PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — A Portland teen stabbed in the heart while riding on the MAX train on Saturday, Sept. 2 is back home after two weeks of recovery, but he says he has a long way to go.
As the community supports his family, their question remains: Why this happened in the first place? The suspect in this case faces multiple counts including bias crime charges — but according to court records, he was arrested multiple times in the weeks leading up to the attack.
“Hate didn’t win that day,” said family friend Briana Rehana. “He had to go through emergency surgery. His lungs filled with blood and it was touch and go.”
Damien, 17, was finally able to go home this weekend, according to Rehana. His friend who was also attacked was treated at the scene. Witnesses say the attack seemed to be racially motivated. Both teens are Black.
The suspect, 25-year-old Adrian Cummins, was charged with bias crime and attempted murder, among other charges.
“It kills me that a group of boys for my community could be just out on the MAX and be a target based on the color of their skin, when they are amazing, amazing kids. The last kind of kids you’d ever expect to be victims of a hate crime,” Rehana said.
Court records show Cummins was arrested multiple times in recent months and in one case, was deemed “unreleaseable”. He also had multiple warrants due to non-appearance in court.
Despite the attack, Rehana says Damien remains in good spirits.
“He wasn’t taking it and being angry or using negative emotions,” Rehana said. “He was saying, ‘I’m just glad nobody else was hurt.'”
Rehana set up a GoFundMe, not only to help with medical and living expenses, but also in hopes of getting Damien alternate transportation as he recovers and hopes to return soon for his senior year of high school.
“The big goal is some type of alternate transportation for Damien because he’ll have to continue taking public transit,” Rehana said. “I would just love to give him a safer option.”
Cummins was indicted by a grand jury late last week and is expected back in court Wednesday morning.
Stay with KOIN 6 as this story develops.