PORTLAND, Ore. -- A 70-year-old man was bashed over the head with a skateboard in downtown Portland Monday, police said.
Larry Allen was recovering in fair condition at a Portland hospital following the attack.
Allen is a longtime employee of the Portland Outdoor Store. He was assaulted while hosing off the sidewalk outside the store, according to Sgt. Pete Simpson with the Portland Police Bureau.
Bandages cover Allen's right arm and a good-sized gash, which doctors stitched up, is above his right eye.
It all started when a woman, who was apparently upset by what Allen was doing, confronted him. The woman grabbed the hose he was using and ended up spraying herself.
That's when out of nowhere, Allen said he was hit across the forehead with a skateboard, causing him to lose consciousness before waking up on the pavement.
"I didn't know, I didn't know what to do, so I heard my boss out there with paper towels and stuff, trying to stop the bleeding on my head," Allen said.
"It makes me really mad," Allen's friend and co-worker, Miguel Figueroa, told KGW. "After it happened I was walking around the store almost wanting to cry."
"I was working in this area and I heard someone yell, 'We're not on your property!' and then a big bang," Miguel recalled. "He's just a good guy, he makes work fun."
Brad Popick, who owns the Outdoor Store, said Allen received 14 stitches in his forehead.
Witnesses told officers that a large group of transient "street kids" were involved in the assault.
"The people who live here, the people who work here... are very uncomfortable with these street kids," said Popick. "That has to be resolved."
Police recovered a skateboard that may have been used but did not immediately identify a suspect. Witness said he was a white man in his 20s with blonde, shaggy hair and no shirt. Anyone with information that may help investigators was urged to contact the Portland Police Bureau.
Area business owners and police said this was not the first time they've had problems linked to so-called street kids in the area. They're working with City Hall to try and figure out how to address the issue.
"Everyone that lives and works in downtown Portland is tired of these kids," added store manager Brad Popick.
Simpson said there was little that officers can do, unless someone is caught in the act of a crime.
"They’ve found the legal area where they can be, in between the sidewalk and the street," he explained. "The problem is that they’ve intimidated people and we’ve had assaults, we’ve had drug dealing problems and this is just the latest example.”
Back in December, police arrested a group of street kids about a block from the Outdoor Store. In that case, the suspects were accused of attacking the owner of a food cart.
Background: Street kids accused of attacking food vendors