OREGON CITY, Ore. – A man who stabbed three people and bit another on a TriMet bus last year will spend 15 years in prison.
Austin Vanhagen pleaded no contest to four counts of assault in Clackamas County Court Tuesday morning. The judge found him guilty and sentenced him to 15 years.
Vanhagen apologized to the victims and their families in a statement to the court.
“I’d like to say that I’m sorry for the victims and all they’ve gone through, and their families,” said Vanhagen. “I’m sorry for what I’ve put my family through and I love my family.”
None of the victims appeared in court Tuesday.
The incident began at a bus stop for Line 33 near Molalla Avenue and Clairmont Way just before 11 p.m. on Oct. 2. Police said Vanhagen was yelling racial slurs on the bus but it was unclear who they were directed at.
Vanhagen then punched one man, fought with others and stabbed three people, including the bus driver, Leonard James. Vanhagen also bit a person during the fight.
James told KATU he will never forget the "randomness" of that night.
"There was no warning," he said of Vanhagen’s actions. "He was a perfectly well-behaved drunk one minute and suddenly he was just this maniac."
Vanhagen's aunt last year said their family tried to get Vanhagen mental help to prevent an attack like this from happening because he was becoming dangerous and unpredictable.