Trail several years ago when camping was out of control there and the community did not want the same in their neighborhood.
      Fortunately Springwater is a Parks facility and it is illegal to camp in a park so it was easier to clean-up the camps. Unfortunately the campers quickly figured out the I-205 path was the immediate option and the laws are different because it’s an ODOT facility.
      So, who among us has the solutions? What might they be? Where do we start?
      The thing that strikes me the hardest is that east Portland residents, both cyclists and pedestrians, have lost Portland’s premier multi-use path because we no longer feel safe using it.

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      • TAJ November 11, 2018 at 2:48 pm

        I’ve watched Springwater and I-205 paths go to pot (pun not intended) for the last 5-6 yrs. I’m not supporting new paths until we take care of the ones we have.

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      • Al November 11, 2018 at 7:58 pm

        I’m confused. Gresham – Fairview Trail is already in place. What “will not be constructed” on it?

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        • J_R November 11, 2018 at 10:10 pm

          A planned extension to Troutdale was stopped a couple years ago because of this issue. Check the Bikeportland archives at:

          https://bikeportland.org/2017/01/13/metro-hits-pause-after-crime-fears-fuel-gresham-mayor-opposition-to-40-mile-loop-project-213291

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          • Al November 12, 2018 at 12:11 am

            Gresham – Troutdale, not Gresham – Fairview. Got it. Thank you.

            I live along the Springwater and ride past the section Gresham closed off. Now, in the winter hours, this typically happens in the dark, often both coming and going. I’ve been doing this for well over a decade and have yet to experience problems.

            I experienced far more risk to my safety along 181st due to traffic than I have ever experienced due to homeless along the same exact length of the Gresham – Fairview Trail. Yes, they are there. They come and go, but unless they’re living directly behind your house, and I do feel for those home owners /renters, they have never bothered me or anyone else I know who rides these trails. Of course incidents can happen. Like, I said, I prefer the trail to riding N/S connections like 181st, Hogan or Eastman.

            So the one point that Mayor Bemis is missing is that by delaying the Gresham – Troutdale Trail, he’s effectively putting bicycle commuters at risk who need to make that connection and are doing so along busy N/S streets today.

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  • Lisa November 11, 2018 at 9:10 am

    Carlene, If you’re reading this, I hope this message finds you feeling better. So sorry this happened to you. <3

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  • Hello, Kitty
    Hello, Kitty November 11, 2018 at 2:53 pm

    Is it possible to be tolerant of (and compassionate towards) the homeless and campers, but be intolerant of violence, aggression, and antisocial behavior?

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    • 9watts November 11, 2018 at 10:46 pm

      One would like to think so.

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    • Lester Burnham November 12, 2018 at 7:11 am

      Unfortunately with my personal experience on the Springwater they go hand in hand. Like a broken record city leaders are blaming this on a housing crisis. Yeah no kidding housing is expensive for everybody. How about admitting we have a whole lot of substance abusers out there? Or do we just keep giving out free needles and look the other way? It’s sure working out great isn’t it?

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      • X November 12, 2018 at 8:06 am

        Free needles? Nobody starts using drugs because of all the free needles you can get. Needle programs are a direct solution to a deadly serious public health problem, and in the process they offer support to users who are ready to kick their habit. As opposed to bitching on the internet.

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        • Toby Keith November 12, 2018 at 5:26 pm

          Pretty safe to say the improperly discarded needles littering parts of the city pose a pretty serious public health problem.

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          • John November 12, 2018 at 7:58 pm

            Free needles aren’t free unless you exchange a used one… the needle exchange goes a long way toward keeping discarded needles off the path/street.

            However, the orange caps are all over the 205 path.

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    • Middle of The Road Guy November 12, 2018 at 9:00 am

      In the minds of many progressives, it is impossible for the downtrodden to commit any acts that impact others negatively. And if they do, those acts are frequently excused away under a context of social justice.

