Joe Bike

Parks Commissioner Fish says Springwater will get more bike patrols following assault

Posted by on July 16th, 2019 at 1:15 pm

(Photo of Nick Fish by J. Maus/BikePortland)

Following a brazen assault and robbery on the Springwater Corridor path last week, Portland Parks & Recreation will step up bike patrols.

Approximate location of the crime.

Retiree Jay Hamlin was biking on the path in east Portland on Thursday when two men pushed him into blackberry bushes. The assailants then pulled him through the thorn-filled plants in order to pry his bike away from his body. They ultimately rode off with the bike and disappeared into a nearby residential area while Hamlin writhed in pain from his cuts and bruises.

We asked Parks Commissioner Nick Fish if he was aware of the incident and whether or not he had a plan to address it. We just heard back from his office that he has directed Portland Parks Rangers to increase bike patrols along the trail. The bike patrols, “Will allow [rangers] to cover more ground and access off-trail areas,” his office said.


Commissioner Fish also commented on the incident:

“The recent assault of a biker on the Springwater trail is unacceptable. Everyone who uses the trail should feel safe. I have directed the Portland Park Rangers to increase bike patrols on the trail and to coordinate with their partners at the Portland Police Bureau.”

Portland Parks Rangers are unarmed, non-sworn officials who have authority only to enforce park rules and issue park exclusions. They can of course contact a Portland Police officer if the situation warrants it.

Commissioner Fish’s Policy and Communications Advisory Everett Wild tells us the increased patrols should start “soon”.

In related news, Jay Hamlin has obtained video of one of his assailants (below). In the video, which is already in the hands of the Portland Police, a man can be seen riding Hamlin’s bike on a sidewalk in southeast Portland. Hamlin has positively identified the man in the video as one of his attackers.

If you have any information on this incident or the whereabouts of the man in the video, please call Portland Police East Precinct at (503) 823-4800 and reference case # 19-233489.

— Jonathan Maus: (503) 706-8804, @jonathan_maus on Twitter and

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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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    Doug Hecker July 16, 2019 at 1:26 pm

    Wonder why we didn’t see this 3 years ago after the sexual assault of a 22 year old woman who was using the trail? Instead it took a older white male getting his ride stolen for this to happen. Yes, I know the SA happened in Gresham but there wasn’t any increased police presence as a result.

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      PDXCyclist July 16, 2019 at 1:55 pm

      You’re… blaming *Portland* P&R for something in… Gresham? This just comes off as concern trolling. Cmon, stop gumming up comment forums just to bait other people into an argument you’re starting in bad faith.

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      Chris I July 16, 2019 at 2:24 pm

      Um, after that even, Gresham cleared the entire trail within their jurisdiction. In the past few years, there has been a noticeable change when you cross over into Gresham. They even added fencing in several areas. The incident was taken very seriously.

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        Brian July 16, 2019 at 3:51 pm

        Gresham is where the Springwater starts to feel pleasant.

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    Eric H July 16, 2019 at 1:30 pm

    Well, I guess 1 is greater than 0. I can’t wait for this huge increase in patrols.

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      Sir Lancealot July 16, 2019 at 3:41 pm

      Exactly my thought. I ride that trail 4-5 times a week. I’ve never seen it ‘patrolled’ by anyone. Gresham is a different story. Actual police patrol it in ATV/Golf cart-type vehicles.

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    Bjorn July 16, 2019 at 3:49 pm

    I 205 trail needs enforcement too. People regularly blocking parts of the trail along with the recent tripwire attack.

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      JJ July 21, 2019 at 9:22 am

      I205 path will not be patrolled, enforced, or otherwise policed until something like what occurred with Jay happens.

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    Matt B July 16, 2019 at 4:33 pm

    Unarmed Park Rangers who can ban you from the park, now that makes me feel safe. When will the Mayor, aka Police Commissioner, allow the Police to be Police? Enforce the laws on the trails, clear the “campers,” stop and question suspicious activity. I’d welcome seeing officers on bikes. Time to stop excusing criminal behavior, make it uncomfortable for them, and make the city more livable for those of us who play by the rules.

