Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Dispatches from the Naked City

 

My wife is serving as a juror in a civil suit that is being heard in the federal court in downtown Portland. The case will be in its sixth day come Monday morning. The following story illustrates why I provide her transportation to and from court each day rather than dropping her off at the nearest light rail platform. The following quotes are taken from an Oregonian news story.

A 37-year-old man who stood naked and screaming on some MAX tracks, then injured a bystander by grabbing her by the hair and violently yanking her to the ground, was sentenced to 26 days in jail earlier this week.

Theodore Metzger told authorities he was high on methamphetamine. When asked if he’d been diagnosed with any mental illnesses, he responded “All of them.”

The attack on the Max platform took place on February 6, 2019. The court calendar in Multnomah County never has an empty day, and you might be surprised to know that some individuals don’t show up for their trials. Mr. Metzger was rather busy back in February 2019.

Metzger also pleaded no contest to second-degree criminal mischief in a different case. He was suspected of stealing from the Portsmouth Union Church in North Portland and was told to leave at about 5:30 a.m. on Feb. 6, according to the DA’s office. Metzger took a machete and an ax and struck a large stone monument, broke two outside light fixtures and damaged a post supporting a covered walkway, investigators said.

Police brought Metzger to jail, but he was released about two hours later. About 12 hours later, he was booked in again for the MAX platform attack.

Ms. Greer suffered some serious injuries in the attack.

The woman, Ellen Greer, then 37, told police she had been on a walk to get coffee. Cell phone video that Greer took just before she was attacked shows Metzger screaming racial slurs and expletives at a TriMet supervisor and others.

Greer told police that she decided to try to help. Her video shows her walking toward Metzger, then Metzger suddenly turning toward her before the video ends.

Greer told police she pepper-sprayed Metzger as he attacked, but that didn’t stop him from putting all of his body weight on her knee. Several bystanders pulled Metzger off, and a private security officer placed him in handcuffs before police arrived, authorities said.

Greer said she couldn’t walk. She was taken to the hospital by ambulance.

A few weeks after the attack, a KGW story reported that Greer said she’d suffered a bone fracture in her knee, a severed ACL and other injuries. Greer didn’t attend Wednesday’s plea and sentencing hearing in Multnomah County Circuit Court.

Ms. Greer was not the only who did not attend the sentencing hearing.

Metzger also wasn’t there. He entered a no contest plea by mail to one count of fourth-degree assault. As part of a plea agreement, he was sentenced to 364 days of probation and 100 hours of community service. He must attend one community a month such as Alcoholic Anonymous or Narcotics Anonymous and pay Greer about $2,900 in restitution.

The police do not determine how long someone spends in jail, nor do the police have any input on plea deals, or sentences handed down by the court. I do have some urban survival tips to offer my readers. Distance is your friend, especially when it comes to a naked man standing on the light rail tracks blocking trains. Agitated naked individuals self-medicating with the intoxicant of their choice who are verbally abusing people as they block trains are beyond any help you can give them, unless you’re carrying a Taser or bean-bag shotgun. Risk versus reward should always be your first thought in this type of situation, and don’t count on any relief coming from the court.

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  1. Arahant Member

    Doug Watt: Agitated naked individuals verbally abusing people as they block trains are beyond any help you can give them, unless your carrying a Taser, or bean-bag shotgun.

    Have to remember that.

    • #1
    • December 15, 2019, at 5:40 AM PST
    • 5 likes
  2. OkieSailor Member
    OkieSailor Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    What? No advice to avoid living in Portland?

    • #2
    • December 15, 2019, at 5:54 AM PST
    • 9 likes
  3. Arahant Member

    OkieSailor (View Comment):

    What? No advice to avoid living in Portland?

    They just moved back.

    • #3
    • December 15, 2019, at 5:58 AM PST
    • 3 likes
  4. Front Seat Cat Member

    OkieSailor (View Comment):

    What? No advice to avoid living in Portland?

    What idiots keep letting this guy out? He needs to be in a psyche ward – he’s a danger to himself, but especially to others.

