PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — Seven teens arrested for allegedly assaulting a man at the Holgate Boulevard Transit Station appeared in juvenile court on Wednesday.
On Tuesday afternoon, Portland police officers responded to the Holgate Boulevard Transit Station and found a man with non-life-threatening injuries. Officers said he’d been assaulted on a Southbound MAX train and that a knife had been displayed during the assault but wasn’t used to hurt anyone.
Authorities learned several suspects were involved but had fled the scene. Officers surrounded the area and brought in a K9. Seven teens — 6 boys and one girl — were eventually found and arrested.
Some of the suspects are also accused of targeting and harassing riders at a handful of TriMet stations and trains since mid-February.
Harold Heroux told KOIN 6 News he was attacked last month at the East 162nd Avenue Transit Station after refusing to give one of the kids a cigarette. He suffered injuries to his jaw and side.
“One kid, he kept punching me like he was boxing,” Heroux said. “Most of them got me when I was down on the ground, literally, kicking and punching and kicking and punching.”
Heroux said the incident dragged on for about three minutes. He said he was able to get up but was careful about how he defended himself due to the age of his attackers.
“What got me the most is how young they were and the anger in their eyes,” he said. “I don’t want to hit a kid. I grabbed one and put him down because he kept punching on me but that was it. No way I was going to hit him.”
He said the group stole his bike and headphones.
Another attack happened at the Lloyd Center Transit Station.
“One of them got in my face and started taunting me and calling me names,” said a victim in that incident named Troy. “When I went to push him out of the way, one of them hit me right in the face.”
Troy said the teens broke his glasses and stole his phone and credit card, racking up more than $1,000 in charges.
Both victims who spoke with KOIN 6 News said their separate experiences have made them hesitant to take public transportation.
The parents of all seven teens, who range in age from 13 to 16, were present when their kids made their first appearance in juvenile court. Many parents were emotional, expressing their disappointment and some told the judge they want their kids to learn a lesson.
“They just need to have some significant changes in their life to change the direction or they are just going to end up career criminals,” said Troy.
Heroux, who was also at court, said he didn’t recognize all of the teens there on Wednesday and thinks some of his attackers are still loose.
All seven teens are being held at the Donald E. Long Juvenile Detention Center until a release plan is established.