Portland bus driver upset over attack suspect's release


by Evan Sernoffsky & Teresa Blackman, KGW.com Staff


Posted on January 2, 2014 at 5:17 PM

PORTLAND – A suspect arrested for attacking a TriMet driver in a dispute over a bus fare in December was released from jail Thursday.

On Dec. 12, Daemon Bowman allegedly punched driver Pamela Thompson in the head several times and threw her cell phone when she tried to call for help.

A judge approved Bowman’s release under Closed Street Supervision Tuesday, which upset TriMet, the bus driver’s union and Thompson.

Thompson told KGW she has forgiven Bowman for what he did to her, but she was still very upset to learn of his release.  She feels he should have to remain behind bars at least through his trial, to make him more accountable for his actions.

She's going to take her concerns all the way to the governor. She said attacks on drivers are far too common and she thinks stiffer penalties are needed.  In this case, Bowman faces a maximum sentence of two months behind bars.

On Thursday, Portland police said Bowman agreed to the following conditions and was released from jail.  He will remain under Closed Street Supervision until his Feb. 5 trial.

  • Obey all laws and notify CSS of any police contact.
  • No illegal drug use. Submit to random UA/Breathalyzer testing.
  • Do not possess any weapons or ammunition
  • Do not consume or possess alcohol and may not enter into any establishment where the primary source of revenue is alcohol.
  • Keep in contact with your attorney and your probation/parole officer if on formal supervision.
  • Be aware of and attend all court dates.
  • No direct or indirect contact with victims or any of the state’s witnesses or co-defendant’s
  • Do not leave the tri-county area without prior written permission from CSS, PO and/or the court.
  • Maintain access to a telephone and notify CSS prior to any changes of address, telephone number, living situation, employment and when he receives notice of court appearance.
  • Be subject to search of person, vehicle, and premise while under CSS.
  • Cooperate and comply with home/office visits while under CSS.
  • Enroll in GPS/electronic monitoring
  • Defendant shall abide by curfew as set by CSS
  • Defendant is considered a trespasser on all TriMet properties

Bowman allegedly attacked Thompson on a Line 4 bus in St. Johns at North Richmond Avenue. He was reportedly short 50 cents and was enraged when Thompson would not give him a bus ticket.

Thompson is on light duty with TriMet and continues to recover. On Tuesday, TriMet and the Amalgamated Transit Union 757 expressed concerns over Bowman’s release.

Background: Judge OKs release of suspect in bus driver attack

"It's upsetting to hear about the suspect's release. TriMet has asked the district attorney to seek the most severe penalty possible and we do hope he will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law," the agency said in a statement Tuesday. "Our thoughts remain with the operator as she deals with the emotional and physical effects of the incident."

Related: TriMet drivers face threats, attacks