Portland resident Shyla Osborn, 45, says she was assaulted on March 12th while biking on the Gresham-Fairview Trail. According to Osborn, the incident occurred on the path between SE Stark and Glisan near 201st Ave.
Here’s how it went down according to Osborn:
“… I was assaulted by two teenage girls on the Gresham-Fairview trail in the Rockwood neighborhood, on the segment between Stark and Glisan. As I rode northward, they were strolling casually towards me, one on the left and one on the right edge of the trail (unremarkable on such a lovely sunny day); as I came closer and was about to pedal between them, I noticed that one of them was carrying a large tree branch. At this point, it was too late to turn back and get away: the girl on my left lunged in to corral me while her companion on my right swung the branch at my head like she was going for the bleachers. The blow cracked my boyfriend’s $70 helmet; another blow came down on my right shoulder. As soon as they hit their target, they ran off giggling and escaped over the chain-link fence of the one of the houses whose backyard faces the trail. They left me with a pretty nasty bump on my head and a bruised shoulder.”
Osborn credits her helmet from saving her from more serious injuries. Overall, she was more shaken mentally and emotionally. Osborn says she’s ridden this trail hundreds of times over the past three years without major incident and that this portion of the trail is “relatively safe.”
(Photo: Shyla Osborn)
After the incident, Osborn reported it to the Gresham Police Department. The police apprehended the two suspects
the next day a few hours later, but they denied doing it and Osborn says there were some “holes” in her description, so the police were unable to take any action. The police are continuing an investigation (checking the suspects’ alibis) but the case has not progressed thus far. (We’re awaiting a response from the Gresham PD for an update.)
Osborn says regardless of the what happened, she hasn’t stopped riding. “I will certainly be more careful and vigilant next time around,” but she adds, “I have no intention of relinquishing my wheels and have since gotten right back on the path.”
The Gresham-Fairview Trail is a popular commuting route to for Portlanders who work in eastern Multnomah County. Osborn wants more people to know what happened to her so they can stay alert, in the outside chance that, “they try and repeat the prank on another cyclist.”
We’ve reported on security issues on the Springwater Corridor Trail in the past but this is the first incident I’ve heard of on the Gresham-Fairview Trail.