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      • 9watts November 12, 2018 at 9:23 am

        Your first sentence is absurd, a straw man.
        Your second sentence includes a whiff of truth: social context often matters hugely. Of course those on the right in this country are resistant to accepting this, but evidence is not on their side.

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        • Middle of The Road Guy November 12, 2018 at 9:51 am

          I disagree with your analysis.

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          • 9watts November 12, 2018 at 10:15 am

            OK, for starters, let’s look at the proportion of those people who are locked up for violent crimes who were abused as children? I think it may be hard for many of us who have not grown up with that sort of trauma to get into the mind and heart of someone who did. Plenty who were abused do not go on to commit crimes, of course, but the overlap is suggestive.

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            • Hello, Kitty
              Hello, Kitty November 12, 2018 at 4:13 pm

              But we still have a duty to protect society from the violent, regardless of the reasons for the behavior.

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              • rachel b November 12, 2018 at 5:09 pm

                I was abused as a kid, and hear, hear Kitty.

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              • rachel b November 12, 2018 at 5:13 pm

                Portland is essentially hogtied by (what I see as) wildly misplaced “compassion.” Hitler was abused as a kid, too. If we think we can go about trying to “understand” and–what? Insta-mend?!–the person who presents as a danger to others, we are fools and really poor stewards of the folks who are being hurt.

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              • 9watts November 12, 2018 at 5:25 pm

                Absolutely.
                Notwithstanding MotRG’s overdrawn caricature, the point surely is to find solutions, improve lives, spend our public funds wisely. And above all recognize the messiness of our world, how far we’ve allowed things to slip out of control, largely because of exactly the kind of harshly reductionist conceptions about our fellow humans that convinced conservatives to gut funding for social services and fund the infrastructure to instead throw a higher percentage of our neighbors and relatives in prison than any other country. We can see all around us how well this has worked our for us.

                Solutions aren’t likely to be simple or quick, but here’s a thought-provoking example of a very different country tackling one aspect of this, by most accounts successfully.
                https://www.thenation.com/article/switzerland-addiction-prescribed-heroin/

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              • 9watts November 12, 2018 at 7:04 pm

                “hogtied by (what I see as) wildly misplaced ‘compassion.’”

                I could see how that plays a part, but I think that in this instance our leadership has been unable to find ways to differentiate between compassion of the houseless whose only crime is lacking a roof over their heads, and enforcement of the aggressive/delinquent/violent behaviors perpetrated by individuals and groups who also live outside and may mix with the former.
                Mostly I feel that our collective inability to take action has to do with decades of ignoring a short list of deeply interrelated problems that have (forseeably) gotten much worse in the past decade:
                inequality,
                abysmally inadequate social services to deal with mental illness and drug abuse,
                with the prison-industrial complex as poor substitute
                housing unaffordability/gentrification
                vast sums going to the weapons and war instead of toward solving problems here at home

                How is a mayor or a city council supposed to fix all or even a substantial part of this?!

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              • X November 12, 2018 at 11:01 pm

                Thanks for hanging in there, 9. You could add to your list: Passing laws without the public support, political will, and resources to enforce them. Specifically drug laws, but maybe you could throw speed limits in there as well.

                Heroin and cocaine are scary drugs, I’ve tried neither of them and never will. However making them illegal just ensures an unregulated supply, feeding the habits of people whose dependency has driven them beyond the law AND subverting the economy, government, and culture of small countries in other places. We spend a lot of money and many lives trying to fix things in places where we have no business except that for some reason they are awash in dollars and produce the very drugs that we are trying vainly to save ourselves from.

                If you suspend judgement and spend the money to provide addicts with a place to get off the street, use the drug they can not resist, and then go back to their lives, you would actually save money. Police could focus on violent crimes (there would be a lot less petty theft.) Providing a drug to people isn’t treatment but you could give addicts a choice of doors: back to the street, or into treatment.

                Will somebody tell me our government is too moral to give people drugs? Make my day.

