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Monday, September 23, 2019  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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News >  Pacific NW

Woman: Oregon train stabbings could have been prevented

Jeremy Christian, accused of killing two passengers and wounding a third aboard a light-rail train in Portland, enters for a court appearance in Portland, Ore., Tuesday, July 18, 2017. (Steven DuBois / Associated Press)
Jeremy Christian, accused of killing two passengers and wounding a third aboard a light-rail train in Portland, enters for a court appearance in Portland, Ore., Tuesday, July 18, 2017. (Steven DuBois / Associated Press)
Associated Press

PORTLAND – A woman says Portland police could have prevented fatal stabbings aboard a light-rail train if they had taken her earlier complaint against Jeremy Christian more seriously.

Demetria Hester spoke out for the first time Friday, saying Christian threw a bottle at her on May 25 – causing her to bleed – after she complained about his on-train rant against blacks, Jews and others.

The 42-year-old says she sprayed Christian with mace, and transit police let him get away after he rinsed his face in a fountain.

Christian has been in jail since May 26, when police say he stabbed three passengers – two fatally – after going into an anti-Muslim tirade. Four other charges in Christian’s indictment stem from the confrontation with Hester. He has pleaded not guilty.

Police responded Friday that Hester did not identify Christian as the bottle thrower until after he started walking away.

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