    • #4
    • December 15, 2019, at 5:58 AM PST
    • 6 likes
  5. GrannyDude Member

     Since a psychotic (naturally or pharmacologically) individual is often ferociously strong and completely beyond reason, stay well away. As poor, courageous Ms. Greer discovered, pepper spray often has little or no useful effect, and even a taser isn’t as helpful as it might be, since the hyper-adrenalized psychotic has a natural anesthetic on board, often supplemented by additional analgesic substances. 

    I wish a.) that folks like Mr. Metzger could be provided with institutional residential treatment sufficient to address their issues and b.) police officers (or specialized first responders) could carry thorazine darts. It is unconscionable that in the present “system,” mentally ill people end up being shot and killed by police officers. They, then, must bear the moral weight of having killed a sick person who–were the right treatment been provided ahead of time, or the right drug been introduced into the crisis—might’ve been able to have a good and decent life. 

    • #5
    • December 15, 2019, at 6:02 AM PST
    • 16 likes
  6. Stad Thatcher

    IIRC, the DC Metro has doors both on the train and in the station. This makes it unlikely for anyone to fall onto the tracks or be pushed. Stories have been creeping into the news lately about raging men (like in your post) pushing people onto the tracks, and drunk women stumbling and falling in front of subway trains.

    You’re doing the right thing by providing transportation . . .

    • #6
    • December 15, 2019, at 6:15 AM PST
    • 4 likes
  7. MarciN Member

    GrannyDude (View Comment):
    could be provided with institutional residential treatment

    thank you :-)

    • #7
    • December 15, 2019, at 6:28 AM PST
    • 6 likes
  8. Muleskinner, Weasel Wrangler Member

    Doug Watt: When asked if he’d been diagnosed with any mental illnesses, he responded “All of them.”

    And he asked him, What is thy name? And he answered, saying, My name is Legion: for we are many. -Mark 5:9

    • #8
    • December 15, 2019, at 6:48 AM PST
    • 10 likes
  9. Jon1979 Lincoln

    Front Seat Cat (View Comment):

    OkieSailor (View Comment):

    What? No advice to avoid living in Portland?

    What idiots keep letting this guy out? He needs to be in a psyche ward – he’s a danger to himself, but especially to others.

    That goes to either progressive politicians or local progressive voters electing or appointing progressive judges who are perfectly fine with virtue signaling with their rulings. And it’s not a new phenomenon — New York had judge Bruce Wright back in the early 1970s, who let a defending accused of shooting a police officer out on $5,000 bond. It earned him the moniker “Turn ’em Loose Bruce”, but with since the progressive beliefs of the times had not yet lowered the quality of life in the city to the breaking point, Wright survived the many attempts to demote him to a position where he would do less damage (this happened long enough ago that the derisive nickname was popularized not by the New York Post, but by the Daily News, back when it was the city’s most conservative paper and the Post was, pre-Murdoch, the most liberal one).

    • #9
    • December 15, 2019, at 6:53 AM PST
    • 3 likes
  10. Arahant Member

    Stad (View Comment):
    IIRC, the DC Metro has doors both on the train and in the station.

    Not that I remember, if I understand what you’re saying. Now, last time I was there was 2007, but the stations I was in had open access to the tracks. It was just a drop down from the platforms.

    • #10
    • December 15, 2019, at 7:05 AM PST
    • 3 likes
  11. Doug Watt Moderator
    Doug Watt

    GrannyDude (View Comment):

    Since a psychotic (naturally or pharmacologically) individual is often ferociously strong and completely beyond reason, stay well away. As poor, courageous Ms. Greer discovered, pepper spray often has little or no useful effect, and even a taser isn’t as helpful as it might be, since the hyper-adrenalized psychotic has a natural anesthetic on board, often supplemented by additional analgesic substances.

    I wish a.) that folks like Mr. Metzger could be provided with institutional residential treatment sufficient to address their issues and b.) police officers (or specialized first responders) could carry thorazine darts. It is unconscionable that in the present “system,” mentally ill people end up being shot and killed by police officers. They, then, must bear the moral weight of having killed a sick person who–were the right treatment been provided ahead of time, or the right drug been introduced into the crisis—might’ve been able to have a good and decent life.

