PORTLAND, Ore. — Kelsey Smith often leaves the door to her northeast Portland home unlocked when she's at home during the day. Right now, she's got a lot of people coming and going, like contractors doing some work on the house.
However, she did not expect a woman to enter her home on Monday — without knocking on the door or ringing the bell — to walk into her children's bedroom and to curl up next to a pile of clean laundry.
"I was out on the porch chatting with a friend. It's a direct line of sight to the door, but I was facing my yard and the dogs started going crazy," Smith said.
Two barking dogs didn't stop the trespasser. When the dogs wouldn't stop barking, Smith went to investigate the cause for commotion. She walked into her kids' room and found the stranger.
"I thought it was my husband who had just curled up on a bed to take a nap, and then after another second, I realized it wasn't," she said.
As she backed out of her son's room, the person on the bed jumped up.
"She picked up the ottoman and sort of bum-rushed me as I was back pedaling out the door. And then she threw it at me and hit me with it and just sauntered out the door," Smith said.
Luckily, none of her children were in the room at the time. Smith explained they had the Ring cameras that recorded the interaction installed just a couple of weeks ago in order to keep eyes on her 10-year-old son.
"She came into my children's room, my kids, and one of them is quadriplegic and medically fragile," she said, "So he couldn't tell me if something happened. He couldn't call out. He couldn't defend himself and that's really frightening."
Portland police found the intruder close by and took her into custody on burglary and harassment charges. However the Multnomah County District Attorney declined to charge the woman, who's scheduled for a mental fitness hearing next week for a separate case.
"My big concern is that she's going to walk into the wrong house. I mean, she didn't have a problem assaulting me. She's going to do that to somebody else and she's going to get shot. This is something that's preventable."
Smith said while she doesn't have all the answers, a situation like this one underscores a need for the city to do more to address mental health crises.
"I'm a lifelong resident of Portland ... I love this city, but watching it decline so rapidly has been really hard," she said.