OW! MY NECK!With his boyish face and slightly crooked smile plastered on car dealerships through the city, Scott Thomason is perhaps one of the most recognizable faces in Portland. But the pitchman's familiarity became his bane last month after five eyewitnesses correctly identified Thomason as the perpetrator of a downtown hit-and-run.

On an autumn evening, Thomason was driving along the SW Park blocks when he rear-ended a jeep that had stopped to allow pedestrians to cross. According to witnesses, the 48-year old spokesperson stepped from his car, checked damage to his fender, glanced at the other vehicle and then sped off. At least five people recognized Thomason.

On Monday morning, Thomason appeared before Judge Julie Frantz to receive his sentencing. Although he was cited with felony hit-and-run, Thomason was partially exonerated after an investigator working for his attorney followed the victim, David Elliott. After the accident, Elliott had been taken to Legacy for neck and shoulder injuries. He was released, but in the weeks following the accident complained about lingering pain and injuries, presumably fishing for a large settlement. The investigator filmed Elliott walking around town and sitting in traffic, swinging his head left and right.

"I made a terrible error in judgment and I feel terrible about it," Thomason said in court Monday morning. This is Thomason's second citation for a felony hit-and-run. PHIL BUSSE

FIGHTING BACK!Last Friday, Portland lawyer Alan Graf filed a lawsuit naming the City of Portland, Mayor Vera Katz, and Police Chief Mark Kroeker as defendants. The suit charges that the police abused peaceful demonstrators during an anti-Bush rally on August 22.

The suit alleges that the nine plaintiffs did not at any time violate the law while participating in the demonstration, but that "for no apparent reason and without adequate warning," officers sprayed them with chemical agents, shot them with rubber bullets and otherwise battered the plaintiffs.

Damages sought include individual monetary damages, but Graf says, "this suit is not about money." Most outstandingly, the suit seeks an order that the Portland police cease and desist the use of pepper spray and rubber bullets against peaceful crowds and that the city install an effective civilian police review board. ANNA BOND