    There are many things that are discussed in our society, but unfortunately this type of mental illness is not being discussed. People who need help are being turned out into the streets due to misplaced compassion. Police officer’s are being tasked with being the first responder to someone who is in a full blown mental health crisis. Civil commitments are virtually impossible to obtain to try and stabilize someone, and get them started on a path to try and get the care they need. 

     

    • #11
    • December 15, 2019, at 7:07 AM PST
    • 7 likes
  12. KentForrester Moderator

    Doug, that area around the courthouse attracts street people and sometimes people who have a grudge against the court.

    Where are you living now and what are you doing with your time. (If I remember, you’re retired.)

    • #12
    • December 15, 2019, at 7:10 AM PST
    • 2 likes
  13. Stad Thatcher

    Arahant (View Comment):

    Stad (View Comment):
    IIRC, the DC Metro has doors both on the train and in the station.

    Not that I remember, if I understand what you’re saying. Now, last time I was there was 2007, but the stations I was in had open access to the tracks. It was just a drop down from the platforms.

    Maybe the only openings were where the car doors were. Still, I think they had double-doors . . .

    • #13
    • December 15, 2019, at 7:34 AM PST
    • 1 like
  14. Jon1979 Lincoln

    Stad (View Comment):

    Arahant (View Comment):

    Stad (View Comment):
    IIRC, the DC Metro has doors both on the train and in the station.

    Not that I remember, if I understand what you’re saying. Now, last time I was there was 2007, but the stations I was in had open access to the tracks. It was just a drop down from the platforms.

    Maybe the only openings were where the car doors were. Still, I think they had double-doors . . .

    When I was there back in July it was still no platform doors, though I haven’t been on the Silver Line extension towards Dulles, which is the only recently-built part of the system. I know they can’t put platform doors on the lines in New York, because the differing types of rolling stock used have different door positions — you can only have the platform doors if the doors on all the rail cars line up the same, or the car doors would open up onto a piece of glass (which actually happened to me on the terminal tram at D-FW Airport one time….)

    • #14
    • December 15, 2019, at 7:58 AM PST
    • 3 likes
  15. PHCheese Member

    My wise father’s advice was to avoid all things public and he died in 1974. No he was not a snob. He knew that you could never tell how someone would row his/ her boat.

    • #15
    • December 15, 2019, at 8:35 AM PST
    • 2 likes
  16. OmegaPaladin Moderator

    I ride public transit in Chicago regularly.

    Metra (commuter rail) is almost always fine. Maybe some rowdy drunks or screaming kids? It helps that there are conductors on board. Safe enough for first time visitors.

    Pace (Suburban Bus) is usually nice, and has very comfortable seats.

    L train (subway/elevated) varies depending on neighborhood. Taking the blue line from Ohare or especially the Orange line from Midway is safe. Others are okay to not good – look at where the stops are, that is who is getting on the train.

    CTA Bus is where the real crazies will show up. Stick to routes that do not have stops in high crime areas unless you are street smart.

    • #16
    • December 15, 2019, at 9:25 AM PST
    • 5 likes
  17. Stad Thatcher

    Jon1979 (View Comment):

    Stad (View Comment):

    Arahant (View Comment):

    Stad (View Comment):
    IIRC, the DC Metro has doors both on the train and in the station.

    Not that I remember, if I understand what you’re saying. Now, last time I was there was 2007, but the stations I was in had open access to the tracks. It was just a drop down from the platforms.

    Maybe the only openings were where the car doors were. Still, I think they had double-doors . . .

    When I was there back in July it was still no platform doors, though I haven’t been on the Silver Line extension towards Dulles, which is the only recently-built part of the system. I know they can’t put platform doors on the lines in New York, because the differing types of rolling stock used have different door positions — you can only have the platform doors if the doors on all the rail cars line up the same, or the car doors would open up onto a piece of glass (which actually happened to me on the terminal tram at D-FW Airport one time….)

