PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — Mohamed Abdalla was playing trumpet in Couch Park about two weeks ago when he was hit over the head with a rock in a seemingly random attack.
Abdalla, who moved away from Chicago to escape the violence in the city, was beginning to walk home when he was attacked.
“A homeless individual approached me. In the manner he came up to me, I truly felt like my life was being threatened,” he told KOIN 6 News. “I was immediately assaulted by a jolt of two fingers. Just jabbing me. I was like, whoa! It was fight or flight.”
He tried to call 911 but said the man — later identified as Jerry House — continued the attack. Abdalla said a bystander picked up his phone and spoke with 911 while he tried to hold his attacker at bay.
“In a manner of seconds I felt my head gushing blood from the back of the head. I knew I was struck, I knew I was bleeding,” he said.
He went to the ER for treatment of his injuries. He said he needed 5 staples in the head, is not able to work anymore and had just been promoted. But had to leave because of his injuries and said he still suffers emotionally.
Now he wants to see the city doing more to stop this kind of violence.
“What I expected from a place like Portland is to be a place of harmony. I didn’t find that here,” he said. “I think we need to step up our game a little bit, specifically the homeless and violence individuals out on the streets.”
Court documents obtained by KOIN 6 News show House was arrested for assault and unlawful use of a weapon. The probable cause affadavit said House was making nonsensical statements at the time he was arrested and had blood on his hands. Police also found the bloody rock nearby.
Abdalla, who is applying to PSU, said there are days when he looks at his trumpet and wonders if it’s even worth it anymore.
“I want to see the city get a handle on things. It’s completely unacceptable for innocent people to be violently hurt doing their everyday activities,” he said. “It’s unacceptable that I’m walking down the street and I’m afraid of where the next blow is going to be.”