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Archive for the 'Crime' Category

What are our friends at OSU up to?

December 1st, 2010 by Melissa Haskin

The OSU community has seen quite a bit of action in the last week or so, here are the most notable events:

  • OSU closes early for Thanksgiving break. Snow? Nope, college doesn’t close for snow! Fire, on the other hand, will shut down campus. Wednesday morning the there was a fire in the underground steam tunnels causing campus to smell worse than usual, not to mention the electrical problems it caused.

“The University’s Corvallis campus is closing for the remainder of the day, effective at noon. Damage, smoke issues and other complications resulting from an electrical fire this morning in the university’s steam tunnels has caused widespread problems with electrical service, heating, smoke and network connectivity in a long and growing number of buildings. For the safety of our students, employees and campus visitors, please know that you may leave for the remainder of the day, though essential personnel are expected to remain on the job.”

  • Former OSU student, Mohamed Osman Mohamud, attempted to set off a bomb during the Christmas tree lighting in Portland, but instead got played by the FBI (props to the FBI!).
  • The Corvallis Mosque that Mohamed Osman Mohamud attended was set afire. FBI presume it’s related to the attempted bombing (you think?) and are offering a gratuitous sum of $10,000 for information leading to an arrest.
  • ASOSU sends e-mail to students encouraging them to hold hands and sing kumbaya in these troubling times. The e-mail proceeds to say that Mohamed Osman Mohamud’s involvement with the bomb is “sad”  but that students should respect each other. Hmmm, ironic that the ASOSU is trying to teach respect when the bombing illustrates a complete lack of respect…..Here’s the text of the e-mail (emphasis mine):

“…OSU Students,

As some or most of you are aware, there was an incident this weekend in Portland involving a former OSU Student and an attempt to bomb the Christmas Tree Lighting in Portland’s Pioneer Square. At 2:15 Sunday morning, someone set fire to the Corvallis Mosque, a place of worship for the Corvallis Muslim community. It hasn’t been confirmed whether this was intentional or not, but it is assumed that this arson was in reply to the attempted bombing in Portland.

We want to make it clear to each and every student at OSU we operate as a community, a community that works and lives together as one, inclusive of race, religious orientation, sex, gender, age, size, class, or any other factor that might set us apart.

We need to respect everyone’s differences and we need to realize that the actions of one do not reflect the ideals of many. While the suspected “Christmas Tree” bomber did attend the Mosque that was set to fire, that person also attended OSU. We will not place unjust accusations upon groups of people or organizations of which this individual was a member. This individual made his own choices, choices that should not reflect that of our Muslim student population or our Corvallis Muslim community and we should not be putting them at blame. When it all comes down to it, we are all students. We are all striving at the chance for an education that many people do not get. We are all preparing for dead week and finals week and the stress of tests and projects. We are all part of the OSU community and we should all stand by one another.

It is sad that a former student of OSU was involved so heavily with a bomb plot in Portland, but we will not let this rip apart the community that we have created on campus. We are still students of OSU and we will continue to respect one another despite our many differences. We will not allow these incidents to cause a rift between students because of religion or any other affiliation. We will rise above this and we will show everyone that OSU is a place of diversity, a place that respects each and every student, each and every culture, each and every difference that we all may have.

ASOSU”

  • President Ed Ray releases a statement, which is then forwarded to students, saying he disapproves of the arson and condemns hate crimes. Effective President Ray, Effective-because extremists and arsonists are going to change their ways due to an e-mail from you. In addition, a candle light vigil was held today, why? Who the heck knows. From President Ray (who might need to consult the ASOSU, as their e-mail was actually more inspiring):

“While it is important to note that in the American criminal justice system our courts determine guilt or innocence, it is equally important to condemn the activities described in the FBI investigation of Mohamed Osman Mohamud as defenseless and reckless and having no place in civilized society. I share the outrage and shock expressed by others that anyone might have planned to cause such indiscriminate death and destruction.

