DA gives 30-month sentence to man who threw hatchet at bike rider in north Portland

View northbound on Interstate where it goes under Larrabee.

Multnomah County District Attorney Mike Schmidt just announced a 30-month sentence for a man who threw a hatchet at a passing bicycle rider.

According to a statement from the DA’s office Tuesday, 48-year-old Leo Cox was sentenced Monday after being found guilty of Unlawful Use of a Weapon by a jury last month.

The incident happened in September 2021. “Cox was walking in the area of North Broadway and North Larrabee and appeared to be angry, carrying a hatchet in one hand while his other hand was balled into a fist. A cyclist passed Cox and he began to chase them.”

Here’s more from the statement:

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“The cyclist observed Cox chasing him and rode away to avoid him at which point Cox threw the hatchet at the cyclist, nearly hitting him. Cox remained in the area and was contacted by police still holding the hatchet he had retrieved after throwing it at the cyclist. Officers commanded him to drop the weapon. Cox complied and was taken into custody.

A quick search on Google reveals that this was not the first time Cox assaulted someone with a hatchet. He was arrested in Burbank, California for a similar charge. According to a statement from the Los Angeles County DA Cox was also convicted of murder in 1998.

This section of Interstate is sketchy without someone throwing a hatchet at you. The bike lanes are unprotected and narrow at the underpass and because of the MAX light rail tracks and no cross-streets there’s no escape route if you feel unsafe.

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J_R
J_R
4 months ago

The DA prosecuted the man and the court found him guilty in a jury trial. Misleading title to the article.

Lorie C
Lorie C
4 months ago
Reply to  J_R

Jonathan is just trying to make our lousy DA look good.

Jrdpdx
Jrdpdx
4 months ago
Reply to  J_R

While we are at it, the jury found him guilty, not the court. Misleading comment

Watts
Watts
4 months ago
Reply to  Jrdpdx

Not to nitpick your nitpick of the nitpick, but “the jury” is part of “the court”. The top-level nitpick was correct.

Granpa
Granpa
4 months ago

Ahem. Convicted of murder (24 years ago) and chasing people in Portland with his weapon of choice. Words fail me

Chris I
Chris I
4 months ago
Reply to  Granpa

We seem to be a popular destination for unhinged murderers. Really makes me want to go on a bike ride.

Serenity
Serenity
4 months ago
Reply to  Chris I

Maybe something about the Pacific Northwest appeals to them…

foobike
foobike
4 months ago
Reply to  Granpa

Also apparently threatening someone in Burbank with a hatchet 6 years ago.

Transient arrested after reportedly threatening another with a hatchet
BY ALENE TCHEKMEDYIANSTAFF WRITER
JAN. 21, 2016 9:51 AM PT
A 42-year-old man was arrested Wednesday afternoon after reportedly threatening someone with a hatchet at McCambridge Park in Burbank, police said.

Just after 2 p.m., officers learned that the suspect, a transient identified as Leo Cox, had cursed at the victim, a 54-year-old transient, while holding a hatchet over his head at the park, located at 1515 N. Glenoaks Blvd., said Burbank Police Sgt. Claudio Losacco.

https://www.latimes.com/socal/burbank-leader/tn-blr-transient-arrested-for-reportedly-threatening-with-hatchet-20160121-story.html

Middle of the Road Guy
Middle of the Road Guy
4 months ago
Reply to  foobike

I am thinking he was also told to stay out of Malibu.

dwk
dwk
4 months ago

Plus one for the Dude reference…

Watts
Watts
4 months ago
Reply to  foobike

Cox is reported to be 48 now, so 6 years ago would have been 42. No saying if it really is the same person, but the story matches all the facts I know.

Boyd
Boyd
4 months ago

How does a convicted murderer only get 30 months for this offense?

SolarEclipse
SolarEclipse
4 months ago
Reply to  Boyd

Remember, our current DA is a social justice warrior at heart.

Seth Alford
Seth Alford
4 months ago

A convicted murderer who is throwing hatchets at people, on multiple occasions, being allowed out again in 2.5 years so he can do it again doesn’t strike me as social justice.

Mike
Mike
4 months ago

There is a big difference between fighting for social justice and posturing yourself as a social justice warrior while harming the very communities you claim to be fighting for.

Watts
Watts
4 months ago

There is nothing wrong with fighting for social justice, of course. I think most of us do this in our own way. But some of the things that are considered “social justice” these days are a bit whack, like light sentences for serial hatchet throwing murderers.

That said, if the DA could guarantee that the hatchet thrower would get mental health treatment while in jail, and would be a low risk for repeating the offence when he was let out, that might be true social justice, and I would probably be ok with this sentence*. But if he just does his time and is released to throw again, then that just means that some other unlucky person will be injured or killed. Where’s the justice in that?

So unless treatment and is included in the sentence, our DA is not really fighting for social justice at all, just ensuring more people will have their lives upended.

[And yes, I know the DA does not set the sentence, and there’s a lot I don’t know and I’m just assuming, as are we all. Feel free to correct me if the facts are different, but please don’t criticize me if my unfounded assumptions differ from your unfounded assumptions.]

*Assuming the guy is in fact mentally ill; if he’s just evil, then 30 months is a ridiculously light sentence for a violent repeat offender.

dwk
dwk
4 months ago

***comment deleted because it’s unproductive and offers nothing but unsubstantiated criticism. Please try to express these views in a different way. Thanks – Jonathan***

dwk
dwk
4 months ago
Reply to  dwk

Wow, calling for the recall of a public official who is doing a crappy job is unproductive to you? No wonder Portland has fallen apart in the last few years to the point it is unrecognizable to a lot of people including most who post here.
You have a weird sense of civic duty, Any criticism of Hardesty , Wheeler, any ELECTED official is “rude” to you. Very strange for a “media” person.

dwk
dwk
4 months ago
Reply to  dwk

This is nothing personal, I am sure the DA is a great guy, I would guess Joann Hardesty would be a fun and great neighbor I would love to have living next to me.
It is about competence and the results just bike riding around the city tell the tale…

Moleskin
Moleskin
4 months ago

Is anything being done to prevent him doing the same thing again once he’s out? Experience would suggest he will, and he might well kill someone (again).

Chris I
Chris I
4 months ago
Reply to  Moleskin

They’ll just call it a “tragedy”, there will be a GoFundMe for the victim’s family, and everyone will move on.

Middle of the Road Guy
Middle of the Road Guy
4 months ago
Reply to  Moleskin

They took away his hatchet. Isn’t that enough?

Watts
Watts
4 months ago

I wish someone would bury it.

Granpa
Granpa
4 months ago
Reply to  Moleskin

I am already preparing thoughts and prayers