    I wonder if it was in an airport . . .

    • #17
    • December 15, 2019, at 10:39 AM PST
    • 2 likes
  18. Petty Boozswha Inactive

    GrannyDude (View Comment):

    Since a psychotic (naturally or pharmacologically) individual is often ferociously strong and completely beyond reason, stay well away. As poor, courageous Ms. Greer discovered, pepper spray often has little or no useful effect, and even a taser isn’t as helpful as it might be, since the hyper-adrenalized psychotic has a natural anesthetic on board, often supplemented by additional analgesic substances.

    I wish a.) that folks like Mr. Metzger could be provided with institutional residential treatment sufficient to address their issues and b.) police officers (or specialized first responders) could carry thorazine darts. It is unconscionable that in the present “system,” mentally ill people end up being shot and killed by police officers. They, then, must bear the moral weight of having killed a sick person who–were the right treatment been provided ahead of time, or the right drug been introduced into the crisis—might’ve been able to have a good and decent life.

    I recently caught the tail end of a conversation on NPR’s Fresh Air [!] discussing the biography a disillusioned leftist wrote of her former hero, the “father of the deinstitutional movement” in psychiatry during the Great Society programs of the 1960’s. I’m sure you will be shocked, shocked to find out that follow up research proves the man was a complete fraud with an anarchist philosophy, but his many admirers in the mental health field are fighting to suppress the book. I don’t recall the name of the book but I’m sure if anyone is interested they could review Fresh Air’s recent archives.

    • #18
    • December 15, 2019, at 1:04 PM PST
    • 4 likes
  19. Brian Watt Member
    Brian Watt Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    An informative video:

    • #19
    • December 15, 2019, at 1:25 PM PST
    • 3 likes
  20. Doug Watt Moderator
    Doug Watt

    KentForrester (View Comment):

    Doug, that area around the courthouse attracts street people and sometimes people who have a grudge against the court.

    Where are you living now and what are you doing with your time. (If I remember, you’re retired.)

    Living in Washington County, and practicing; Dolce far niente-Italian for – “The sweetness of doing nothing”.

    • #20
    • December 15, 2019, at 2:46 PM PST
    • 5 likes
  21. EJHill Podcaster
    EJHill Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    There are eight million stories in the Naked City…. This is one of them…

    • #21
    • December 15, 2019, at 3:35 PM PST
    • 3 likes
  22. CarolJoy, Above Top Secret Coolidge

    Brian Watt (View Comment):

    An informative video:

    Thanks Brian. I will be checking it out.

     

    • #22
    • December 15, 2019, at 3:53 PM PST
    • Like
  23. Hank Rhody, Badgeless Bandito Contributor

    Arahant (View Comment):

    Doug Watt: Agitated naked individuals verbally abusing people as they block trains are beyond any help you can give them, unless your carrying a Taser, or bean-bag shotgun.

    Have to remember that.

    Yeah. Half the time that happens to me, I forget I’m not carrying my taser-shotgun.

    • #23
    • December 15, 2019, at 4:28 PM PST
    • 3 likes
  24. WillowSpring Member
    WillowSpring Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Stad (View Comment):
    IIRC, the DC Metro has doors both on the train and in the station. This makes it unlikely for anyone to fall onto the tracks or be pushed. Stories have been creeping into the news lately about raging men (like in your post) pushing people onto the tracks, and drunk women stumbling and falling in front of subway trains.

    Years ago (early 70’s) , the company where I worked had developed one of the first speech recognition systems and had a project to see if speech recognition could be used for people with severe handicaps to teach them programming. I worked with a teen age quadriplegic – another whole story. This was before the DC metro was completed and the client’s father was in charge of security for the Metro system. One of his issues was to track the people who wanted the ‘honor’ of being the first suicide by Metro.

     

    • #24
    • December 15, 2019, at 4:51 PM PST
    • 2 likes
  25. Eeyore Member
    Eeyore Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    I’m assuming your story is simply illustrative, and that Mr. Metzger is neither plaintiff nor defendant in your wife’s case.