    While we are at it, how about some Traffic Enforcement to aid in “Vinson Zero.”

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      X July 17, 2019 at 12:29 pm

      Thanks Commissioner Fish. When the Rangers are present we have multiple trained people out there with the right equipment (bikes and radios) watching what is going on and deterring anyone who might have with bad intentions. This is so much more than nothing.

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    Champs July 16, 2019 at 5:49 pm

    The park patrol does exist. The only time I saw them, though, they were actively trying to ignore sketchy business just up the trail.

    I realize unarmed officers in a sensitive situation are disinclined to engage, but they are feckless at best and complicit at worst.

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    Toby Keith July 16, 2019 at 6:05 pm

    Seeing that piece of garbage on that Colnago makes my blood boil.

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    Doug Hecker July 17, 2019 at 11:15 am

    You’re… blaming *Portland* P&R for something in… Gresham? This just comes off as concern trolling. Cmon, stop gumming up comment forums just to bait other people into an argument you’re starting in bad faith.Recommended 19

    Wow, what a response.. It’s clear that you value jurisdictions over sexual assaults. Not even sure I can comment on such wildness. I guess you somehow think that a SA couldn’t happen a mile west which would be in Portland. And for the record, I lived 200 yards of where the SA happened so I think I would have a good idea of the area. Oh, I will always protect women over some odd sense of protecting a local government entity. That just comes acrossed as callused.

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    Doug Hecker July 17, 2019 at 11:17 am

    Chris I
    Um, after that even, Gresham cleared the entire trail within their jurisdiction. In the past few years, there has been a noticeable change when you cross over into Gresham. They even added fencing in several areas. The incident was taken very seriously.Recommended 26

    I lived there when this happened. You can move people one day and that doesn’t mean they won’t be back the following. Thanks for your response.

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    Mark Smith July 18, 2019 at 1:34 am

    The only solution is to get in there and clear the trail of these anarchio. The police need to be able to do their job, knock the right heads and let the right people know this will not be tolerated. That’s how it works, that’s how it’s always worked and get… The Portland hand wringers have taken over policy and this is what we get.

    There are homeless in every major city. The difference is, In Portland, in Seattle and San Fran, the homeless are now running the show, breaking laws and apparently now, dragging people off their bikes in broad daylight like it’s Somalia.

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      Toby Keith July 20, 2019 at 5:50 pm

      Yeah but we are showing compassion! I wish somebody could follow the money to city hall. This city is so dirty, and not just physically.

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    Lazy Spinner July 18, 2019 at 10:12 am

    Portland’s “leaders” better do something about this situation and very quickly. Wheeler is weak. Sarah Iannarone would be no better.

    Sadly, this is the stuff that allows a populist law and order candidate to rise. Chuckle if you want but, if a right leaning centrist came along promising to clear out the homeless camps, clean up downtown, allow the cops to do their jobs, promote business, get rid of the arts tax, and reduce the size of Portland city government, they would have a very good shot at getting elected in this climate.

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    NorthOf45 July 18, 2019 at 4:12 pm

    In the surfing community, shark bite victims often receive new kit donations from manufactures. Items include new wetsuits, surfboards etc., from companies such as Quicksilver, Channel Islands and so forth. I wonder if in situations like this, if Colango would donate a bike. Does anybody in the cycling community have industry contacts that could help out our man here?

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    joel July 18, 2019 at 6:14 pm

    i always tell people to never bike the springwater. its been an issue for many years.

    getting clothslined on the corridor is the scariest thing i think. im glad there will be more patrols.

    but for visitors i tell them not to go. getting assaulted is no fun.

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    Mark smith July 19, 2019 at 7:17 pm

    What’s next? A young girl dragged off by gangs of homeless and raped? Oh wait…that’s happened. So…killed? Come on tedddy!

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