Filbert Mwezi Gacinya, while in Portland, Oregon, reportedly punched a 90-year-old woman in the face. He allegedly struck the aged woman because she tried to run past him while he was urinating. However, he has been released due to jail overcrowding and a possible clerical error.
The man, a repeat offender, was arrested soon after his attack on Sept. 17, was reported “and booked into the downtown jail on assault and indecent exposure allegations.” The Multnomah County Circuit Court shows that he has six cases pending there and the accusations that Gacinya faces include “sex abuse, aggravated harassment, and assault” charges.
The worst part, as many in the community agree, is that court papers had even warned boldly on his documents, “danger to the community!!” and “not a good candidate for release at this time,” yet it happened anyhow.
The elderly lady was not about to cower, but she did not know that the man who had abused her was released until after she walked “from her senior living apartment in downtown to the courthouse for Gacinya’s court appearance Tuesday.” After all, even though she suffered no broken bones, her face was bruised and in pain.
When the victim found out, she called her daughter, Maud Zneimer, living in California, from the courthouse. The younger lady said that her mother was stunned and, “She was proud of herself that she was going to court. Then, when she got there, she was like, ‘Oh, you’re not going to believe it.’ She broke down and cried.”
Gacinya was one of 20 criminals who were allowed to walk out of jail on Sunday due to “emergency overcrowding,” records from the Sheriff’s Office revealed. So far, 162 inmates have been “cut loose” this way so far in 2018, yet many citizens had not been aware that violent suspects were among that total.
Some community outrage comes from the fact that when the jail hits 95% capacity, the doors are opened to keep more “serious” offenders locked up. Still, many people want to know what is more serious than attacking a 90-year-old lady.
“The county system ranks inmates based on their risk to themselves and others, propensity for violence, criminal history, and charges,” said sheriff’s Sgt. Brandon White.
Still, while the alleged brute may be free as of this writing, “prosecutors have signaled they may pursue a felony charge in the future in the 90-year-old woman’s case.”
So, just how did this man get released? It is thought that “jail staff likely didn’t see the county’s recommendation against release,” White claimed.
Just the same, this is the fourth attack to take place in broad daylight in Portland since April. Due to the fact that the department does not keep a record of “stranger attacks,” Portland police spokeswoman Officer Natasha Haunsperger said that the cops are unaware if this is a rising trend or not. “Even one is alarming,” she admitted.
After reading the details of the case, Haunsperger also confessed, “I was thinking, ‘What if that’s my mom?’”
The suspect had pulled down his pants “at 3:46 p.m. that Monday at Southwest 10thAvenue and Jefferson Street, by the Portland Art Museum” and was yelling, “You want to look?” He then walked up to the 90-year-old lady. She had not been able to flee his apparent insanity as quickly as others on the street, when Gacinya started ranting and exposing himself lewdly.
As she shuffled away, the man attacked her without reason, reports have said. Others soon rushed to her aid and she declined any medical treatment, though she did later seek medical care herself.
The victim’s daughter wrote an email to the district attorney informing her that her mother lives alone at an assisted living center, and now the elderly woman is afraid to walk in her own neighborhood. “Why is a man who bashes a 90-year-old in the face leaving her knocked out on the pavement released?” her daughter demanded to know.
It wasn’t a processing error that Deputy District Attorney Amity Girt claimed when she replied, as White had alluded to, however. Rather, she spoke of jail overcrowding and said, “I completely understand how upsetting that would be.”
The suspect is claiming mental illness and has said that he has been on medication since 2010.