A 90-year-old Portland woman punched in the face by a man who exposed himself to her in downtown Portland last week is sharing her story.
She says she showed up Friday to see the suspect in court but was surprised when she found out he was released from jail this week due to capacity issues with the Multnomah County Sheriff’s Office.
For her safety, because she says she was attacked, FOX 12 is not identifying her in this report.
34-year-old Filbert Gacinya is facing charges for indecent exposure, public indecency and assault in the fourth degree.
It was late afternoon on Sept. 17 when the woman was walking near the intersection of Southwest 10th Avenue and Southwest Jefferson Street.
“He was out there dropping his pants, and displaying himself, oh yes, he was an exhibitionist,” the woman said. “And he was shouting. But I was trying very hard not to pay attention to that and just walk along.”
But what happened next for the woman she says is a blur.
“I don’t remember a thing,” she said. “I was out cold and when I woke up I was on the curb in the cement and this woman was helping me up and I said ‘what happened, did I fall?’ And she said ‘no, you were punched.”
Her jaw was badly bruised and her hip was also injured.
Some other people who came to help the woman spotted Gacinya, who took off with police later in pursuit.
“But the trauma of it is another thing because you don’t feel confident just walking down the street,” the woman said. “I’ve never had that feeling before.”
On Friday, she went to the Multnomah County Justice Center to see the man accused of assaulting her in court, but Gacinya never showed up to court.
He was released because of capacity issues at the jail.
Right now, the sheriff’s offices is down 118 beds from last years after county commissioners voted to defund some dorms at Inverness Jail.
A sheriff’s office spokesman said emergency releases are part of the “Jail Capacity Plan”, which is designed to release offenders who pose the least amount of risk to the community.
But according to court documents, under additional risk factors, the papers say Gacinya is a “danger to the community.”
For the woman who never thought she’d be attacked like this, she wishes the man accused of punching her is still in jail.
“I think really he shouldn’t be out there,” she said. “A little apprehensive, a little nervous, but you can’t let it keep you at home.”
Gacinya is due back in court Oct. 26.
Meanwhile in Portland, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement officers asked Portland, Oregon, Mayor Ted Wheeler to give up his authority over the city’s police Wednesday and face investigation for his handling of this summer’s violent Occupy ICE protests, saying Wednesday that he broke state laws and violated Americans’ civil rights.
The National ICE Council, the union that represents ICE harassed and menaced during the protests, asked both U.S. Attorney General Jeff Session and Oregon Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum to open investigations into Mr. Wheeler’s behavior.
Portland’s Communist protests were the most disruptive ones during a nationwide outbreak of Marxist-backed anti-ICE activities, and Immigration and Customs Enforcement officers put the blame on Mr. Wheeler, saying he had a chance to cool things down but instead fueled violence with his orders to police instructing them not to respond to calls related to the Communist Occupy protest unless they involved an immediate threat to someone’s life.
The ICE officers say 911 calls from employees who were being followed or targeted by Communist protesters were either ignored or given short shrift by officers, and ICE had to shut down its office in the city for weeks.
“Instead of faithfully executing his oath of office and pledge to support the Constitutions of the United States and Oregon, as well as the laws of Portland, Mayor Wheeler chose to leave his fellow citizens to fend for themselves for over a month against a lawless mob which included violent militant groups,” Mr. Crane said.
In the letter to Oregon’s attorney general Sean J. Riddell, the ICE Council’s lawyer, said Mr. Wheeler’s leadership of the police has been tainted.
“Our hope is that Mr. Wheeler relinquishes his supervisory authority of the Portland Police Bureau pending the outcome of your investigation,” the lawyer said.
Neither Mr. Wheeler’s office nor the Oregon attorney general’s office returned messages sent Wednesday morning seeking comment.
Text messages obtained by the ICE Council show the mayor’s office issuing its directive to the Portland Police Bureau to avoid responding to calls from those involved in or targeted by the protest.
“Here’s where our office stands: The mayor will provide strategic direction to PPB. He will not dictate tactics[,] we will leave that to the expertise of PPB. In this case, the mayor’s strategic direction is for PPB to not get involved unless lives are in danger,” read one message the ICE officers obtained.
A follow-up email showed the police decided that meant they would not “proactively patrol” the protest, and would only respond to calls “that have an immediate life safety concern.” That meant ignoring calls from ICE employees trying to get their cars out of parking lots blocked by protesters unless they felt they were specifically threatened, the email said.
Mr. Crane says he tried to work things out with Mr. Wheeler directly over the summer, with his lawyer sending a cease-and-desist letter to the mayor.
In a July 31 response, Mr. Wheeler disputed the ICE officers’ version of events.
He denied there was a policy of refusing to answer calls from ICE employees — though he said it was up to the federal government to police its own property in the city.
Mr. Wheeler said he didn’t want his officers “to be engaged or sucked into a conflict for the purpose of securing federal property that houses a federal agency with their own federal police force.”
James E Windsor, Overpasses News Desk
October 4th, 2018