We must not compound the harm already done by this incident but rather come together as a community here at Oregon State University and throughout the broader Corvallis community. With the support of that broader community we are educating our students to be global citizens and helping students learn about cultures, languages, histories and faith practices around the world. The fire reportedly set at Salman Al-Farisi Islamic Center on Sunday is an act of hate and cowardice, and I condemn it in the strongest terms. Members of the mosque include faculty, staff and students at our university, as well as friends and neighbors and are an important part of who we are as a community. They deserve our most heartfelt regrets for this despicable act and our ready hands to help rebuild what has been lost….

There will be a candlelight vigil tomorrow evening, from 5:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. at the Salman Al-Farisi Islamic Center, 610 N.W. Kings Blvd. As other opportunities to support our friends and neighbors arise, we will share them through OSU internal media.”

It seems that our friends at OSU have been a little less than boring lately.

UO Adjunct Professor Lied To Students, Subject of Fraud Investigation

November 29th, 2010 by Lyzi Diamond

University of Oregon Adjunct Professor Bill Hillar is under investigation by the Multnomah County Sheriff’s Department for fraud after some of his students at the Monterey Institute of International Studies discovered that Hillar had been lying about his exploits as a member of the US Army Special Forces and receiving a doctorate degree from the University of Oregon. Hillar had been a part-time instructor at the Institute, which is an adjunct campus of Middlebury College. He was scheduled to teach a Substance Abuse Prevention Program class this term at the University of Oregon, and during winter term 2010 taught a SAPP class in International Drug Trafficking that had 241 enrolled students. He also was one of the keynote speakers at last year’s Slavery Still Exists conference. He was scheduled to give a lecture at the University of Portland this month, but failed to show up, and all contact attempts have been fruitless. His website has since been taken down.

From the LA Times:

Bill Hillar, a part-time instructor at the Monterey Institute of International Studies, told students enrolled in his workshops on terrorism and human trafficking about what he described as his own dangerous exploits as a former colonel in the U.S. Army’s Special Forces.

He also boasted, they recalled, that the 2008 action movie “Taken,” starring Liam Neeson, was based on his life and his daughter’s kidnapping by men who wanted to enslave her.

Such claims, along with incidents in which Hillar seemed to borrow material from other people’s books, raised suspicions among some of his graduate students about Hillar’s resume and background. “He didn’t seem to act like a veteran or someone who served so highly in the military,” recalled Brian Hubbs, a graduate student and Marine veteran.

So this fall, Hubbs and several other veterans attending the graduate institute began investigating Hillar’s resume. And the school now says their suspicions had merit.

Monterey Institute officials said Hillar, who has taught workshops twice yearly at the school since 2005, had claimed to hold a doctorate from the University of Oregon, but a check showed that he had only attended classes there. The institute, which is well-regarded for its foreign language and international relations courses, has been unable to confirm the instructor’s claims of military rank and service, officials said.

Hillar, who has also been an expert speaker on security and leadership at other colleges and police agencies across the country, did not respond to messages left Monday at the phone number and e-mail address listed on his class syllabus.

An apology from the Monterey Institute of International Studies can be found here. It seems Hillar fooled a lot of people, including various law enforcement agencies.

Also from the LA Times, on the investigation:

Deputy Keith Bickford, who heads the human trafficking unit of the Multnomah sheriff’s agency and is helping in the investigation, said he had heard Hillar speak twice at conferences and emotionally recount the supposed kidnapping and murder of his daughter.

“The story that he told was very sad and he did a very good job in making everybody feel horrible,” said Bickford, who did not initially suspect Hillar’s credentials. “If he is a fraud, he’s hurt a lot of people and taken advantage of a horrible, horrible crime,” he said, referring to trafficking.

Hillar could not be reached for comment at the phone number and e-mail address he listed on a syllabus for his Monterey Institute class.

Retired Green Beret Jeff Hinton started a website, professionalsoldiers.com, in order for Special Forces members to discuss their lives. Hillar has been listed on the website as a fraud for over a year. From KION News:

Hillar has been posted as a fraud for over a year on the website Jeff Hinton started, professional soldiers.com. A place for special forces to network with each other. It was there that Brian Hubbs and the other students at the Monterey Institute of International Studies found more evidence to back up their research on Hillar.

