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After threat of vehicular violence and being called racial slur, man outs neighbor on social media

Posted by on August 27th, 2020 at 3:16 pm

Gerald Scrutchions
(Photo from Instagram video)

Northeast Portland resident Gerald Scrutchions says a white man used a racial epithet and threatened him with vehicular violence while he biked home from work in Irvington on Tuesday. Scrutchions, who is Black, claims the man drove his car into the crosswalk he was using and then purposely swerved towards him.

And he’s not going to stand for it.

After the confrontation on the street, Scrutchions recognized the car parked at a house around the block from his so he knocked on the man’s door to have a conversation with him. After a brief back-and-forth, Scrutchions claims the man called him “nigger”.

He then posted a video on Instagram to share what happened and warn his neighbors by sharing the man’s name and address.

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Here’s more from the video:

“On the way home, this elderly man… he failed to stop at the crosswalk I was using.. He swerved his car at me once. I raised my hand on my bike — as any cyclist would do, like ‘What the heck?!’. Then I got over to the corner and he literally swerved his car at me… I confronted him and asked him to not use his car as a weapon. He told me he wanted to have nothing to do with me. Told me to get out of the neighborhood. I said I live here. I live in this neighborhood. We went back and forth and as I was walking off he called me a nigger. I’m posting this online because… What’s going on is these are the types of people I don’t want in my neighborhood. Fuck that dude!… He’s a danger to you, your kids, to me and my kids.”

Scrutchions is well known in the community and is a yoga instructor and Portland Public School teacher at Harriet Tubman Middle School.

According to sources who’ve contacted me about this incident, neighbors and friends say the man who threatened Scrutchions with his car and verbally assaulted him is “fairly unstable and regularly threatens to use his vehicle as a weapon.” Court records show that the man has seven traffic-related infractions since 1988 including two for violating the speed limit, one for Careless Driving and two for excessive use of his horn.

Reached for comment today, Scrutchions said he’s reported the man to the Portland Police Bureau (who said they can’t do anything because no crime has been committed) and the Oregon Department of Justice Racial Bias Division.

“I’ve been cycling around Portland and other urban areas for about two decades,” Scrutchions shared. “Of course peeps of all different backgrounds get upset in their cars. It is their reluctance to share the road. However, this one was different considering what happened moments later when I confronted him.”

— 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 welcoming of all perspectives. Disagreements are encouraged, but only if done with tact and respect. BikePortland is an inclusive company with no tolerance for discrimination or harassment including expressions of racism, sexism, homophobia, or xenophobia. 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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Alex Reedin
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Alex Reedin

On the face of it, the PPB statement that “no crime was [alleged to be] committed” looks like a clear lie. (I say “lie” rather than “misstatement” because theoretically, the police should have an understanding of a good chunk of Oregon’s laws).

https://www.oregonlaws.org/ors/163.190

Is the evidence we know about sufficient to support a successful prosecution? Probably not. But they should say that, rather than claiming that threatening people with cars is legal.

Frank Spudger
Guest
Frank Spudger

I don’t understand the police statement. So the police are saying you may swerve your motor vehicle at any cop, or just bike cops?

I'll Show Up
Guest
I'll Show Up

This sucks. Racism meets motorhead. Yuck! I’m so glad that Gerald is bringing attention to this. Thanks for sharing this story! We have so much work to do to respond to the moment we’re living in. There’s a new example of that multiple times a day. BLM!

Middle of the Road Guy
Guest
Middle of the Road Guy

I am glad Mr. Scrutchions had a conversation with the man. He seems like a great neighbor to have.

Too many times people do things with the belief there are no repercussions. It’s also good to know where these people live.

pruss2ny
Guest
pruss2ny

so when confronted by a violent neighbor who appears to present legitimate concerns over mental health, are our only options to call the police or shrug knowingly (oh…he’s craaaaazy)?

Michael Rioux
Guest
Michael Rioux

Pardon my language here, but….

How in the actual fuck does this asshole still have a driving license if, as his neighbors report, he’s repeatedly threatened to use his car as a weapon?

Driving is a fucking privilege.

Randy
Guest
Randy

This happened in Corvallis a few years ago. I field a PD report.
Within less than .5 hr the Police had went to the man’s (the guy who swerved his vehicle at a bike) home. The PD put him on notice – no more swerving. Then PD called me back with their follow-up report.

setha
Subscriber
setha

It’s a long shot, but maybe check neighbors’ doorbells to see if someone has a Ring, or something similar, that caught the dangerous driving on video.

qqq
Guest
qqq

By saying no crime has been committed, the police made the situation much worse. Now the victim has to hope the guy who swerved at him doesn’t find out what the police said, because he’ll view it as confirmation that he didn’t do anything wrong, so the victim is harassing him. And how can anyone fault him for concluding that? It’s what the police DID say.

Joseph E
Guest
Joseph E

Re: “fairly unstable and regularly threatens to use his vehicle as a weapon”. Whoa! His family needs to talk to his doctor about this.

Re: ” Portland Police Bureau … said they can’t do anything because no crime has been committed.” That’s nonsense. Threatening to hit people with a car is a real problem.

