Editor’s note: A previous version of this story from Thursday, Sept. 15, 2022 stated he wasn’t charged. Portland Police Bureau clarified on Saturday, Sept. 17, 2022, that the criminal citation issued in this case “is equivalent to an arrest, just without the booking into jail. He is given a court date that is mandatory. If he does not show, a judge can issue a warrant for his arrest.” A Portland police spokesperson said they will work to determine why the person was issued a citation.
PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — Neighbors in SE Portland say their windshields have been continually smashed by a man on a bicycle, one of them even caught on camera. Since KOIN 6 News told their story earlier this week, more victims have come forward, and most of the victims tell KOIN 6 the suspect is only being cited — and they want him held accountable.
Neighbors are left frustrated after they say the same man on a bike with a trailer attached has been smashing their windshields, often, while they’re driving. One caught on camera, happened last weekend near SE 49th and Hawthorne.
“He stood up and sort of steadied himself and just took a big swing with a rock or something hard, right into my windshield,” said Steve Magnuson, whose car was hit.
Another neighbor spoke to KOIN 6 anonymously, adding they were targeted near SE 42nd and Belmont.
“Instead, he took something like a really heavy glass bottle and he just started smashing at my windshield, right in front of my face,” the woman told KOIN 6.
Since then, others have come forward with similar stories — like Tracy Salsbury, who says she was driving along Burnside and SE 99th when a rock smashed through her driver’s side back window and saw the same bike with a trailer attached.
“That was scary,” said Salsbury, adding it was a close call because her front window was down at the time and says she easily could’ve been hit in the head if she was driving any slower. “It was 1:30 in the morning, I’m by myself, there’s nobody around except these people.”
KOIN 6 spoke to another victim who wanted to remain anonymous. While they didn’t see a suspect, they came out to find their windshield smashed near SE 39th and Division, but not broken all the way through and there was no theft. Police have not confirmed if either case is related to the same suspect in the Sunnyside neighborhood cases.
So far, the victims whose cases were connected to 51-year-old suspect Robert Casey McClatchey tell KOIN 6 police told them he would be cited for second-degree criminal mischief — a charge confirmed by PPB.
However, according to Multnomah County’s jail booking criteria, that charge is a bookable offense.
KOIN 6 reached out to Portland police on Thursday to ask why McClatchey was only cited if he faces charges he can be arrested for — especially as these cases continue, including past charges for similar crimes that he’s accused of.
PPB responded on Saturday, saying, “A criminal citation is equivalent to an arrest, just without the booking into jail. He is given a court date that is mandatory. If he does not show, a judge can issue a warrant for his arrest. This is different from a traffic violation citation, which is just a fine, and cannot result in jail or a warrant.”
A spokesperson for the PPB says they are still working to determine the reason that a citation was issued in this case.
Salsbury believes beyond arrests, more needs to be done for these people on the streets to get help and stop these impulse crimes.
“Do we have to wait until whatever he threw hit somebody in the head?” said Salsbury. “You think he’s going to care he got cited? That got tossed on the ground while he was picking up rocks. Who rides around with rocks? People that are going to do that.”
The Multnomah County District Attorney’s Office says they will not be able to comment on this case at this time. KOIN 6 also reached out to PPB to see if they believe these other cases are also linked to McClatchey, but have not heard back on that information.