A client list from Hillar’s now defunct website shows a lot of people believed his stories for a long time, “It’s because he’s never run across a real Green Beret… They read just enough or watch just enough movies to pass themselves off,” said Hinton.

This story is still unfolding. Updates will be added as they are received. If you have any info on Hillar, or have taken a class with him, please email us at editor@oregoncommentator.com.

Dutch Bros. Doesn’t Put Up With Your Burglary Shit.

November 29th, 2010 by Melissa Haskin

For those considering robbing coffee shops this holiday season, Dutch Bros. is not the best choice. No, seriously, they will shoot you.

As reported by both the Register-Guard and the Oregonian, on the evening of November 24, two men attempted to rob a Eugene Dutch Bros. Shots were exchanged and the final toll was 1 robber, a Sirus Combs, shot dead, one robber escaped and an unharmed, unidentified Dutch Bros. employee. The event occurred at 2150 Franklin Boulevard and is still under investigation. According to the Oregonian, the police say that shots were fired from more than one weapon.

Dutch Bros. originated in Grants Pass, Ore., and i’s main operations are still based there. The local newspaper, the Daily Courier, ran an article explaining the cautions owners Travis and Dane Boersma took following the incident. Thus far, there has already been a company-wide meeting regarding both the event and safety. What remains clear though is that robbers might want to think twice before pulling a gun, because not everyone is going to roll over and take their shit.

On Public Safety

November 21st, 2010 by Lyzi Diamond

Just received an email from the UO Office of Communications regarding a kidnapping and assault near campus, and a separate incidence of assault on campus.

From the email:

KIDNAP AND ASSAULT

On Saturday, November 20, 2010, at about 11:30 p.m., a University of Oregon student reported being the victim of a kidnapping and assault. The victim stated that she was walking on 15th Avenue, between Alder and Kincaid, when an unknown individual grabbed her arm and told her to come with him. When the victim refused, the suspect cut the victim’s wrist with a key, which caused a superficial laceration. The suspect forced the victim to walk with him to a campus bench, where she was able to flee. The victim described the assailant as a white male, mid-to late-20’s, slight husky build, with brown hair, light beard, wearing blue jeans and brown running shoes.

ASSAULT

In a separate incident occurring at approximately 12:10 a.m., a University of Oregon student reported being the victim of a sexual assault near Gerlinger Annex. The victim stated that an unknown individual pushed her into a wall and then groped her. She was able to escape after pushing the suspect away and screaming for assistance. The victim described the assailant as a white male, mid-20’s, brown hair, beard, husky build, wearing blue jeans, a black collared button-up shirt and dark shoes.

Within minutes of receiving the second report, University of Oregon Department of Public Safety Officers detained an individual matching the suspect’s description. After being positively identified by the victim, the suspect was arrested and lodged in the Lane County Jail on a charge of Sexual Abuse 1. The suspect arrested in this crime has a similar description to the suspect in the Kidnap and Assault crime.

Anyone who has information about either incident is asked to contact University of Oregon Department of Public Safety at 541-346-2919.

Updates about the situation or investigation will be available at http://safetyweb.uoregon.edu

Brawls, Laughs, and Morals: When a night goes from good, to bad, to hilarious.

November 7th, 2010 by Jordan Blaisdell

A lot happens when you go to college. After the weed is gone, the hangover subsides, and you somehow end up with a degree, college boils down to life experience. All the beliefs we have are actually tested. Our morals are examined and some hypotheticals start to become reality. Our responses to these experiences affect the rest of our lives. But how do you handle that kind of stress? The stress of being ripped out of childhood and forced into adulthood can signify the violent transition we all have to face. Some people conform and become boring. Others become angry and rely on crutches. But I very recently discovered that the best way to handle any kind of stress is comedy.

(more…)

Trouble in The Tron.