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              • David Hampsten November 12, 2018 at 11:17 pm

                Your leadership and your underfunded police can only do so much given Portland’s general apathy. Both Council and the police are dependent upon an informed, collaborative and proactive community. There’s far more to effective democracy that just voting and jury duty. You need to work with your neighbors in Lents, Montevilla, Hazelwood, Madison South, and Parkrose on patrolling the path in conjunction with ODOT, PPB, the highway patrol, Multnomah County human services, homeless advocates, and other stakeholders to fix the various problems on the pathway, to make it safe for all users, including the non-violent campers. You need to build a coalition of partners to share the burden of overcoming the issues discussed here.

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  • Trebor November 12, 2018 at 8:54 am

    I stopped taking the section under Sandy Blvd. It’s easier to cut through Maywood Park anyways, and it avoids the section of path under Sandy that is narrowed by virtue of the fact that people are living there.

    Once was enough for me taking the section between the Gateway Transit Center and SE Stark. The Glisan intersection is particularly nasty as the people turning north onto the freeway are simply not looking to the right. I cut through the transit center and take 99th down to SE Market and rejoin the path on the other side of the Market bridge. It’s far from perfect, but it avoids the one really bad section of the 205 path.

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    • mark November 12, 2018 at 10:34 am

      Yeah, that Glisan intersection is terrible. A really poor implementation of a major bike route crossing an arterial.

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    • matchupancakes November 12, 2018 at 3:58 pm

      @Trebor, could you provide a map of this alternate route? The Glisan intersection design is too dangerous as it exists today.

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  • X November 12, 2018 at 9:22 am

    What frame of mind must a person be in to commit acts that will bring heat on them personally, for instance an assualt charge, and inevitably get their camp rousted? Assuming that they were living in the vicinity which we Do Not Know. Maybe they were just hanging with somebody who squats there?

    Note: the three people who were arrested are accused, not convicted. I’m appalled by what happened to a person riding through on their bike. That doesn’t change the fact that the police don’t always get it right. In this case the usual number of suspects was, yep, three, and here are three guys. Voila, let’s call them bad names and crap all over their facebook page. Maybe it’s a righteous bust and they had a big ball of similar string on them. I don’t know but neither do the shit-talkers above.

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    • X November 12, 2018 at 9:29 am

      Guilty of having a rap sheet, therefore guilty? In one case, guilty of having a frowny mug shot. Therefore guilty. Jonathan, what’s the value of publishing a mug shot?

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      • Chris I November 12, 2018 at 10:59 am

        So we know what they look like, and thus can avoid them if we see them while riding?

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    • PS November 12, 2018 at 11:06 am

      LOL, wut? You mean, why do people commit crimes when to a rational person the consequences severely outweigh the possible benefits? Frankly, the type of person who may have access to a warm home, but elects to go hang out in someone’s tent along a bike path on a cold night, very well may be the type of person who has the exact type of decision making skills that would conclude setting up a trip wire on the path, “to ya know, see what we catch”, is a good idea. Maybe also the same type of person who isn’t a committed criminal and they catch a woman and hear her cries, so they just run rather that going through with their plan. Yet, these are also the type of people who know the odds of PPB actually showing up are pretty slim, so just lay low and see what happens. So, yeah, the cops don’t always get it right, but the type of people who set up a trip wire with twine likely aren’t the sharpest knives in the drawer, so I am willing to give PPB the benefit of the doubt on this one and let the justice system go to work.

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      • X November 12, 2018 at 6:14 pm

        maybe maybe maybe…but you assume their guilt. That’s clear enough.

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        • PS November 13, 2018 at 10:28 am

          No assumption necessary, the victim saw three men run from the path, they stayed in place after she hit all the trip wires, and continued to stay while she called the police. The police showed up, they ran and the police caught them, in the “kangaroo pouch” of the kangaroo costume one of them was wearing (wish I was making that part up), they found a ball of twine that matched what was used on the path.

          Regardless, there were no less than 10 crews out this morning from the Springwater to north of Division getting campers up and starting clean-up. This was the most coordinated clean-up I have seen since summer time.

