Last Wednesday, January 10, two bicyclists were attacked while they rode north on Williams in North Portland near Legacy Hospital. Their assailants, according to the victims, were three teenagers.
The news was met with anger and caution on local bike blog BikePortland.org, and the incident also touched off some simmering racial tensions. The attackers were African American, while the bikers—both female—were white.
One of the assailants allegedly kicked Heather Moles' back wheel, sending her to the ground. When fellow cyclist Ashley Gorman stepped in, both were pummeled by the three female teens, according to Gorman.
The incident was witnessed by a bus stop full of people, as well as by people on an approaching bus. But by the time the cops arrived, the assailants had fled, and the bus had left with all of the witnesses.
According to Gorman, who suffered a dislocated shoulder and hits to the face, the police spent about 10 minutes on the scene, and haven't contacted either victim since. SCOTT MOORE
FIREMEN GONE WILD
Portland police are investigating another beating—this time by the city's fire department. Last Thursday, January 11, in the lobby of the Fairfield Apartments at SW 11th and Stark, 48-year-old Terry DeGeorge was allegedly kicked three times by Lieutenant Robert Bedgood after a verbal exchange—all while surveillance cameras rolled.
Bedgood is now on administrative duties, pending the outcome of the cops' investigation and an internal investigation by the bureau's human resources department.
"Public opinion is split roughly 50-50 from 'He deserved it' to 'The fireman should be sacked,'" says fire department spokesman Allen Oswalt. "But we'll have to be patient for the outcome of the investigation." MATT DAVIS
NIKE FOREST PARK?
Portland Parks and Recreation released a new draft policy last week that—if approved—could mean corporate sponsorship in Portland's parks. The policy—authorized by Bureau Director Zari Santner—directs the parks bureau to "actively seek sponsorships for its services, parks, and facilities from individuals, foundations, corporations, nonprofit organizations, service clubs, and other entities," to make up for decreasing revenue from the city's general fund. Sponsorship would earn "suitable acknowledgement" in the park. The policy heads to the Citywide Parks Team in February, then to city council. AMY JENNIGES
Neighbors in Creston-Kenilworth—the area south of SE Powell, between 28th and Foster—woke up to "extensive gang graffiti" last Sunday morning, January 14, according to the neighborhood association's public safety chair, Stephanie Reynolds (who also heads up the city's crime prevention program). The graffiti, which appeared overnight on houses, cars, apartment buildings, and garages along SE Gladstone, "is LMV X3, which stands for Loco Mafia Varrio 13, and means, more or less, crazy neighborhood mafia affiliated with the 13th Street Gang," Reynolds explained in an alert to neighbors, whom she rallied to combat the markings. "Increasing gang graffiti is a sign of bad things to come. LMV is trying to claim our neighborhood, and we need to say NO. If their tags stay up, they will feel emboldened to go further. We haven't yet seen the drug dealing and violence that usually goes with gangs, but I want to make a statement now, as a neighborhood, that we won't tolerate this, before the activity becomes more dangerous." AJ
STOMP THE CINEMA
Last week, Lloyd Center Mall Services Manager Mark Anthony Hanson announced that the Regal Lloyd Center Cinema hired 10 cops to be on hand Friday and Saturday nights, in case "problems" accompanied the release of the film Stomp the Yard. The movie—the number one film at the box office last weekend—features a young African American character whom two fraternities vie to recruit for their step-dancing teams. Apparently, Regal thought the film might draw trouble to the theater, according to Hanson.
"There is a movie release this weekend that could bring some problems to the Lloyd District including Holladay Park and the Lloyd Center," he wrote in an email advisory on January 10. "Regal has hired PPB [Portland Police Bureau] Officers for Friday and Saturday nights from 22:00 to 00:00. The PPB Officers will be located inside and not outside."
One possible reason for the seeming overreaction to a film opening: "Note that the local area surrounding this event location has been impacted by large groups of at-risk youth," according to an email from Tom Peavey in the city's office of Youth Violence Prevention. AJ