An awful story down in Santa Cruz, California—a 35-year-old man is suspected of shooting and killing two cops checking up on a reported sex crime—has a brief but notorious Portland footnote. Jeremy Peter Goulet was arrested in Northwest Portland in 2007 after he fired a gun during a beatdown by neighbors who recognized him as a creepy window peeper.
Police sent out a statement at the time along with a mugshot showing Goulet all nicked up.
The area resident stated that about a month ago they saw a peeping tom in the area but did not call police. Tonight when they arrived home they saw Goulet and recognized him as the peeping tom. The resident confronted Goulet who, unbeknownst to the area resident, was armed with a handgun. The area resident and Goulet began to struggle and as they were fighting, Goulet discharged the handgun several times. A large crowd began to gather and about a dozen people stood around watching the resident fighting with Goulet. While several people called 911, no one would intervene to help the resident who was calling out for help. In fact, one person told the 911 dispatcher that he was not going to get involved.
At the time, writing about the scuffle in Blogtown, Matt Davis wondered about the "rough justice" neighbors meted out.
What do you think? Should the person beating him have been arrested, too? Does Goulet have civil recourse against the citizen who beat him? Or did he probably deserve it, for his alleged crimes? What would you have done in the neighbor’s position, and would you feel bad about it afterwards? For clarity: Goulet is yet to be convicted of any crime.
Commenters mostly tried to shout Matt down. And Goulet was convicted in connection with the peeping incident, in 2008. He also had to register as a sex offender. Eventually, he served time because he found his probation terms too confining. Then he moved down to California.
The Santa Cruz Sentinel interviewed the man who fought with Goulet, Danny Thomas, who admitted that he "bit part of his ear off.” Thomas also said he'd never stopped checking up on Goulet's whereabouts.
"I feel horrible for the families of the police officers,” Thomas said. "To me and my family, this is mostly a relief.”
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