Posted by Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) on July 15th, 2019 at 7:54 am
A nightmare came true for 69-year-old Jay Hamlin while he was riding on the Springwater Corridor path Thursday afternoon. It’s the latest incident that illustrates the lawlessness of the popular linear park and the vulnerability of people who use it.
According to his own account (posted to Facebook) and a KATU-TV report, Jay was biking on the path near SE 128th when two men pushed him off his bike, violently assaulted him, then stole his bicycle. He told KATU the suspects were two young men in their late teens, “clean cut, and well-dressed. He does not believe they were homeless.”
Here’s how Jay described the incident:
While riding my bike on the Springwater Corridor I was pushed from my bike while traveling around 16 mph and flew head first down an embankment into some blackberry bushes. The perpetrators then grabbed my rear wheel and started pulling. My foot was wedged in the frame so they pulled me and the bike out of the bushes and about twenty feet down the Corridor. They finally eased up and I got my foot out and off they ran with my bike. I was stunned and bloodied but managed to call 911. Police and fire came and I made a report. Kathy came and picked me up and we went to the hospital. I have a severely sprained ankle and a neck sprain. I would of course like to recover my bike as it was a once in a lifetime bike for me. But moreover I would like these two cowards to be apprehended. It bothers me to no end to know these two are out there. I am hurt pretty good but it could have been so much worse. I would be very surprised if this is the first violent crime for these two and I am sure it will not be their last if they are not apprehended.
“Jay is a wonderful man and an inspiration to many.”
— Jake von Duering, Dialed Cycling Team
Fortunately Jay is recovering after this horrific assault. He’s well-known in our community and is an active racer. His “once in a lifetime bike” is a carbon Colnago (as seen in the tweet above).
Dialed Cycling Team Director Jake von Duering has organized a GoFundMe campaign to help pay for Jay’s medical treatment and help replace bike his bike and gear. “Jay is a wonderful man and an inspiration to many,” van Duering wrote on the campaign page. “He is still actively pinning on a number to race his bike at 69 years young and we want to ensure that he can keep at it for years to come.”
Unfortunately, this is not the first time a Springwater path user has been assaulted.
In May 2017, Vincent Rodarte suffered a similar fate when he too was pushed from his bike and then had it stolen while riding on the Springwater near SE Tacoma and 32nd. And in 2016 a woman was assaulted while biking on the path in Gresham near SW Highland Drive.
This incident will likely convince even more people that bicycling on the Springwater is simply too scary and dangerous to justify. Reader Leslie Carlson shared via Twitter over the weekend that her teenaged stepdaughter was also the victim of an attempted assault two years ago. “Two males tried to push her off her bike as she rode past. Luckily they weren’t able to topple her and she got away. We rarely ride there now and only in groups.”
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