A Portland homeless man named Jared Walter was given the nickname the “TriMet Barber” for repeatedly assaulting women on public transportation, often cutting their hair or putting “bodily fluids” in their hair. Today, Walter was banned for life from riding buses and trains in the Portland area. From Oregon Live:
Jared Walter, a 32-year-old man convicted, implicated and charged in dozens of instances of cutting, masturbating into or gluing women’s hair on public transit during the past decade, was banned from TriMet for life on Thursday.
Walter is in jail and charged with two more cases of sexual abuse on TriMet light rail trains, stemming from a March 20 incident…
In September 2017, TriMet’s board approved an ordinance giving the agency’s top officials the ability to issue life-long bans or other more extensive exclusions. That action was taken in response to Walter’s continued crimes on TriMet trains and buses…
But that harsh exclusion policy couldn’t be retroactive, and TriMet couldn’t act to ban one of its most notorious riders until Walter reoffended.
Walter has been arrested 18 different times for lewd acts and assault on public transportation since 2009. So it’s not much of a surprise that Walter did re-offend. In March, Melanie Zaldivar got on a bus in the middle of the day to head to work. Walter got on a few stops later and sat directly behind her as she chatted on her phone. When she realized he was very close, she scooted up to move away:
“So I scoot up a little, and I’m sketched out, but there are a lot of people on the MAX, so I think nothing can really happen. Or that’s what I thought,” Zaldivar said.
But she says she was wrong, and says he made a move.
“Two minutes later, I feel his hand on my thigh and in my pocket,” Zaldivar said…
“Even now I’m shaken up talking about it. I was in shock; it was broad daylight; there were a bunch of other people around me,” Zaldivar said.
Walter was convicted in 2017 for cutting women’s hair and putting bodily fluids on women while riding TriMet.
To say this is disgusting doesn’t begin to do it justice. Walter has been in and out of jail dozens of times and been banned from riding city buses multiple times. Finally, they changed the rules so he could be banned for life instead of for the previous maximum of six months. But why did it take so long? Why didn’t they change the rules after the first 4-5 times he was arrested for something like this? Would it take this long for authorities to do something in any other city?