PORTLAND -- Vandals hit a North Portland neighborhood, and tires were slashed up and down Farragut Street. People living there started their Thanksgiving Day with flat tires, and that made traveling to see family and friends nearly impossible.
But despite being stranded, the slashed tires did not dampen these folks’ holiday spirit. In fact, it was just the opposite.
“It totally sucks that this happened on Thanksgiving,” said Byron Beck. He’s one of several people living on Farragut Street who woke up to find his tires slashed.
Beck was planning on getting an early start to drive to the Willamette Valley to spend the holiday with family and friends. Needless to say, his day started a little less than thankful.
“I noticed our tire was flat, and I thought, well that's weird. I'll just pump it up, and then I realized. I saw big slash marks in it, and I realized we were slashed,” he said.
And Beck wasn’t the only one. Many of his neighbors have also been hit. Anthony Torres is one of them.
“As soon as I aired it up they went real flat again, so I was thinking, boy. I called up my wife, explained to my wife what happened, and she went outside and said my car got hit too,” Torres said.
Edward Johnson woke up Thursday to find the same thing.
“There’s no tire shops open, so I'm basically just stuck here," he said.
Beck’s problem, though, was unique.
“We found out we don’t have the right lug nut,” he said.
He has a locking lug nut on the wheel, so changing his tire was not an option. Or so he thought. Because that’s where this Thanksgiving nightmare quickly changed.
“We’re going to make sure he makes it for Thanksgiving,” said Johnson.
In addition to being a neighbor, Edward Johnson also owns Big Johnson Towing. And in a neighborhood that watches out for one another, Edward dropped his turkey, put aside the stuffing and worked a little magic to get Beck’s slashed tire off and a new one on.
“Neighbors look out for one another,” Johnson said.
Sure enough, thanks to Johnson, Beck will spend Thanksgiving with family and friends. And for that and more Beck is thankful.
“Thankfully, not more tires were hit. Thankfully we have our health. Thankfully we have our neighbors who have all been really amazing and wonderful about this. So there's lots to be thankful for on Thanksgiving even when our tire has been slashed," Beck said.
Reports have been filed and police tell Byron they do have a person of interest in this case.
A recent wave of tire slashings has been frustrating hundreds of Portlanders over the past year.
Police said they get about 20 to 25 reports a week adding up to more than 500 reports since the spring and it doesn’t appear to be slowing down. Damages estimates total more than $500,000.
The city has been holding a series of meetings this month to inform residents about the vandalism epidemic.