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          • X November 13, 2018 at 10:28 pm

            Guess I’m behind on the news. Stipulating all that, it’s the dumb crime of the week. Florida man type thing.

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  • maxD November 12, 2018 at 11:15 am

    I believe that for a City to succeed, most people, including the govenment and the police, need to buy into a common understanding of civic life. For Portland, as I understand it, the government will provide safe, functional streets and support alternative transportation, acceess to good local schools, a robust network of clean, safe outdoor spaces, and a favorable small business environment. In exchange, the City has an Urban Growth Boundary to keep development more compact and affordable, and taxes. In exchange for denser living, we get great openspaces, and train/bus/bike network. So far, it has worked out pretty well, but the institutional racism and the effects of the opioid crisis have caught up to us. People have lost confidence in the police, and attempts to keep our streets safe and our parks and openspaces safe and clean have largely stalled. IMO, addressing this is critical to Portland’s future. We cannot afford to relinquish our parks and openspaces or our parks. I agree that we must provide a place for people to sleep, but it should not come at such a high cost to our society. This a classic Tragedy of the Commons example. I propose using as many parking garages as necessary on an emergency basis until more permanent solutions can be found. These could be filled with cots, partitions, and they have shelter and electricity. They are close to services and are easy to maintain. With this option, camping in parks, on beaches, and along trails would not longer be tolerated. If the City cannot keep its openspaces clean and safe, and if walking, biking and riding transit become so fraught and unsafe that women and children do not feel welcome, Portland is going to start seeing people either moving out to the suburbs, or relying more on cars for necessary trips and even to get to safe places to walk or be in nature. Not adressing this urgently is very bad our city, and leaving peopel to set up their own camps in any corner of the CIty to suffer alone with addiciton is not really helping them, either.

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    • PS November 12, 2018 at 11:41 am

      I think what you meant to say was…For a City to succeed, a single generation of public servants should not have pension benefits so generous it will put the education (third lowest graduation rate in country), safety (fewer cops now than when we had a couple hundred thousand fewer people) and infrastructure (been anywhere in the city lately) of the city they served at such a risk. Further, at a certain point in time (generally due to population and geographic scale), the city will realize that it benefits no one to continue to elect an otherwise unqualified board of commissioners to operate rotating bureaus within the government headed by a mayor of supreme weakness and inability to correct anything, but is the face of the city. Oh, and I have never heard of a place where urban growth boundaries (intentional or geographic) have ever contributed to the affordability of housing.

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      • David Hampsten November 12, 2018 at 1:18 pm

        …especially when you have a city like Vancouver Washington next door that allows for all the sprawl in the world, as an outlet for all your urban growth boundary rejects. A truly enlightened city also requires all their city staff, including police, to live within the city boundaries so they’ll be motivated to improve the city they reside in. 80% of Portland police live outside the city, as do many of the PBOT staff.

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        • KTaylor November 12, 2018 at 2:49 pm

          Vancouver is too expensive for a lot of people now too.

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  • Matthew in PDX November 12, 2018 at 12:12 pm

    I have ridden along the I-205 path, the Springwater and other paths many times since moving to Portland in 2014. I have not personally been assaulted by anyone along these paths, but I typically ride I-205 on a weekend in the morning, between say 8.30 a.m. and 11.30 a.m. Springwater is a commuting corridor for me. Being male and riding on a weekend morning maybe what has saved me, I find the homeless that camp along I-205 are less active in the morning hours.

    That said, there is a crisis along the I-205 MUP, which would not be tolerated if it were a motor vehicle thoroughfare. I don’t know what the solution is, if there were simple solutions, the crisis would have been resolved by now. What I do believe is:
    – Many/most of the homeless people camping are current drug users and many have mental health issues as a result of, or exacerbated by, illegal drug use.
    – Homeless shelters will not admit people who are currently using drugs.
    – Salt Lake City and San Francisco are reported to have had some success addressing homelessness, but in neither case was it easy, cheap or quick. Salt Lake City developed strategic partnerships with LDS groups wanting to undertake outreach – this probably wouldn’t be acceptable in Portland.

