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Car passenger attempts knife attack on man biking in rural Washington County

Posted by on June 25th, 2019 at 10:54 am

Photo from bike-mounted camera shows car passenger’s attempted assault.
(Photos: Hank Bosak via Thomas, Coon, Newton & Frost)

We need your help to find suspects of an attempted assault and dangerous pass in Washington County that happened this past Saturday (6/22).

Incident happened just west of Hillsboro.

Hillsboro resident Hank Bosak was riding on NW Hornecker Road at around 2:00 pm on Saturday when the driver of a black or dark blue sedan passed him very closely. When Bosak returned home and watched video taken via his on-board cameras, he was shocked to see that there was a knife in the outstretched arm of the car’s passenger.

Bosak initially intended to file a citizen citation (using the procedure outlined in Oregon law), but when he saw the knife he immediately got a lawyer and contacted the sheriff’s office.

According to Ray Thomas with the Portland-based law firm Thomas, Coon, Newton & Frost*, this is the second time Bosak has had a dangerous run-in with a driver in rural Washington County. In 2004 (in a case that Thomas also worked on) he was the victim of a hit-and-run on nearby NW Susbauer Road that left him with multiple fractures and internal injuries. Bosak recently mounted front and rear GoPro video cameras on his bike so he’d have more evidence if/when he ever found himself in a similar situation. Unfortunately that time came on Saturday.

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A clear shot of the license plate (560 BLS), but the car is unregistered.

Thomas said Bosak was riding on Hornecker Road when he checked his handlebar mirror and saw a driver move his car toward him as he rode on the fog line. “The car passed Bosak at what seemed as close as a foot to him at about 45 mph,” Thomas shared with us via email today. “Hank yelled but the car occupants kept going and disappeared in the distance.”

Bosak’s bike.

Thomas says the video Bosak downloaded when he got home clearly shows a man lean out of the car’s window with a large knife in his hand in a position to stab him. After he called Thomas for legal advice, he also filed a formal criminal complaint with the Washington County Sheriff’s Office. The case has been assigned to Deputy Kenneth Coon (no relation to TCN&F law firm) with case number 50-191740742. Thomas says Deputy Coon ran the plate number from the video and learned that the car had been sold and the new owner had not yet registered it with DMV (which is against the law).

Since the car can’t be traced to a current owner or address, at this point all we have are the images and video from Bosak’s GoPro, the license plate number, and the make/model of the vehicle. “It is important that the images be circulated and an identification of the young men involved before they succeed in hurting someone,” Thomas says.

If you’ve seen this car and/or have any information about the driver or passenger — whether related to Bosak’s case or not — please call Deputy Coon at (503) 846-2700 and refer to case number 50-191740742.

*DISCLAIMER: Thomas, Coon, Newton & Frost is a financial supporter of BikePortland.

— 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

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PDXCyclist
Guest
PDXCyclist

This is so fucked And is attempted murder. I’m not a police officer or a lawyer but can someone explain how the car has license plates but is unregistered? When you sell a car, you keep your plates and put it on the next car/give back to the DMV I thought? If this is the car owners plates from the previous car, wouldn’t it be easy to find the name? Alternatively, if the plates are from the original owner, wouldn’t that owner know who they sold it to?

Mostly I’m confused by the presence of the license plate and what “unregistered” means

jeff
Guest
jeff

its really easy. the title was transferred, via signature, to the new owner – that new owner has filed the paperwork with the DMV yet. It doesnt’ require being a police officer or a lawyer to know that when a car is sold transferring a car to another person in Oregon is ridiculously easy…but the old owner should have some information on the buyer – at least his name on his copy of the title.

Martin Vandepas
Guest
Martin Vandepas

There is only one copy of the title and it is signed and given to the buyer in oregon. It’s a good practice to get information and check ID of the person you are selling to but that doesn’t happen every time.

Tommy
Guest
Tommy

The seller is supposed to detach part of the title and mail it to Oregon DMV with the new owner’s information within 30 days, I believe. If you’re curious, just look at a car title.

El Biciclero
Guest
El Biciclero

I think several people are confusing the registration document with the actual title to a vehicle. Perhaps this is because most people have never actually seen a title document, having never paid off a vehicle.

