Last Wednesday and Thursday (June 13 and 14, 2012) evening, gangs of drunken teens numbering as many as 150, attacked park goers in Portland, Oregon’s Laurelhurst Park.
I found two reports about this incident: The first by Portland’s liberal newspaper, The Oregonian; the second by the Portland police. After you’ve read both, ask yourself which report is the objective one!
From The Oregonian, June 15, 2012:
Portland’s bureaus of Police and Parks will join forces this weekend to increase security in Laurelhurst Park after reports of two large-scale fights there Wednesday and Thursday nights.
According to those who reported the incidents to police, both assaults involved a large group of teenage boys who attacked either an individual or a small group.
Police say they learned of the first incident Wednesday evening when called to the Southeast Portland park about 10:36 p.m. to investigate a report of 150 drunken teens. When they arrived, they told the teens they found to leave. But they were then flagged down by a young woman who told them that a 14-year-old boy had been beaten up and was lying on a picnic table at the west end of the park.
Officers found the boy, who said he’d been with a friend when he was attacked by 5 to 10 other boys who seemed to be randomly attacking others, including at least one transient. The boy said the group also stole his cell phone, his iPod, his headphones and a hat.
No other victims came forward, however, and police didn’t find other victims. The boy was treated by firefighters and taken to an area hospital for further treatment of minor injuries.
The next night, police were called at 10:26 on a report of another fight, this one involving more than 20 young men. When they arrived, officers didn’t see a fight but found three adult men who said they had been attacked by 20 to 30 teenage boys.
The victims said they had been playing “soccer tennis” at the tennis courts in the southeast corner of the park when some of the teens began throwing bottles onto the court and calling out to them. They said the teens then began fighting with them. They suffered facial injuries but declined medical attention.
In an effort to stem the problem, police and parks workers plan to close the park at 10 p.m. Friday and through the weekend instead of the usual midnight closure. Also, officers will have extra patrols in the park and the surrounding area.
Sgt. Pete Simpson, a spokesman for the Portland Police Bureau, said the incidents do not appear to be gang-related and there is nothing so far indicating bias crimes. He also noted that the incidents took place in two different parts of the park.
“But two incidents warrant extra patrols and extra attention,” he said, which is why the park is being closed earlier than usual and the patrols added. “We just want to make sure this is not repeated.”
Notice how The Oregonian article didn’t mention the race or ethnicity of the attackers, other than that they were “drunken teens” and “teenage boys.” Nor did the unnamed reporter who wrote the article mention the race or ethnicity of the victims, although s/he is certain the incidents are not hate crimes.
Now read the press release issued by the Portland Police Bureau.
On June 13 and June 14, 2012, two large-scale fights occurred in Southeast Portland’s Laurelhurst Park.
On June 13, 2012, at 10:36 p.m., Portland Police officers assigned to Central Precinct responded to the report of 150 drunken teenagers in Laurelhurst Park. Officers arrived in the area and contacted several groups of teens leaving the park. Officers explained that the park was closed and that they would need to leave.
As officers drove deeper into the park, they were flagged down by a young woman who directed officers to a 14-year-old male who had been beaten up in the park and was lying on a picnic table at the West end of the pond. The victim suffered facial injuries and Portland Fire & Rescue responded to treat his injuries.
The victim told officers that he was with a friend in the park when he was punched from behind and that several African American teens beat him up and stole his cell phone, iPod, headphones, and hat. Witnesses described to police that a group of 5-10 African American teens were randomly attacking white teens in the park and also attacked a male transient. No other victims came forward to speak to the police and officers did not locate additional victims.
The 14-year-old male victim was transported to an area hospital for treatment to minor facial injuries.
On June 14 at 10:26 p.m., Portland Police officers assigned to Central Precinct responded to the report of a fight of more than twenty males in Laurelhurst Park. Officers arrived didn’t see anyone fighting but spoke with three men who said they were attacked by a group of 20-30 African American males in their teens.
The victims, 26-year-old Wesley Vanderbrink of Lake Oswego, 23-year-old Parker Hutchins of Southeast Portland and 22-year-old Gregar Chapin of Southeast Portland, told police they were playing “soccer tennis” at the tennis courts when the lights went out and they began to leave. The lights came back on and the three started to go back to the courts and described to police that they saw a group of 20-30 African American hanging around just East of the courts. Some of the young men began throwing bottles onto the tennis courts and Chapin called out to them, “Hey!” The group of African American males then began to fight with Chapin, Vanderbrink and Hutchins.
Chapin and Vanderbrink suffered facial injuries but declined medical attention.
The Portland Police Bureau and Portland Parks and Recreation have agreed to work together this weekend to enhance park security. The park will be closed at 10:00 p.m. through the weekend instead of it’s normal midnight closure. Additionally, officers will be doing extra patrol in the park and surrounding area and Parks Bureau Park Rangers will walk through the parks as an added measure of protection.
Anyone with information about these assaults is urged to provide information to CrimeTips@PortlandOregon.gov.
Isn’t it neat how The Oregonian deracinated those 150 “drunken teens”, but when the victim(s) are black and the perpetrator(s) white or half-white, the same The Oregonian does not hesitate to identify the race? See, for example, this article.
This site has an incomplete list of black “flash mobs” incidents.