Transient stabs TriMet driver, after being denied potty privileges

UPDATED! HELP FIND THIS CRIMINAL! Find out why area residents say they aren’t surprised this attack took place at this out-of-the-way location …

Riders on this Route 19 TriMet bus were forced to transfer – after their driver was stabbed by man described as a scruffy-looking transient.

Story and photos by David F. Ashton
It was just another Saturday night driving a TriMet bus through the Lents neighborhood for 35-year-old Brian Nixon, up till about 11:00 p.m. on April 20.

That all ended when he stopped for a bathroom break on SE Flavel Street, near the East Side MAX Light Rail Station.

Once inside the portable toilet, Nixon was startled when someone started fist-pounding on the door, making the structure shudder.

“When he opened the door, Nixon was stabbed by a man who demanded to use the restroom,” related Portland Police Bureau Public Information Officer Sgt. Pete Simpson.

“After the stabbing, the suspect ran away into the neighborhood,” Simpson added.

Paramedics attend to the wounds of the TriMet bus driver after he was stabbed by a man demanding to use the portable toilet.

At the scene, some first responders told East Portland News that Nixon was stabbed twice in his chest, with an assault steak knife. Later reports said the TriMet driver received wounds to his leg.

“I hate using this MAX Station at night,” said Timothy Lanenberger. “You get dropped off, and you’re ‘in the middle of nowhere’.

Even worse, he continued, “Bums live under the bridge – it’s set up like an apartment building under there. And, the homeless camp all over in this area.”

Police fan out around the base of Mt. Scott, looking the bus driver’s attacker.

Lakenberger said that he hadn’t been attacked. “But, I’ve been panhandled aggressively by some of these people. They get in your face and make it difficult to walk away.”

Witnesses of the knife attack indicated to arriving police officers that the suspect headed east.

Police released this composite sketch of the knifeman who stabbed the TriMet driver.

“Officers searched the area, but did not find the suspect, who is described as an African American male in his 30s, 5’9″ tall, wearing a black and red coat, brown pants, and a stocking cap,” Simpson reported. “The suspect is also described as having a beard, and is possibly a transient.”

Nixon talked with one news outlet after the attack, and said “he is doing well” – but he refused any other media contact.

© 2013 David F. Ashton ~ East Portland News

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