An 18-year old man was treated by police then rushed to the hospital last week after being stabbed while walking on the I-205 multi-use path south of Portland.
According to the Clackamas County Sheriff’s Office, Tommy Smith was walking on the path where it goes under Highway 224 (about 3.7 miles south of the Springwater Corridor) when he had an interaction with another man, 50-year-old Cain Newcomb. “Initial interviews revealed the victim had asked suspect for a cigarette. This question appeared to make the suspect upset. An argument ensued, and the suspect stabbed the victim,” the Sheriff’s Office wrote in a statement. Smith was stabbed in the chest.
Another person prevented Newcomb from escaping until police arrived.
Police arrested Newcomb for assault and unlawful use of a weapon. The Sheriff’s Office said he is “well-known” to authorities and has numerous prior arrests. His bail was set at $250,000 and he remains behind bars as of Wednesday morning.
This incident underscores widespread concerns about the condition and safety of paths throughout the region. We have heard from many people that they will no longer ride on paths like the 205 and Springwater due to fears of assault or other interactions.
Earlier this week someone posted to the BikePortland Forums that they’d just moved nearby the I-205 path. “Our family loves to bike and it is convenient to be so close,” they wrote, “… But today I [heard about the stabbing] which happened along a stretch of path my 15 year-old son has taken.”
A few months ago a reader named Barbara L. contacted us to ask if she should begin carrying personal protection such as a stun-gun when she rides on the 205 path. “As a woman who has felt comfortable for 40 years bicycling extensively in the area, it’s a surprising thought,” Barbara wrote.
— Jonathan Maus: (503) 706-8804, @jonathan_maus on Twitter and firstname.lastname@example.org
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