OAN’s Roy Francis
9:01 AM – Thursday, August 3, 2023
A doctor in Portland was knocked unconscious while walking in the city on Friday night, then waited for over 20 minutes for a police response.
Mary Costantino said that she was walking with a friend in downtown Portland around 10:50 on Friday night when she was knocked unconscious by a homeless man who had thrown an aluminum water bottle and struck her in the face.
Surveillance footage lifted from a nearby camera showed the unidentified attacker approaching them and, without provocation, throwing the bottle at her, striking her on the left side of her face.
“It happened really fast, kind of out of nowhere,” Costantino told Fox News. “He just threw an aluminum water bottle and it hit my face. It was hurled pretty hard and it just got me, just knocked me right in the head.”
The radiologist had been knocked unconscious momentarily by the unprovoked attack. When she woke up she had blood pouring from her mouth and feared for her life. She immediately called 911. The doctor had suffered a black eye, a cut on her nose, and a busted lip as a result of the attack.
“I thought we were still being sort of attacked some way and so I managed to call 911. I was very calm, but I was also very sure I was going to die,” Costantino added. “In my head, I was like ‘I’m gonna try and just verbalize a report of what was happening so there’s some record of how I died.’”
Costantino said that she waited over 20 minutes for police to respond to the area, and when they finally arrived, she had already left.
However, she said she does not hold the police accountable, she says that the city is responsible.
“I do not hold the police accountable for this at all, I hold our city accountable for defunding the police and making it (that) we are in this situation where we don’t have enough police force to protect our citizens, and we did this to ourselves,” Costantino said. “If we don’t have police officers to come to the side of somebody who is under attack, then we are all on our own.”
The mother of two said she was thankful for her friend who had “aggressively yelled” at the attacker that had also tried to approach her while she was unconscious. She went on to say that she does not fear for her own safety, but that she fears for the safety of others and that this could have happened to anyone.
“I’m not so concerned for myself, I’m concerned for my friends, I’m concerned for my kids, I’m concerned for everyone walking around downtown,” she said. “I care about people, I care about every single person in my community, no matter what color flag you wave, who you are, where you live, and I get angry thinking this could happen to anybody.”
Portland has seen a decrease in the amount of police officers in recent years. The rise in crime throughout the city, and the city’s push to “defund the police” after the death of George Floyd has dropped the number of officers down to 802.
The 802 police officers face the impossible task of serving over 640,000 residents, which is around 800 people for every police officer.
Due to the low number of officers serving the city, Portlanders have faced increasingly long police response times in recent years, with the average for a high-priority call being around 23.7 minutes, which is the longest in over a decade.
Police Lieutenant Nathan Sheppard addressed the situation in email with Fox News saying that their staffing is “at historic lows.”
“Our goal is always to help as much as we can, as quickly as we can. But with our staffing being at historic lows, this has become a challenge for us,” Sheppard wrote. “At the time this call came in, our officers were actively on 26 calls throughout the city. There were 0 free officers and another 52 calls holding. Our officers joined the Police Bureau to help people, and when they are unable, it takes a toll. We’re continuing to hire, so there’s definitely hope, and things WILL get better.”
Costantino explained that the recent push by the city against the police department, and the rising crime rates have shifted the way that she votes.
She had not voted for Jo Ann Hardesty, the previous city commissioner who had supported defunding the police in 2020. She also said that during the governor’s election she voted for Republican Christine Drazan.
Police are asking the public for help in locating the suspect who is described as a white male in his 20s or 30s.
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