This Week in the Mercury


Monday, August 16, 2010

BREAKING: Skateboard-Swinging Pioneer Square Guard Received Work Permit as City Responded to Video

Posted by Stefan Kamph on Mon, Aug 16, 2010 at 10:29 AM

A Pioneer Courthouse Square security guard who was uncertified when he swung at a teenager with a skateboard received a work permit a day after a video of the incident aired on the Mercury's website, state records show.

Documents from the Department of Public Safety Standards and Training (DPSST) show no record of employment for Nicholas Jones, 22, at the time of the incident on November 25, 2009. Jones allegedly began the altercation by punching a skateboarder and later swung the skateboard at a 19-year-old, who is seeking prosecution of the three guards involved through an ongoing grand jury process.

An employee profile shows that Jones received a "Temporary Work Permit" from Pacific Patrol Services on December 15, 2010. This is the same day that the city went public with a response to the video, which had been posted on skateboarding.com and the Mercury a day earlier. Parks commissioner Nick Fish made a statement to the press saying that an investigation by the city and the district attorney was underway, and that one of the guards was claiming minor injuries (according to police reports written later, none of the guards claimed to be injured).

DPSST specialist Todd Mitchell says that a temporary permit can be granted by an employer when application materials for a permanent license are submitted for review by the state. The permit allows an unarmed guard to work while waiting for an application to be accepted.

The profile also lists December 15 as the date that Jones was hired by the security firm, Pacific Patrol Services. This is the only entry in Jones's employment history (his employment with the company is listed as "active"). Mitchell says that this is not an exact or official date, but is based on the application for a temporary permit.

We have a call out to Pacific Patrol Services owner and spokesman Alan Pendergrass, seeking comment. City officials have been refusing to comment on the case, citing the ongoing criminal investigation.


Jones did complete the requisite 12 hours of training on November 20, 2009, five days before the incident. There's a timeline of events after the jump.

November 20, 2009: Jones completes DPSST training.
November 25: Altercation occurs in Pioneer Courthouse Square.
December 14: Video (taken by another skateboarder) appears on skateboarding.com.
December 14: Video reposted by Matt Davis on the Mercury's Blogtown.
December 15: Parks commissioner Nick Fish releases a statement, says parks bureau officials are investigating. KPTV airs the story.
December 15: Jones submits his application for certification, receives a temporary permit, starts officially listed "employment" with Pacific Patrol Services.
December 16: KATU picks up the story.
December 24: Responding Portland Police Officer David Abrahamson writes a "special report" describing the incident and his decision not to investigate.
January 4, 2010: A request is filed for police reports from the incident.
January 9: Responding Officer Israel Holsti writes his special report.
March 17: Deputy District Attorney Greg Moawad says he will convene a grand jury.
June 3: Grand jury convenes.
June 28: A juror is absent; jury is temporarily dismissed.
August 30: Grand jury is scheduled to reconvene.

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