Men say they were punched after surrounded by mob of teens

Men say they were punched after surrounded by mob of teens »Play Video
Ron King says a group of teens encircled him near Southeast 72nd Avenue and Flavel Street last Friday night and two of them punched him in the mouth. Another man also said he was attacked a few blocks away and hit in the eye by a teen from the group.

PORTLAND, Ore. – A mob of at least three-dozen teens, perhaps even up to 100, punched people, blocked traffic and talked about gangs last Friday night, according to witnesses.

The incident happened at Southeast 72nd Avenue and Flavel Street.

A second disturbance was reported a half-hour later in the area of Southeast 122nd Avenue and Holgate Street. Police believe the two situations were not connected.

A shop owner across the street of the first mob said a dozen teens caused some commotion inside her store and outside they seemed to be kicking a coffee stand. A few minutes later, at 9:30 p.m., Ron King was walking across the street. He said a group encircled him and two of them punched him in the mouth, causing him injury.

"You want to say it doesn't happen in your neighborhood. You gotta be wiser than that," King said Monday. "I'm kind of upset with myself, letting them circle me like that. I should have turned around and ran. But why should an innocent bystander be afraid to walk up to the store at ten in the evening and have to worry about that?"

King ran into the Stonewalls Market and staff locked the doors and called 9-1-1.

King said he also saw the teens punch a man riding a motorcycle down 72nd and tried to pull a woman out of her car.
 
He said police arrived quickly and seemed to speak to some teens still in the area. But they didn't arrest any of them.

When another witness, Mike Kraxberger, went out to take a breath of fresh air a few blocks away, Flavel Street looked like a marching band was tearing through.

"I was just curious, watching people walk by," he said, adding he wondered where they all came from.

They were coming from an out-of-control party in La Hacienda Apartments thrown by a 15-year-old girl.

Two of the teens walked up to Kraxberger and then "that's when he hit me."

Kraxberger said he was hit in the eye.

"I fell, grabbed the tree, and he hit me again," he said.

Both Kraxberger and King got emergency medical care. They'll be OK.

Police were called at 11 p.m. to Southeast 122nd Avenue, where they saw another 100 teens in the street. The mob of people began walking north on the road, and when they reached Division Street, someone in the crowd started throwing rocks at police cars.

Police believe the second mob also was connected to a house party in the area.

Following both disturbances, police wanted to remind folks that the summer curfew for teens under 14 is between 10:15 p.m. and 6 a.m. For teens 14 to 17, the curfew is midnight until 6 a.m.

We learned about this story through a news tip. If there's something you feel we should know about, email us at newstips@katu.com.