Portland No Longer Feels Safe on TriMet

Posted on behalf of RizkLaw on Jun 18, 2017 in Personal Injury

In a span of just 4 weeks, those who rely on TriMet’s transportation services have endured considerable uneasiness while using Portland’s public transportation system. An incident in which three men stood up to a white supremacist bullying two teenagers on a Northeast Portland MAX train made national headlines after two of the men were tragically killed and one fatally injured. The story of the TriMet Heroes has been featured on dozens of news sites, yet it is not the only incident that has passengers concerned for their safety.

A Recent Timeline of TriMet Threats

Several dangerous scenarios have played out on TriMet transportation trains in the span of just a few weeks. These are the top 4 scenarios that have travelers fearing for their safety as of late:

Woman Stabbed at Lloyd Center

On May 19th, just a week prior to the MAX stabbings, a woman was stabbed on the Lloyd Center MAX platform in front of dozens of witnesses by an unknown assailant. The woman, in her early 20s, was with a pair of friends when the assault took place around 4 pm. She engaged in a brief conversation with her assailant before the assailant stabbed her. The woman fell onto the tracks while the train operator left the doors wide open, yet the assailant allegedly did not mount the train. The victim was eventually transported to a local hospital by ambulance to treat traumatic injuries. The suspect was taken into custody shortly afterward. According to an update by the Oregonian, the victim is expected to survive. The suspect, a man in his early forties, was arrested on suspicion of second-degree assault and menacing. He is being held on $252,500 bail.

TriMet Stabbings

May 26th marked the fateful day in which three brave Portland men stood up to a transient white supremacist and risked their lives to protect a teenage girl and her Muslim friend from harassment on a MAX train that departed from the Hollywood Transit Center. The man was yelling insults at the girls, ranting and raving about religion and shouting anti-Muslim hate speech when two men tried to get him to calm down. Sadly, these men were the target of a vicious stabbing. A third young man intervened and was stabbed across the neck; he was just a single millimeter away from receiving a fatal wound. Micah Fletcher, the 21-year old survivor, made a full recovery and watched the suspect’s arraignment the following Tuesday.

TriMet Operator Assault

Exactly one week after the tragic stabbing incident, a man riding a Blue Line MAX train in East Portland assaulted a TriMet operator after the operator had asked him to stop screaming about First Amendment rights. The alleged assault took place after 2:15 pm at the station on East 102nd Avenue and Burnside. When the train came to a stop, the operator walked into the passenger car to ask the man to depart after failed attempts to quiet him over the loudspeaker. At this point the operator claims he was pushed to the ground. Bystanders pulled the assailant off of the train operator. He was not seriously injured, but sustained minor cuts and bruises, according to TriMet’s spokeswoman.

TriMet Bomb Scare

A bomb scare frightened passengers yet again in the Hollywood Transit Center on June 9th after a suspicious backpack was discovered and reported on a  Green Line train. Portland police called the Explosive Disposal Unit to send in a remote controlled robot to dispose of the backpack. A “boom” was heard at the station at 2:30 pm from the disposal process. The backpack initially appeared like it may have contained an explosive device because there were objects protruding from it. Police suspected a 59-year-old man left the backpack on the train and called 911 to report it as suspicious. The man was later captured near West Burnside Street and 5th Avenue after investigators determined the backpack was not dangerous after all. He was arrested on suspicion of second-degree disorderly conduct, interfering with public transportation, false report, and possession of a hoax device. He is being held on $7,500 bail.

Over the past year, TriMet has added more transit police officers and provided additional training in de-escalation techniques in an effort to make public transportation in Portland safer for those who rely on the system daily. Yet many Portlanders are feeling a heightened sense of danger following these weekly threats.

If you are injured on Portland public transportation, you may have a claim. Learn more about issues impacting safety, well-being, and justice at rizklaw.com. To schedule a confidential appointment to discuss a claim with an attorney, call 503.245.5677 or email info@rizklaw.com.