Thursday, February 28, 2008

Trimet (MAX) safety or lack thereof by Larry Norton

Trimet (MAX) safety or lack thereof

Posted by Larry Norton, community blogger February 26, 2008 14:19PM

Categories: Crime

I ignored everyone in the world for the last 5 days to spend time with my California son. But, I could not ignore the individual on the Red Train to the airport Monday. An individual determined to pick on me as the main target.

This occurred about 7:15 in the morning going east from Old Town. By all appearances, the person was under the influence of something. The train was not empty. Many looked like commuters not just those going to the airport.

Although there was an assault - a threat of violence, there was no battery - no touching. Fortunately, I was protected enough by my son, and it turns out, by an unnoticed Trimet security guard. But, I have concerns.

It had been clear to me since we boarded the train that something was wrong with this person. The security guard did come forward after the assault, but only after my son started to take action. The guard had been watching from the front of the car.

But - the guard did not exclude and did not arrest. He did corner the person who proceeded to hurl epithets at him. The person stayed on for two more stops. After the person left the train, the guard apologized that the incident had occurred.

Without my son's presence - old enough and big enough to protect me - what would have happened? Would the security guard have intervened quickly enough?

Why didn't the security guard exclude the offender from the train? Why didn't the guard arrest?

I don't know - but I am guessing that the security person like the private security supplementing the Portland police - have virtually no powers. If so - what good are they except for show?

I'll take show, but I would have felt better knowing the person had been arrested or excluded from the Trimet system. I had to come back.

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