Teens attack bicyclists in NE Portland

Teens attack bicyclists in NE Portland

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by Sara Roth, KGW Staff

kgw.com

Posted on August 27, 2013 at 11:09 AM

Updated Wednesday, Oct 30 at 8:15 AM

PORTLAND – Police were warning bicyclists in Northeast Portland to be on the lookout after two men were injured during separate attacks along Northeast Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard.

On Saturday night, 20-year-old Andy Sweeney said he was riding his bike near the intersection of Northeast Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard and Northeast Fargo Street when three teenagers threw a traffic cone at him, hitting him in the face.

Sweeney suffered a concussion and two of his front teeth were shattered from the attack. 

"It's crazy," said Sweeney. "I don't really understand their motivation or what they were going for."

Last week, a 64-year-old man reported that he was also attacked by teens while riding his bike on Northeast Going Street near Martin Luther King, Jr. Boulevard, according to Sgt. Pete Simpson of the Portland Police Bureau.

"One of [the teens] punched him in the shoulder, which knocked him off his bike and he hit the ground," Simpson said. 

Simpson said he didn't know if the attacks were connected.

"It may just be a group of teens who are acting like punks," Simpson said. 

Although Sweeney will have to receive two root canals because of the attack, he will have some financial help thanks to a few concerned Portlanders.

Tim Oberlander, a KGW news editor, saw Sweeney's story on the website Reddit and decided to set up a fund to help Sweeney pay for dental work.

"I felt a little worried that when I set up an account nobody would fund it," Oberlander said. But the fund reached its goal in less than 24 hours.  

"I want to live in a city where people do good things for other people," Oberlander said. "Now we've raised money for Andy's teeth, I can say that we live in a city that does good things for good people." 

The media reports prompted two more people to come forward to describe attacks, according to a report in the Oregonian.

On the last Thursday of July, Amy Wilson walked out of her home near Going Street and King Boulevard after hearing a car prowl. She was attacked by a group of teens, the newspaper reported. Neighbors told her the same teens were menacing cyclists nearby.

Chris Freeman wrote to the Oregonian's website that he was attacked by about five teens near 7th and Stanton about 11 p.m. on Aug. 17.

 KGW Reporter Mark Hanrahan contributed to this report. 

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