The Kerns neighborhood of Portland, Oregon, is one of the nicest and most expensive places to live in the city. It is home to a vibrant collection of shops, bars, restaurants, and condos, and houses there routinely sell for over three-quarters of a million dollars in the area’s white hot real estate market. Residents can easily walk to coffee shops, a movie theater, the Lloyd Center mall, and MAX, the light rail line that can transport you to many other parts of the city.
Thanks to a confluence of liberal, feel-good, politically correct, good-idea-on-paper-but-not-in-real-life public policies, an elderly Portland resident of this neighborhood is recovering from a brutal rape at the hands of a homeless illegal alien drug addict. The road to this woman’s hell was paved with Oregon’s aggressive sanctuary laws that make it illegal for any public employee to cooperate with Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), and city policies that attract homeless people from across the nation to live in tent cities all around Portland. Combine that with a deeply understaffed and undersupported police force, and the liberal utopia of Portlandia is revealed as something quite a bit less than paradise.
Sergio Jose Martinez, a 31-year-old transient and meth addict and alcoholic, allegedly entered a 65-year-old woman’s apartment on Northeast Irving Street via an open window. What happened next is the stuff of nightmares. According to KGW News,
Police said Martinez broke into the 65-year-old woman’s home in the 1700 block of Northeast Irving Street Monday morning and physically and sexually assaulted a woman before stealing her 2011 silver Toyota Prius.
Court documents said Martinez entered the woman’s bedroom through a window that she left open due to the heat. He spoke “calmly and quietly,” ordering the woman onto the ground, where he tied her hands and feet, and blindfolded her.
Martinez threatened to kill the woman while he sexually assaulted her, according to the probable cause affidavit. Before he left, he punched her in the head several times and slammed her head onto a wood floor.
Martinez left, taking the woman’s phone with him.
She went to a neighbor’s house to call 911. Police responded to the home just after 6 a.m.
Later that week, Martinez was captured by police in the same neighborhood after physically assaulting another woman and threatening her with a knife.
So far, there has been no comment issued by Oregon’s governor or Portland’s mayor, both hardcore Democrats and proud Social Justice Warriors.
Oregon made national news in February when Governor Kate Brown (D-Portland) formed the “Trump Resistance Team” and signed an executive order expanding the prohibition on public employees using any public resources to assist federal enforcement of immigration law, effectively making Oregon a sanctuary state where illegal aliens know they will not face consequences. Shortly after, a Portland judge helped an illegal alien escape ICE agents who were waiting outside her courtroom.
This made things quite convenient for Martinez, whose criminal record in the United States stretches back to 2001, when, at the age of 15, he completed drug and alcohol treatment in Texas. He has since been deported over 20 times, only to return to the U.S. to commit more felonies. He’s been issued nine warrants for failure to appear, has routinely violated the terms of his parole, and regularly commits violent crimes. Martinez moved to Portland sometime in the past three years. His last listed address was a shelter in Northwest Portland, but he lives on the streets.
His most recent deportation was in November 2016. In December, the Department of Homeland Security requested a detainer for Martinez, but local authorities released him back into the community without notifying DHS or ICE. An immigration detainer is a request to authorities to notify DHS before releasing Martinez to allow ICE to take him into custody. This never happened.
A recent survey showed that 60 percent of Portland’s homeless population suffers from mental health issues or addiction and the total homeless population has jumped to well over 4,000 people in recent years. Tent cities are everywhere in Portland. Many of the homeless are transplants from elsewhere because of the city’s reputation for mild winters, the giving nature of the residents, and the availability of services. As the saying goes among the homeless, “You have to be stupid to starve in Portland.”
Meanwhile, Portland doesn’t have nearly enough cops to handle the number of emergency calls that are generated on a daily basis. According to the Portland Police Association, the city is short by over 700 officers. They cite FBI guidelines that indicate that major cities should have around 2.7 officers for every 1,000 residents. That would be around 1650 officers if Portland were fully staffed. The city has a paltry 1.5 officers per 1,000 residents, or just a little over 900 officers for the entire city. By comparison, Miami has a little more than half the number of residents and has over 1,000 officers. Milwaukee, Wis., has a population that’s roughly the same as Portland’s and has more than double the number of officers. The numbers cited by PPA are a couple of years old, but very little has changed in the interim. The population has only grown since then. One of the biggest issues is that the nationally acclaimed Community Policing Plan, designed to foster cooperation between cops and the community to reduce crime in neighborhoods, is nearly impossible to implement at current staffing levels. This leaves whole swaths of the Portland Metro area without a consistent police presence that would suppress violent crime.
It’s also important to note how easily one can find hard street drugs in Portland. Methamphetamine is still rampantly abused, despite Oregon’s law requiring a prescription to use Sudafed. Addiction rates are increasing, and Mexican drug cartels are to blame. On top of that, heroin abuse has been a problem in the Pacific Northwest for decades and is also increasing.
For a chronic violent criminal like Sergio Jose Martinez, the attraction of being homeless in Portland, the establishment of Oregon as a Sanctuary State where law enforcement will not cooperate with federal immigration policies, the ease with which addicts can acquire hard-core drugs, and a badly understaffed police department created a forgiving environment in which to ply his trades.
It’s not surprising that a horrific crime like this sexual assault occurred. What’s surprising is that Portland voters refuse to do anything about it or hold their public officials to account. As cynical as I’ve become, I still refuse to believe that Portlanders want this for their city.