PORTLAND – A suspect arrested for attacking a TriMet driver in a dispute over a bus fare in December was released from jail Thursday.
On Dec. 12, Daemon Bowman allegedly punched driver Pamela Thompson in the head several times and threw her cell phone when she tried to call for help. Thompson's black eye is still healing and the emotional pain is even deeper.
A judge approved Bowman’s release under Close Street Supervision Tuesday, which upset TriMet, the bus driver’s union and Thompson.
Thompson told KGW she has forgiven Bowman for what he did to her, but she was still very upset to learn of his release. She feels he should have to remain behind bars at least through his trial, to make him more accountable for his actions.
The attack scared her so much that she hasn't been able to get back behind the wheel yet.
"He jumped up and he grabbed me and turned me around and threw me behind the drivers seat and pinned me between the driver's box and the driver's seat," she recalled. "Then he proceeded to pound my head about 15 times."
Thompson plans to take her concerns all the way to the governor. She said attacks on drivers are far too common and stiffer penalties are needed. In this case, Bowman faces a maximum sentence of two months behind bars.
"I requested that he not be released, I said that it affects all of our drivers. I've already been having issues with the drivers calling me and telling me like, 'Gee, am I next?'"
Attack suspect released, with supervision
On Thursday, Portland police said Bowman agreed to the following conditions and was released from jail. He will remain under Close Street Supervision until his Feb. 5 trial.
- Obey all laws and notify CSS of any police contact.
- No illegal drug use. Submit to random UA/Breathalyzer testing.
- Do not possess any weapons or ammunition
- Do not consume or possess alcohol and may not enter into any establishment where the primary source of revenue is alcohol.
- Keep in contact with your attorney and your probation/parole officer if on formal supervision.
- Be aware of and attend all court dates.
- No direct or indirect contact with victims or any of the state’s witnesses or co-defendant’s
- Do not leave the tri-county area without prior written permission from CSS, PO and/or the court.
- Maintain access to a telephone and notify CSS prior to any changes of address, telephone number, living situation, employment and when he receives notice of court appearance.
- Be subject to search of person, vehicle, and premise while under CSS.
- Cooperate and comply with home/office visits while under CSS.
- Enroll in GPS/electronic monitoring
- Defendant shall abide by curfew as set by CSS
- Defendant is considered a trespasser on all TriMet properties
Bowman allegedly attacked Thompson on a Line 4 bus in St. Johns at North Richmond Avenue. He was reportedly short 50 cents and was enraged when Thompson would not give him a bus ticket.
Thompson is on light duty with TriMet and continues to recover. On Tuesday, TriMet and the Amalgamated Transit Union 757 expressed concerns over Bowman’s release.
"It's upsetting to hear about the suspect's release. TriMet has asked the district attorney to seek the most severe penalty possible and we do hope he will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law," the agency said in a statement Tuesday. "Our thoughts remain with the operator as she deals with the emotional and physical effects of the incident."
Related: TriMet drivers face threats, attacks