Thursday, June 19, 2008
Two Black Teens Who Attacked Woman Aboard MAX Train In Portland, Oregon On June 9th To Be Tried As Adults
One of the most dangerous environments for white people is to be aboard any public transit conveyance with a mob of black teens. One white woman in Portland, Oregon found that out, and now it looks like she'll get justice.
The Portland Oregonian reports that two 15-year-old girls arrested last week in an attack on a woman on a MAX train will be tried as adults. The girls -- Tiyana Clay of North Portland and Angela Monique Dow of Northeast Portland -- were arraigned Wednesday June 18th, 2008 in Multnomah County Juvenile Court.
An indictment earlier in the day listed seven counts each, including the Measure 11 offense of second-degree robbery, which dictated the adult trial. The other charges were third-degree assault, first-degree intimidation, two counts of attempted second-degree assault, interfering with public transportation and recklessly endangering another person.
The trial was set for July 31st. Both girls were held at the Donald E. Long Home in lieu of $270,000 bail.
The girls were among five blacks arrested after the June 9th attack on a 28-year-old white Vancouver, Washington woman on a MAX Yellow Line train. Two other attackers, unidentified, are 15 and 14 years old. The fifth suspect was identified by The Columbian as 14-year-old Adrian Marshall, who is also suspected of robbing someone at gunpoint the day after the train attack.
The incident began when the teens harassed an elderly woman who had asked them to tone down their behavior. Then the teens allegedly turned on the Vancouver woman, calling her "racially derogatory" names.
As the train approached the Prescott Transit Station at North Interstate Avenue and Prescott Street, the encounter escalated. The girls and boys alike reportedly started punching the woman, police said. Finally, the woman said a boy stole her purse and ran from the train. No transit security personnel were on the train, but surveillance cameras captured the incident at the station.
Mark Jones, 34, an out-of-work union construction worker, said he thought authorities were trying to make an example of the older youths, including his daughter Tiyana Clay, a ninth-grader at Centennial High School. "I'm not defending my daughter for what she's done because she was wrong for putting her hands on someone," Jones said afterward. "But they're trying to make it into a hate crime and a robbery. That's not right. Even the police say it was a boy who stole the purse, but she's facing 70 months for second-degree robbery," Jones concluded.
The incident renewed concern about safety on the transit system, which has had several high-profile incidents of violence in the past year. The agency said last week that it would immediately change a policy in response to the incident: Train operators will now alert passengers that they have called police in response to crime aboard the train.
A separate Oregonian article explores this angle in greater detail. In a November attack at a Gresham MAX stop, a 16-year-old boy, an illegal alien Hispanic surnamed Chavez-Garcia according to this reference, was sentenced to 9 1/2 years in prison for that attack, in which he used a baseball bat to bludgeon a 71-year-old man. Weeks after the beating, a 19-year-old man was stabbed in the chest at the Rockwood Transit Center, and on Christmas Eve a woman was groped at a MAX stop in Gresham.
Sam Schwarz, vice president of the Amalgamated Transit Union chapter that represents TriMet drivers, said the agency needs to hire more fare inspectors and supervisors who enforce rules of conduct on trains and buses. "By enforcing the law and the TriMet codes, they would probably reduce the incidents," Schwarz said. "The drivers and the transit workers don't feel 100 percent safe." TriMet employees usually suffer more harassment from teens during summer, Schwarz said.
A less expensive and more effective way would be to keep the black teens off the train in the first place.