That multi-section document that has to have name, address and insurance policy information on it is the registration, not the title.

dwk
Guest
dwk

When and if they catch the perp, I am sure compassion and a good talking to, will serve as a nice deterrent to others…

Middle of The Road Guy
Guest
Middle of The Road Guy

Are we really calling for violence to be used on the occupants of the automobile?

Dan A
Subscriber
Dan A

Where did you read that? Maybe he’s looking for a legal penalty, as opposed to letting them off the hook like the tripwire boys.

Middle of the Road Guy
Guest
Middle of the Road Guy

The tripwire boys DID get a legal penalty. A very light one.

Dan A
Subscriber
Dan A

And yet they were let off the hook, as I said.

Middle of the Road Guy
Guest
Middle of the Road Guy

Okay, so what other options are available?

Dan
Guest
Dan

I’d like to know which model of GoPro Bosak is using. I guess it’s time to ante up myself.

Mike
Guest
Mike

I recently added a GoPro to my motorcycle (after one too many close calls) and went with the Hero5. It’s a few generations back so it’s cheaper and the video is still plenty good.

dan
Guest
dan

Thanks for the recommendation! I found a refurb Hero 4 Session at Newegg for $70 and it’s on the way to my door. If I like it (and the mounting options work out), I’ll get a second one for front and back coverage. Too bad we can’t just depend on people to act like human beings.

El Biciclero
Guest
El Biciclero

“Too bad we can’t just depend on people to act like human beings”

Unfortunately, this seems to be increasingly how human beings pretty dependably act.

encephalopath
Guest
encephalopath

So which was more dangerous, the knife or a motor vehicle piloted that close to a person at 45 mph?

And why is the former taken seriously as a threat to human life while the latter is not?

bikeninja
Guest
bikeninja

Because the use of a knife in this situation is a clear indication of intent, while the use of a motorcar for the same purpose can be brushed off as carelessness, or inattention. In a perfect world using a car as a weapon would bring the same consequences as using a knife as a weapon.

GlowBoy
Guest
GlowBoy

The former is taken seriously because it’s unusual (and because we have video evidence of it – even with video, it’s hard to tell exactly how far away the car is).

The latter happens all the time. Is there anyone here who HASN’T had a motor vehicle deliberately pass them too closely? Over the last 20 years I’ve had this happen at least a half dozen times, with yelling or other behavior from the driver indicating it was deliberate. And if anything, I feel like I’ve had fewer scary incidents like that than many other cyclists I know.

Cops basically don’t care about the latter, because the law is toothless and juries won’t believe the victim.

Doug Klotz
Guest
Doug Klotz

Hopefully the seller of the car knows who they sold it to, and can provide that information to the police.

ray thomas
Subscriber
ray thomas

Hank told me he studied the different GoPro models and a GoPro 4 will produce enough clarity of image that the license plate number of a car can be seen. He said a GoPro 2 would not produce a clear enough image.

Middle of The Road Guy
Guest
Middle of The Road Guy

That’s some scary shit and makes me think I really *should* use my rear camera more.

K'Tesh
Guest
K'Tesh

If we know the license plate… Then why don’t we know the make, model, and exact color of the car as it was owned by the previous owner? From the photo shown, I see Corolla (making it a Toyota) something or other “LE” (Limited Edition?). Do we know the VIN? I’m sure that the perps are now looking for new plates to steal to conceal it from LE (Law Enforcement).

Racer X
Guest
Racer X

Man, thank goodness for the “three feet law”!
[And bike cams…I wonder how much driver / passenger on cyclist violence goes “undocumented”? Perhaps more bike cams would have the same effect on roadway violence like it has had per police on pedestrian violence.]]

mp
Guest
mp

2001 Toyota Corolla CE / LE / S
VIN: 2T1BR12E81C444277
Style / Body: Sedan 4D Engine: 1.8L I4 EFI
Country of Assembly: Canada

B. Carfree
Subscriber
B. Carfree

This is sickening. I fear it will just get worse as the perps are allowed to get away with almost no consequences. Our legal system will have lots of empathy for the perps’ “youthful prank” and won’t want to “ruin their lives” by allowing them to face any real consequences for this barbaric act.