But perhaps the right people to help are at the DMV. Has anyone reported the dangerous driver to them? The best person to do it would be the primary care doctor (or mental health provider), but someone needs to make a report.

L
Guest
L

If you put in Bob’s address on portlandmaps.com, the owner appears to be someone else with the last name “Lynch,” possibly his daughter or another relative who lives at a different address. Might be worth it to contact her. If she’s ostensibly his landlord/lets him live there and he’s shown he is losing the mental facilities to drive a car safely and is a bigot towards his neighbor, maybe she could talk to him about surrendering his license/car.

Pete S.
Guest
Pete S.

***Comment deleted. Threats of violence are not tolerated here. Thank you for understanding. – Jonathan***

Matt
Guest
Matt

So what we have here is a racist Lynch who threatened a Black man with death. Just, Wow.

I’ve had people driving threaten me with their cars before while I was cycling, and that is extremely traumatic. As a white dude, I can’t even imagine how much more awful it would be if there were also racism involved.

Chris I
Guest
Chris I
Hello, Kitty
Guest
Hello, Kitty

Maybe I’m the only one, but I think doxxing the accused person in this manner is morally wrong. Internet mob justice rarely comes to any good.

If you really want to sort this out, hire a lawyer for Mr. Scrutchions and issue a citizen citation.

Lisa
Guest
Lisa

Scrutch, thanks for making the video and for bringing attention to this. I’m glad you’re physically safe and I hope you recover from this racist mofo’s actions quickly. Thanks also for the work you do in our schools and with youth in the community.

Jonathan, thanks for amplifying the video.

Clearly, we can not rely on the Portland police to protect us from racists. Community care is our best tool. These dangerous racist dipsticks are all around us.

Randy
Guest
Randy

Narratives or simple speak are superfluous one perceives your
behavior as abusive, violent, or traumatic.

Susan Prows
Guest

I am very sorry this happened to one of my neighbors. I know Mr. Lynch very well, it is a sad, decades long story. This man is profoundly deaf since early childhood. As a result, authorities denied him public education and he was, instead, sent to live in the state lock-up mental institution in Salem for the majority of his life. In recent years he has been hit by two cars (while walking) and has suffered two traumatic closed head injuries for which he was hospitalized for many months. He continues to have many mental, emotional and physical illnesses. His four siblings all have (or have died from) advanced Alzheimer’s. There have been so many issues over the years, all stemming from Bob feeling disrespected or slighted in various ways. His behaviors and beliefs reflect racist and homophobic and sexist attitudes that were commonplace in the 1950’s ~ he has not had the thought evolution as a result of contact with media, education, movies, etc. He has never had a TV or computer or cell phone. He cannot hear his doorbell or telephone. He has anger management problems and his social mindset is a sad relic of the past. I would be happy to discuss privately with those directly impacted. I would be available to try and mediate/de-escalate, as Mr. Lynch trusts me to some degree and I have done this in the past, with varying degrees of success. Over the years he has had many disputes and lawsuits with neighbors, about cracks in sidewalks, property lines, street parties, maintenance & repair jobs, fireworks, etc. I am sorry our new neighbor has been a target of Bob’s wrath and ignorance. I would like to help get this on a better track, if possible.

buildwithjoe
Guest

The cops went after Demetria Hester the night she was attacked by a white supremacist, and they let him walk. The next day he did a mass murder and terror event on the max. The night demetria ( black woman) was attacked even the Trimet staff had to take her side, and the cops still let him walk away. Of course the cops changed their story days later.

Jonathan, please text or email Gerard this link to report hate crimes in Oregon

Report hate for adults or issues outside of schools:
Use a web browser and report hate below:
https://www.doj.state.or.us/oregon-department-of-justice/bias-crimes/report-a-hate-and-bias-crime/

or…Non-Emergency Hotline
1-844-924-BIAS
(1-844-924-2427)
Trauma-informed operators are standing by, 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. Pacific time, Monday – Friday. After hours? Leave a message and we’ll return your call.
Hearing Impaired? Dial 711 for Oregon Relay

for full details you can see page 3 of a google doc we use for our local family walks in honor of Black Lives Matter. They do a similar event at Sunnyside School in SE once a week too. Google doc below:

https://docs.google.com/document/d/1QEEmZ6i3u7YO3JBV8cP45kN-iJkFN_-QlXpCZXGoS_k/edit?usp=sharing

Hello, Kitty
Guest
Hello, Kitty

The article now notes that the driver got 7 tickets over the past 32 years (about one every 4 1/2 years). This is far more than I’ve had, but does anyone know how unusual this record is? Does it suggest a singularly bad driver, or just someone in, say, the bottom half or bottom quartile?

Roberta Robles
Guest
Roberta Robles

I have repeatedly asked State Representives in Salem, including Karen Powers, Tina Kotak and Gov Brown to take up legislation to address traffic violence at the State level so police can actually charge these violent aggressors. Vehicles are weapons. I don’t like calling in the PoPo but we need to address aggressors like DUIs. If u hit a vulnerable road user your car gets confiscated, fined $10k, revoke license and make then take a year of remediation and community service.

Just like everybody else in this town they are choosing to ignore and censure me. Democrats don’t care and neither do the police. Was he wearing a helmet ()?