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  • Welsh Pete November 13, 2018 at 7:47 am

    Its very clear Portland is experiencing compassion fatigue due to incidents such as this. Sweeping the area of camps will only move the problem and create further stress. Maybe its time for a Critical Mass along 205. Once a week, to let campers know, bicyclists are going to use this path safely, monitor what’s going on and we will have to find a way to co-exist.

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  • Bald One November 13, 2018 at 12:03 pm

    I am so pleased to frequently see over the past several weeks “Park Rangers” in uniform, on patrol, walking the Eastbank Esplande. I sometimes give them a shout out and a thank you. It has made a great difference, but how long will it last?

    Bike paths in Portland area fall into such a hodge podge of law enforcement jurisdiction. It’s no coincidence that homeless camps and bike paths go together so well – take a (sometimes) sheltered, car-free, out-of-sight, away-from-police car-patrol, path and put it on a county line, a city border, freeway easement, greenspace, wetland reclaim, or riverway, and you essentially create a difficult multi-jurisdiction no-mans-land where the car-centered politicians and law enforcement don’t care to look. What if we had similar issues in car tunnels and underpasses?

    I see this all the time – it’s way too convenient for the local enforcement agency to point the finger at another agency and shrug, “not our problem – go call Parks (ODOT)(Sheriff)(PPB) – it’s their problem”. Maybe Metro needs a bike path safety force?

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  • Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) November 14, 2018 at 7:26 pm

    I encourage everyone to read the latest story where I report that the two men accused of the assault gave a home address to police and said this about their motive: “When asked why they had put the string across the pathway… said they wanted to harass the transients in the area. Officer Miller spoke to suspects who said they wanted to ‘fuck with the homeless’ because ‘we don’t want them around here’.” https://bikeportland.org/2018/11/14/i-205-path-booby-trap-suspects-in-court-today-to-face-felony-assault-charges-292117

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    • Alan 1.0 November 15, 2018 at 3:37 pm

      That link needs to be fixed; it’s broken.

      I am favorably impressed by Jonathan’s courage and skill at broaching the overall topic.

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  • X November 24, 2018 at 12:16 pm

    Do the Portland Police have any plan for the situation on local MUPs?

    Does anybody believe this “fuck with the homeless” scenario supplied by the tripwire suspect(s)? It’s not a sensible statement. People who live in Vancouver don’t usually hang out on the I-205 bikepath harassing so-called homeless people.

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    • Hello, Kitty
      Hello, Kitty November 24, 2018 at 1:44 pm

      I believe it. In fact, it is really the only believable scenario. Who else is there to be fucked with in that location at that time of night?

      I also believe that the assailants were themselves members of that same community (as amorphously defined), and did not travel from Vancouver in order to set their trap.

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      • X November 25, 2018 at 10:22 am

        So it’s like country club members hating golfers? And Ms. Ostedegaard was a harmless passer-by who was injured by a trap set to afflict people passing by. If they wanted to mess with “homeless” people at that location they would have to do something like set fire to their own tent. It’s a crock.

        I considered the possibility that you were being facetious but you used some form of the word “believe” three times.

        None of the reported statements of the three suspects are credible. I don’t care if they have their stories straight or not, but using those statements to advance any other point of view is not reasonable.

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        • Hello, Kitty
          Hello, Kitty November 26, 2018 at 8:34 am

          It is pretty well known that criminals most frequently prey on those in their own community. It doesn’t mean I’m right, but the general senselessness of the whole thing notwithstanding, I really don’t see any other scenario that seems more plausible.

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          • X November 26, 2018 at 10:51 am

            . . .criminals most frequently prey on. . .their own community.

            –because that’s who is available of course. But, if they disable a switch on a rail line that happens to pass through their town should we agree it was because of a beef with a neighbor? Maybe their neighbor has a handcart and they want to trip them off the tracks. That must be it.

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            • Brian November 27, 2018 at 9:14 am

              As well as the high level of vulnerability, unfortunately.

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