November 3rd, 2010 by Nick Dreyer

Just in case there was any debate as to whether or not Beaverton reigns supreme as the lamest town in Oregon, William J. Parent goes and gets his 19-year old fool-ass arrested for the pettiest fucking crime in history. On September 30th, Parent was given 10 days jail time and an 18 month probation period after being charged with counts of second degree theft and burglary and “unlawful entry into a motor vehicle.”  His crime?  He stole a fishing pole and some boating rope from a garage and a pair rubber gloves from some asshole’s car.  Now Bill, let’s have some “heart of the matter” time.  There was a fishing pole in that garage, yeah?  And there was boating rope obviously.  With me so far?  Now.  DID YOU NOT SEE A FUCKING BOAT?!  THEY ARE VERY, VERY HARD TO MISS.  THEY LOOK EXACTLY LIKE BOATS, YOU DAFT BITCH. If you are going to indulge in burglary, GO BIG.   And the next time you break into a car, don’t go for rubber trash that cost less than a dollar.  At the very least take some RUSH cassette tapes.  Idiot.

What Parent said in defense is left to the imagination, but we at the Commentator speculate it was along the lines of, “Buhhhhhh,” followed by remarks of, “Derrrp,” and, “Aw c’mon!”  Remarks from the butt-hurt Beaverton neighbors who felt the need to press charges on the obviously retarded teenager (whose only wish was to go fishing) also remain undisclosed.  One can imagine however that they will bore the shit out of everyone they meet recalling the “most exciting event ever to occur in this Podunk suburb” while they sip Jamba Juices and wait in line at their tanning salon.

Riot Update

September 27th, 2010 by Kellie B.

In a stunning display of independence and maturity, 400ish freshmen rioted in the intersection of 14th and Patterson last Friday, the 24th. It took about 50 police in SWAT gear to subdue the drunken masses, which finally cleared out a little after midnight (can you say after-riot party?). Tear gas was thrown, street signs torn down, and nine people arrested on alcohol-related charges.  UO President Richard Lariviere called the rager “completely unacceptable,” and pledged to improve the University’s relations with the surrounding neighborhood. Longtime West University residents seemed nonplussed by the incident, stating that it was, “earlier this year than in previous years.” The damages, which also included broken car windows (not cool, Freshies,) will cost the city about $10,000.

Both police and citizens have speculated on the cause of the riot, one theory being a deficit of large houses that, in years past, could accommodate tens of partiers. Without these Animal Houses smaller apartment parties have become the norm, but with small space and loud people come the inevitable spillage of drunks into the street.

One may wonder what this ridiculous episode means about the incoming class of ’14 and the future of UO partying in general. Clearly, these freshmen are ready to get their swerve on right away and at unprecedented levels. True, the first exhilarating taste of freedom can go to one’s head, but their overly enthusiastic antics spell problems for the rest of us. Increased party patrol vigilance will be a definite result, and pissing off residents could mean police visits to your house if your little Gleek party gets a smidge too loud.
If only there was a place where underage students could gather and get super shitfaced without getting arrested. Imagine, a gymnasium sized room to which freshman alchies could bring their 30-bombs and cheap handles and drink their little brains out. It wouldn’t need anything inside, no chairs, no decorations, just let them bring their pong tables, boomboxes, and nude playing cards. Who would need to riot when you have a chill spot like that?

Personally, this writer believes the true victims in this incident are the street signs. Every street in the West University neighborhood is a mish-mash of aging houses and pop-up apartment complexes that shit all looks the same. It is easy to get lost and impossible to find what street you’re on due to a large amount of missing street signs, which the city refuses to replace. It is understandable that they are frustrated with stupid kids stealing them all the time, but is there truly no way to bolt that them down a little better? It appears, from looking at the remaining signs, that they are just thin rectangles that slide in and out of a metal frame. Let’s try something a little more substantial, hmm?

More Riot Coverage

September 27th, 2010 by Lyzi Diamond

If you like reading about silly freshmen making a fuss on a Friday night, you can read about it in the Register Guard and the Oregon Daily Emerald. From the RG article:

“The mass of people was admonished to disperse, but ignored commands, continued chanting obscenities, threw bottles and projectiles at officers, broke car windows and tore down street signs,” [Eugene Police Lt. Doug] Mozan said in a statement. “Tear gas was deployed only after the admonishments were ignored and when the crowd began throwing objects at police.”

