Knife attack on Interstate MAX goes unreported
A reader writes:
Like most, I follow the news and have been aware of the problems on various MAX trains in and around the city. Like most, those problems have, to me, been something to read about, but not something that touched me or someone close to me personally. That changed Friday, January 18. My daughter works at a design firm in Old Town. Friday she left work and boarded the MAX yellow line to meet her boyfriend and others
at the Rose Centerin Albina for drinks and dinner. During the ride she sat busying herself by sorting through items she brought with her. Absorbed with this task, she had her head down most of the ride to the Convention CenterRose Quarter. When she glanced up she noticed a woman standing a few feet away staring at her with what she describe as a hateful face. When their eyes met, the woman began to step toward my daughter, and it was then that it was noticed that she had a rather large knife in her hand. Alarmed, my daughter scooted away abruptly, which caught the attention of a man seated near her, who also shifted position. As she moved away, the woman continued her approach, swinging the knife threateningly, and screaming invectives aimed at my daughter.
At this point the train was stopping at the
Convention CenterRose Quarter station, and one of the passengers alerted the train operator that a passenger was being attacked by another passenger. All the passengers were now wary of the woman, and some, concerned for my daughter, made motions to intervene. Realizing that she was the apparent subject of the woman's ire, and hoping to prevent others from being injured if they intervened, my daughter exited the car, followed by the woman, who continued to scream and pursue her with the knife. My daughter got back on the train and the operator then closed the doors. The woman tried to reenter the train, screaming in a rage. She finally fled the scene.
Both Portland and transit authority police responded. My daughter was pretty rattled by this time. Police asked her if she wanted to press charges, and she said no -- thinking that since the woman was gone, nothing could be done. When she told me this, I told her I thought that was a big mistake. This woman, if found, needs to be arrested. It was only after she had joined her friends that my daughter remembered she had snapped a photo of the woman with her phone camera. It's blurry, but could be used to help identify the assailant. She then called the police, and they returned to interview her again and obtain the photo.
It's curious to me that nothing, as far as I can see, has been done to warn the public about this woman, who is at large in the community. I can't find anything in the Oregonian about it. Wouldn't the police or TriMet issue a release including the woman's photo? Certainly this woman is not merely a harmless disturbed person -- she needs to be found and restrained for treatment or incarceration.
In any event, my daughter was appreciative of the fellow passengers who seemed ready to intervene before she exited the car. I advised her that she should consider any MAX train to be a potential crime scene at any time and suggested she attempt to avoid riding MAX. I think she got lucky. I hope the next one to encounter her assailant is as lucky.
UPDATE, 11:43 a.m.: We've asked the reader for some clarification here, as the MAX Yellow Line does not stop at the Convention Center, but it does at the nearby Rose Quarter. Not that it affects the import of the story much.
UPDATE, 4:56 p.m.: The reader has clarified that the action went down at the Rose Quarter stop on the Yellow Line.