Adrian Austin Cummins, 25, now faces 12 charges related to the stabbing incident on a MAX train that witnesses say seemed to be racially motivated because the 17-year-old victims were Black.
Officials say the attack happened just before a train arrived in the Lents area at the Flavel Street light rail station near I-205 – not far from Johnson Creek.
“It was very clearly a hate crime. The suspect was white and the person who got stabbed was Black,” said a witness to the attack named Siara. “Stop doing this. Like they don’t deserve to get stabbed just because they exist and look different.”
Siara told KOIN 6 News there was a “big, loud commotion” in the back of the MAX. “We look over and we see this guy, like, starting to go crazy. And I see him start to lunge for the guy who got stabbed.”
Siara said she saw the victim’s friend throw himself in front of the man with the knife, but the train stopped and most riders got off moments later — including the attacker and the victims.
Riders worked to keep the young victim conscious until he was taken by ambulance to a Portland hospital for treatment, she said. Police said the other person was treated at the scene.
Officials told KOIN 6 on Saturday that the teens were expected to recover.
According to the Portland Police Bureau, officers spotted Adrian Austin Cummins at Southeast 92nd Avenue and Flavel Street just a few minutes later. Police say he tried to run away, but was caught near 9300 SE Mt. Scott Blvd., police said.
According to the DA’s office, he is charged with two counts of first-degree bias crime and three counts of unlawful use of a weapon. He also faces charges of attempted second-degree murder, first and second-degree assault, first-degree robbery, interfering with public transportation, and attempted first and second-degree assault.
On Tuesday afternoon, Cummins pleaded not guilty in the Multnomah County Justice Center. The DA’s office also filed a motion to seek preventative detention, meaning Cummins will be denied release until his case is resolved.
Since Saturday, the case has stirred up questions about safety on public transit systems. School and city leaders, including Portland City Commissioner Mingus Mapps, expressed concerns.
“…At least two of those stabbings that happened at our local MAX stations were racially motivated,” Mapps said. “And I’ll tell you as a guy of a 14 year old and a 13 year old – who I have to stick on a bus and a train to get to school in the morning – I think about that a lot. And I know a lot of other parents think about that a lot.”
Guadalupe Guerrero, the superintendent of Portland Public Schools, agrees – calling it “another unfortunate incident.”
“We, our safety and security services have remained in contact with PPB this weekend on that particular incident and will remain in contact with them because we are concerned,” Guerrero said.
TriMet says they have doubled security since 2022, and are working to increase patrols as coordination with law enforcement, but the agency also pointed out Cummin’s status as a convicted felon facing several criminal charges unrelated to TriMet.
“It is concerning that he was refused booking at the jail when he was last arrested on a warrant for failing to appear,” a TriMet spokesperson told KOIN 6 earlier this week. “We hope this time he will be held in custody so that this case can proceed and he can be held fully accountable for this attack.”
Stay with KOIN 6 as this story develops.