Homeless man arrested in Springwater Corridor stabbing

Multnomah County

Neighbors are frustrated by the homeless problem in the area

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — A random, violent attack on a pedestrian near the Springwater Corridor Trail is just the latest incident linked to homeless people in the area.

Dennis Long was trying to get to his aunt’s apartment near Southeast 21st Avenue and Marion Street on Monday when a homeless man stabbed him in the arm and fled, according to court documents.

The first officer at the scene applied a tourniquet to Long’s arm.

Neighbors in the area told KOIN 6 News the tourniquet likely saved Long’s life because he lost a large amount of blood.

Portland police arrested Rodger Yates. They spotted him with a police aircraft and tracked him down with a K9.

Court documents show Yates told police he was high on methamphetamine and was paranoid. He also allegedly thought Long was a threat.

A homeless camper on the Springwater Corridor Trail, Aug. 8, 2019. (KOIN)

Long, meanwhile, is recovering and residents even noticed him walking in the neighborhood the day after the attack.

The unprovoked attack on Long is just the latest dangerous incident to occur along the Springwater Corridor Trail.

Various challenges linked to homeless camping and crime have kept Portland officials busy in the area. In 2016, Hood to Coast relay race organizers had to detour around the trail route due to homeless campers and security concerns.

The Springwater Corridor Trail, Aug. 8, 2019. (KOIN)

Portland Parks and Recreation released the following statement:

Portland Park Rangers do daily patrols on the Springwater Trail, focusing on priority areas as they cannot get to the entire trail each day (it’s more than 20 miles long). Rangers also respond to non-emergency calls for service (for emergencies, such as crimes in progress, call 911).
In total, Portland Parks & Recreation has 23 full-time / permanent Park Rangers and up to 40 staff (including seasonal and full-time positions combined) during peak summer season.
We have 11 bike-trained Portland Park Rangers, including two Ranger Supervisors.
Portland Parks & Recreation trails, parks, and natural areas should be safe and welcoming for all visitors. None of our properties are designed for people to live there.  Our staff strive to help those who are experiencing homelessness, and to connect them to social services providers. We recognize that it is not a crime simply to be homeless, and it is disheartening to see people living outdoors. Nonetheless, violations of park rules cannot be tolerated, particularly when they prevent others from utilizing a given site.
Importantly:
If you need to report an instance of people living on City-owned property – anywhere in the City! – please use the form for the City’s 
One Point of Contact system, found here. This is the best and fastest way to alert the appropriate staff about issues related to livability and people experiencing homelessness.
For emergencies, such as crimes in progress, call 911.

Copyright 2019 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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