The end of the Daily Emerald article shows a real victory for students, with President Rousseau making the best statement of her presidency yet:

ASUO President Amelie Rousseau condemned EPD’s response to the event, and said she believes that the use of weapons against students was an uncalled-for escalation of force, and identified it as “crude and disproportionate.” She also said that she believed the incident has affected her views on whether or not DPS should adopt a sworn and armed police force pending the passage of state legislation.

“I think this should make all students and the University administration think twice about bringing this type of intimidation on to campus.” Rousseau said, “This is exactly why we don’t want a police force on our campus.”

University to push for campus police force

September 21st, 2010 by Rockne Andrew Roll

The “Back to the Books” edition of the Oregon Daily Emerald highlighted the University’s plans to create a campus police force and the effort to legislation allowing them to do so. This would give officers on the UO Campus a much broader range of authority, as well as the possibility of these campus officers carrying firearms or other weapons. Current state statutes prevent campus security officers from carrying firearms, and while state law permits non-lethal weapons such as stun guns, University policy prevents UO Department of Public Safety officers from carrying them.

It is difficult to imagine, in light of incidents like the attempted drowning of two DPS officers by a suspect (reported in the Register-Guard), why Public Safety wouldn’t want to have at least some form of less-lethal self-defense available. Moreover, it’s somewhat interesting that the UO wants to jump from a Department of Public Safety that can’t even carry tazers to a sworn police force that would, by every estimation, carry firearms of some kind. Isn’t that skipping a few steps?

Similar legislation has been introduced repeatedly in the past, but the bill planned for the upcoming legislative session carries the full support of the UO. A “working group” to implement a UO police force was created in January by VP for Finance and Administration Frances Dyke.  Their progress thus far seems to be limited to the creation of a blog displaying links to articles on the subject in the Register-Guard. UO Public Safety has created a rather extensive FAQ page about the process, which can be viewed here.

What is notable about the process thus far is the complete lack of student input. The only student voice seen in any of the articles about the subject was that of ASUO President Amélie Rousseau, who, according to the Register-Guard article cited above, said “that if the public safety department wants expanded authority, it also needs to accept expanded oversight by the university and students.” This can be roughly translated as ASUO wanting a say in how law enforcement is conducted on campus, which is a surprise to . . . absolutely nobody.

The creation of a campus police force is already the stated goal of the University; there seems to have been no opportunity for student input in the process. While such a process would most likely include immeasurable whining about mean, fascist cops running around shooting students at random (as Rousseau did earlier in the RG’s article), its kind of unsettling that the student body has been fairly well excluded from having any sort of input on issue. Given the University’s history of cherishing student input, the outlook for student involvement on this subject is, to put it mildly, bleak.

M-a-s-o-l-i, Like The Football Player

March 16th, 2010 by Drew Cattermole

Police have released the 911 call from Max Wolfard of SAE. My favorite part is the girl in the background when she finds out the laptop was stolen by Masoli.  Below is the video from Downtown Eugene News.

UO tennis courts vandalized

March 15th, 2010 by D

This photograph was taken of the tennis courts on the back side of the turf fields. Looks like someone is really sticking it to the man by defacing public property–property that everyone’s money will go to help clean up.

Great job, activists. You’ve sincerely shown just how little you understand.

UO dorm vandalized

March 14th, 2010 by D

Oregon Commentator/Kiefer VerSteegh

This image was taken from one of the outer walls of Bean West, near the Hamilton complex. Apparently somebody thought that the dorms (or the university) was much like that of a repressive regime. Does that mean that Dick Lariviere is comparable to Stalin? According to the meaningful social commentary spray-painted on a college dormitory in Oregon, yes. Yes he is.

No word yet on finding the perpetrators. Must solve other spray paint-related crimes first.

Masoli and Embry plead guilty

March 12th, 2010 by D

Embry and Masoli/KVAL

“So when my little brother comes to visit in April, does this mean I can take him to the Eugene prison to get his football signed?”

That was what my friend’s Facebook status read today. That particular person is from the state of New York, only further proving that the rest of the country thinks our football team is a bunch of losers.