Hello, Kitty
Subscriber
Hello, Kitty

Why would someone in a knife attack face no consequences?

B. Carfree
Subscriber
B. Carfree

There’s something about the victim being a person on a bike that causes our system to change gears and think of the perp as a victim. A year and a half ago, a man with a knife went after my wife, not knowing I was riding stoker (night time). He froze at the sound of my voice. We called 911, but I foolishly told dispatch that we were on a bike, so no cop was sent. Amazingly enough, it happened again a few months later, same non-response even though the police log was empty of other calls. That’s just the way things work at this time in this place.

Tom
Guest
Tom

After a suspects plates are determine to be registered to an old owner, the plate number should be added to the existing patrol car plate scanner list, just like stolen cars, until the registration is updated.

Chris I
Guest
Chris I

And if the car is found, it should be impounded and sold at auction.

pdx2wheeler
Subscriber

I’m glad at least this story is inspiring some people riding bikes to get a camera. Don’t let a motor vehicle operator and a cop collude and tell your side of the story. Let your camera do the talking and keep the BS walking.

bikeninja
Guest
bikeninja

Since these persons seem to be living out some twisted medieval jousting fantasy, when we catch them lets give them their wish. Every evening at the State Penn in Salem they can put on a dinner show where they ride little pedal cars towards each other and joust with shanks as the inmates cheer and look on.

Toby Keith
Guest
Toby Keith

Wow scary stuff. But Is that the only photo of the alleged weapon? It’s a very odd way to be holding a knife.

Kate
Guest
Kate

Yes, I noticed that Koin covered the story and just reported the passenger as “flashing a knife” to the bicyclist. I mean, even if they are holding it oddly, I don’t think you ‘flash a knife’ behind someone’s back if you’re just trying to intimidate.

fourknees
Guest
fourknees

When selling a car write up a bill of sale for the buyer and seller. Each person signs both. This would include the buyers name and address and provides you as the seller a record of the transaction in addition to your obligations to report to the DMV.

GlowBoy
Guest
GlowBoy

I’ve always written up a Bill of Sale as you described (and checking the buyer’s ID), when selling a car private-party, but I bet most people aren’t that organized. It certainly isn’t required.

Craig Harlow
Guest
Craig Harlow

Curious why this hasn’t appeared yet on the Washington Co. Sheriff’s Office FlashAlert:
https://flashalert.net/id/wcso

Mark smith
Guest
Mark smith

I lay this at the feet of Lars Larson who has been stiring up bike hate for decade(s). Anyhow, anyone who sells a car with the plates on them is asking for trouble. I hand them a bill of sale and send them on their merry way.

Toby Keith
Guest
Toby Keith

Yeah let’s blame a radio personality instead of the individuals actually responsible for the incident. That’s a road to nowhere.

Middle of the Road Guy
Guest
Middle of the Road Guy

I’m halfway considering challenging him to a debate on his show regarding transportation funding. Every time he mentions cyclists, he says “who don’t pay their fair share”. He never has numbers.

BradWagon
Subscriber

I was confronted by a driver and reported to police and got the same “sold and new owner hasn’t registered, oh well” from police… Ok, so go cite the previous seller for failure to legally complete the sale of a vehicle?? Come on. Police know that driver accountability is a joke and it shows when you actually get into the details like this.

El Biciclero
Guest
El Biciclero

“…go cite the previous seller for failure to legally complete the sale of a vehicle??”

I don’t know if you’re being serious here, but I don’t think this is possible, and wouldn’t be very fair if it were possible. A private seller of a vehicle cannot compel a buyer to go to DMV and fulfill their legal obligation. I believe the seller is required to notify DMV of the transfer/sale, and hand over the title/reg to the buyer, but they can’t force the buyer to do anything.

Mark smith
Guest
Mark smith

Hitler Mussolini and Stalin didn’t really kill a lot of people personally. they really just use their words to motivate people to do The killing. Just saying.

Toby Keith
Yeah let’s blame a radio personality instead of the individuals actually responsible for the incident. That’s a road to nowhere.Recommended 3

Hello, Kitty
Subscriber
Hello, Kitty

Those guys were pikers compared to Lars Larson.

