Monday, May 14, 2007

Happy Mother's Day

You might have heard the big news out of Portland this weekend is the “random” hammer attack at the Beaverton Fred Meyer. Sharon Weil, 56, of Cedar Mill was struck in the head with a hammer while buying groceries. The Oregonian tells us all about her plans to prepare a Mother’s Day brunch on Sunday. Her attacker Eric Osterholme is turning out to be a real piece of work.

Osterholme, who fractured Weil’s skull in Aisle 10 of the grocery store, turns out to have a violent past. Big surprise, huh? In 2002 he cursed at a 6-year-old boy in the parking lot of his apartment complex and then judo chopped the child in the throat. The little boy had been playing nearby and approached the neighbor to say, “Hi.” He should have listened when mom told him not to talk to strangers.

Osterholme proved himself to be a selfish and mean person during his arraignment on attempted murder charges. Asked by Judge Timothy Alexander if he had seen the charges against him, Osterholme complained about the food at the Washington County jail, saying, “I’m being force-fed meals that will cause a heart attack. I’m pre-diabetic.”

I can understand his health concerns. I probably wouldn’t want to eat the food in the Washington County Jail either, but then I wouldn’t hit anyone in the head with a hammer either.

The arraignment degenerated from there as Osterholme refused to respond or even listen until he was given better food. His next hearing will be on Monday when he will probably be indicted on charges of attempted murder, first degree assault and unlawful use of a weapon. Osterholme deserves to have the book thrown at him. In the 2002 case he was convicted of harassment and fined $300. He obviously didn’t take that very seriously.

Maybe he’s crazy, but it seems to me that he might just be a very selfish and mean man who needs to be locked up to keep his neighbors safe.

According to KGW-TV Fred Meyer officials say that nothing like this has ever happened before, but that’s not exactly true. There has been at least one murder in a Fred Meyer over the past few years. Even the random attack is not unprecedented. In fact it reminds me of an attack that took place in 1946.

On August 26, 1946 22-year-old Marine veteran William Kilpock was struck in the head with a hatchet while standing on the sidewalk in front of the Orpheum Theater on SW Park Ave. His attacker, Lenny Lloyd Brown, 40, was an ex-mental patient who was convicted of attempted murder. Kilpock was quoted in the Oregonian, “War is safer than standing in a Portland street.”

I feel safer knowing that “customer service remains [Fred Meyer’s] number one concern,” according to spokesperson Melinda Merrill. Fortunately Sharon Weil, a partner in a well-know property management firm with a reputation as a good cook, is recovering well. Her mother is still looking forward to having “a fabulous strawberry French toast brunch” with her daughter soon.

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