Jeremiah Masoli plead guilty today, as I am sure you are all aware of. What does this mean now, as far as our football team goes? To be honest, I don’t particularly care (blasphemy!) What I am worried about, however, is the strain this puts on our school and our surrounding community. The comparisons have been ample, so I won’t go into depth here, but I assume the coming wave of displeasure will feel much like it did around the summer of 2003.

Is it too cliche to wonder about the sense of “entitlement” our athletes have, what with the lavish surroundings Uncle Phil surrounds them with?  Masoli ran into legal trouble in high school, and the fact that he was willing to again commit a crime–this time with so much more to lose as an adult and as the face of a team that is sponsored by the world’s largest shoe company–is absolutely inexplicable.

There are so many consequences to Masoli’s actions, much farther reaching than I’m sure he’s imagined up until now. The state of Oregon, Eugene, even Phil Knight’s contributions to the University could be affected Masoli’s lust for musical instrumentation.

I’m also curious about how the rest of the student-athletes feel, especially from the football team. I highly doubt any of them would talk (for “brotherhood” or from simply being muzzled by the AD) but I’m sure that many of them, upstanding individuals, feel like they are now unfairly painted with the same colors as Masoli, James, Beard and Embry.

Good thing Spring Break is coming up. We all need some rest from this insanity.

I do not bite my thumb at you, sir, but I bite my thumb, sir.

March 2nd, 2010 by D

Apparently a few police officers in Clackamas have had their feelings hurt by a local man, Robert J. Ekas. According to an article by the Oregonian, Ekas has been arrested several times in the last few years for offering his middle finger to passing officers as a sign of civil protest.

Ekas gave the finger to a deputy in July 2007 while driving near Clackamas Town Center, according to the lawsuit. With the deputy in pursuit, Ekas said he opened his sunroof and again extended a middle finger. The deputy turned on his flashing lights. Ekas stopped and was cited for an illegal lane change and improper display of license plates. He was acquitted of the charges.

Apparently Ekas has filed a lawsuit in the matter, and I really hope he wins it. The purpose of the police force is to “protect and serve.” It is not an uncommon feeling among our citizens that often times they do not fulfill those duties.

What it boils down to is the fact that Ekas has a right to free speech, even if it is a daily bird-flipping to a sheriff. I’m glad to see that self-important traffic cops got their panties in a fuss. It might help them to understand the law next time.

Canzano, Kelly have a flirting session over the airwaves

February 25th, 2010 by D

Stumbled across this totally great interview between Oregon head coach Chip Kelly and the Oregonian’s John Canzano. The conversation is ridiculous, mostly because I can’t tell if Canzano is an idiot or if he’s just trying to squeeze some information out of Kelly that he doesn’t want to give out.

Around minute 1:15 Canzano raises a concern to Kelly about whether or not LaMichael James is receiving “star treatment” referencing Kiki Alonso’s year-long suspension after getting a DUII recently. Canzano points out that LaMichael was in jail for 2 days and he hasn’t received an equal amount of discipline.

Kelly responded to Canzano that “I believe my player” leading me to think that at some point, both Alonso and James have had conversations with Kelly. The result of those conversations, or so it seems by Kelly’s responses, is that Alonso may have admitted to Kelly that yes, he was at fault, and that James has told Kelly that he is innocent. Of course, this is merely speculation, as Canzano asked Kelly directly whether or not Kelly was implying that James was innocent. “I’m not commenting on a specific situation,” said Kelly.

Kelly got pissed at Canzano saying, “When this whole thing shakes out, when all the facts are out, you put me on the air again. And you apologize [to me].” The rest of the conversation is totally hilarious, with Kelly arguing semantics of his quotes with Canzano, and Canzano pushing Kelly to ban LaMichael James, “On my program!”

The situation is rapidly becoming more and more ridiculous. Of course, the question is and always will be, why are our football players — seemingly all at once — deciding to get themselves into trouble? Since the parties are innocent until proven guilty, I won’t make overly broad statements, but it should be pointed out that if you are in a situation where you are accused of something like DUII or putting your hands on a woman (or really, anyone), you need to seriously reconsider your direction in life. At the least, there should be some kind of serious oversight by the Athletic Department and our Administration.