Toby Keith
Guest
Toby Keith

Oh please. You’re really reaching now. Stop it.

mark smith
Guest
mark smith

Toby Keith
Oh please. You’re really reaching now. Stop it.Recommended 1

So you don’t understand the power of words over the airwaves? Look, if you support Larson, cool. I used to until I saw he is a threat to decent people.

Middle of The Road Guy
Guest
Middle of The Road Guy

It’s not just conservatives that say things that can rile their base to violence. Somehow, people always justify their actions.

Brian
Guest
Brian

True, but that’s now what is being talked about here. He is an incredibly popular entertainer and people take his words as law. I’m not sure he is to blame in this instance, but he sure as hell doesn’t help driver/cyclist interactions with his anti-cyclist rhetoric.

Hello, Kitty
Subscriber
Hello, Kitty

Blaming Larsen is pure speculation. We know nothing about the perpetrators, especially not their political affiliations (if any) or radio listening habits.

Brian
Guest
Brian

We agree then.

Middle of The Road Guy
Guest
Middle of The Road Guy

I listen to him sometimes and I don’t take his words as law.

Also listen to KBOO and don’t take their views as law either. I just like to hear arguments from different sides.

Brian
Guest
Brian

Same. I also listen to his phone-in callers enough to know that many (most?) do, however.

MARK SMITH
Guest
MARK SMITH

Hello, Kitty
Blaming Larsen is pure speculation. We know nothing about the perpetrators, especially not their political affiliations (if any) or radio listening habits.Recommended 0

Hmm…let’s see here. Larsen is so anti bike it’s not even remotely funny. Let’s say for a moment these guys don’t listen to larsen. Sure. ok. But you know what…they hang with people that do. Bigotry rolls downhill.

this is on Larsen.

Mike Quigley
Guest
Mike Quigley

Knife attack? I dunno. Window is only half down. Guy is looking straight ahead in
nonthreating manner. Looks like he’s resting his forearm on a overlong pole like object in the back seat. Much ado about nothing?

El Biciclero
Guest
El Biciclero

“overlong pole like object”

If that were the case, it sure disappeared in a hurry, since neither the hand or object can be seen in the forward-facing still from a second later. The non-knife thing I thought of was that it also could be the corner of a bandana he is attempting to roll up, and it just happened to flap out like that in this frame of the video.

Regardless, however, I think the point has been brought up that this is a clear violation of Oregon’s (or any state’s) “safe” passing law by a driver in an “unregistered” vehicle as a result of an apparently incomplete sales transaction. A close pass like that is every bit as (if not more) dangerous as threatening a bicyclist with some unidentified object held out a window. There are multiple non-knife-related reasons to want to find this driver.

Nicole C
Guest
Nicole C

There’s slo-mo video of it here: https://pamplinmedia.com/ht/117-hillsboro-tribune-news/432129-341304-video-hillsboro-cyclist-avoids-man-with-knife-in-passing-car.
Anyone have an update? Have they found the guy(s)? As someone noted above, it should be easy enough to track down the (new) owner of the car…

Thomas, Coon, Newton & Frost
Guest

Detective Jim Berning of Washington County sheriff has done an excellent job in tracing the car through three unregistered sales including an auction to a repair facility and discovered it was being used as a loaner
by a customer at the time. The driver admitted to the incident and claimed no intent to buzz the bicyclist but of course the video shows he moved back over next to the fog line to position the passenger’s knife so…. The passenger is now ID’d too but he already has outstanding arrest warrants including for FTA. The entire matter is now being reviewed by the Washington County DA. We do not want to say more on the process to be followed next so as not to compromise the investigation. So far it appears that the widespread distribution of the video and stills, which I might note origninated on bikeportland, was picked up nationally and resulted in so much press attention that the matter was given considerable priority by law enforcement. I would also note that bikeportland appears to be a must read for news editors looking for a good story to assign their reporters to…. that is the best compliment one can give in this business Jonathan.

GlowBoy
Guest
GlowBoy

Thank you so much for the update, Mr. Thomas! Great to know we have id on both the alleged perps. Let’s hope the DA does something.