    • #25
    • December 15, 2019, at 7:59 PM PST
    • 1 like
  26. JamesSalerno Coolidge

    This kind of thing really shouldn’t happen in a first-world power like the US.

    • #26
    • December 16, 2019, at 6:02 AM PST
    • 1 like
  27. Doug Watt Moderator
    Doug Watt

    Eeyore (View Comment):

    I’m assuming your story is simply illustrative, and that Mr. Metzger is neither plaintiff nor defendant in your wife’s case.

    They are different cases. I have no idea who is involved in the the case my wife is hearing, and as a juror she cannot tell me anything about the case until it’s over.

     

    • #27
    • December 16, 2019, at 6:07 AM PST
    • 2 likes
  28. GLDIII Temporarily Essential Reagan
    GLDIII Temporarily Essential Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Jon1979 (View Comment):

    Stad (View Comment):

    Arahant (View Comment):

    Stad (View Comment):
    IIRC, the DC Metro has doors both on the train and in the station.

    Not that I remember, if I understand what you’re saying. Now, last time I was there was 2007, but the stations I was in had open access to the tracks. It was just a drop down from the platforms.

    Maybe the only openings were where the car doors were. Still, I think they had double-doors . . .

    When I was there back in July it was still no platform doors, though I haven’t been on the Silver Line extension towards Dulles, which is the only recently-built part of the system. I know they can’t put platform doors on the lines in New York, because the differing types of rolling stock used have different door positions — you can only have the platform doors if the doors on all the rail cars line up the same, or the car doors would open up onto a piece of glass (which actually happened to me on the terminal tram at D-FW Airport one time….)

    Gents

    There are no doors between the platforms and the train tracks, anywhere on the DC metro. The only doors are on the trains themselves. If the delta in velocity between a passenger falling/jumping/pushed into the incoming train’s path is not fatal, contact with the ~750 V third rail will do the trick.

    While we no longer worry about getting taken out by a saber toothed tiger on the savanna, life in the modern world in not risk free either.

    • #28
    • December 16, 2019, at 7:43 AM PST
    • 4 likes
  29. CarolJoy, Above Top Secret Coolidge

    Doug Watt (View Comment):

    GrannyDude (View Comment):

    Since a psychotic (naturally or pharmacologically) individual is often ferociously strong and completely beyond reason, stay well away. As poor, courageous Ms. Greer discovered, pepper spray often has little or no useful effect, and even a taser isn’t as helpful as it might be, since the hyper-adrenalized psychotic has a natural anesthetic on board, often supplemented by additional analgesic substances.

    I wish a.) that folks like Mr. Metzger could be provided with institutional residential treatment sufficient to address their issues and b.) police officers (or specialized first responders) could carry thorazine darts. It is unconscionable that in the present “system,” mentally ill people end up being shot and killed by police officers. They, then, must bear the moral weight of having killed a sick person who–were the right treatment been provided ahead of time, or the right drug been introduced into the crisis—might’ve been able to have a good and decent life.

    There are many things that are discussed in our society, but unfortunately this type of mental illness is not being discussed. People who need help are being turned out into the streets due to misplaced compassion. Police officer’s are being tasked with being the first responder to someone who is in a full blown mental health crisis. Civil commitments are virtually impossible to obtain to try and stabilize someone, and get them started on a path to try and get the care they need.

     

    Doug what you are saying is so true.

    Texas regs allow for family members to state the need for the person to be put in an institution, IIRC. In California, it is so hard to get someone into a facility. The person basically has to have already injured someone seriously, or attempted suicide, if they are to be admitted by a family member or friend. The state lets the crazy person decide whether they are or aren’t crazy. And sadly, part of being crazy is that the individual thinks we are the ones who’ re nuts, not them.

     

    • #29
    • December 17, 2019, at 12:12 AM PST
    • 1 like
  30. Gazpacho Grande' Coolidge

    JamesSalerno (View Comment):

    This kind of thing really shouldn’t happen in a first-world power like the US.

    Meaning we should nuke them, from orbit, before something bad happens?

    • #30
    • December 17, 2019, at 3:41 PM PST
    • Like