Portland man gets jail for beating homeless veteran, 73

Crime

Jeff Douglas Smeltzer was sentenced to two weeks in jail and two years of probation

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — A Portland man will serve time behind bars for beating a 73-year-old homeless veteran who was living out of his car in Portland’s Kenton neighborhood.

The Multnomah County District Attorney’s Office said Thursday that Jeff Douglas Smeltzer was sentenced to two weeks in jail and two years of probation.

Smeltzer called 911 on Aug. 13, 2019, to report some homeless people living near North Russet Street and North Montana Avenue.

The dispatcher told Smeltzer how to get help from the City of Portland but Smeltzer said he was going to take matters into his own hands.

Despite being told to not do anything illegal, Smeltzer walked up to a homeless man’s vehicle and told the person inside that he needed to move.

Authorities said Smeltzer pulled the man out of his car and started punching him in the face. Smeltzer walked away when he was done, leaving the victim bloodied with a severe cut above one eye.

Witnesses confirmed the victim’s account of what happened: that Smeltzer used a closed fist to hit a man who stood still the entire time.

The victim said his vehicle was his only shelter and he’d been parked on the road for a couple of weeks. He told officers he didn’t know Smeltzer but that Smeltzer had honked and yelled at him before.

“For whatever reason, Mr. Smeltzer decided to violently take out his frustrations about homeless individuals in his neighborhood on a 73-year-old veteran who was living out of his car,” said Multnomah County Deputy District Attorney Eric Palmer. “Since this attack, the victim has secured housing and is attempting to move on from this vicious incident.”

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