Attack on Orting shop owner raises safety concerns

Print
Email
|

by ZAHID ARAB / KING 5 News

KING5.com

Posted on October 31, 2013 at 4:32 PM

Updated Thursday, Oct 31 at 7:47 PM

ORTING, Wash. -- The attack of an Orting bicycle shop owner last week has parents hesitant about their kids trick or treating.

Brian Backus, owner of Trailside Cyclery, was badly beaten up by teens on October 24 after confronting teens that damaged one of his bikes. Backus suffered a broken leg and plans to close his shop for weeks.

“A lot of people are unnerved. These things don’t happen in Orting,” said John Rendell, a friend.

One teen was arrested Friday, the other was arrested Wednesday. According to the Pierce County Prosecutor’s Office, both have since been released as the incident is investigated. At this time, their names or where they’re from aren’t being released and no charges have been filed.

A man who identifies himself as a parent confirm to KING 5 News one of the teens is from Orting.

“He tries to protect himself and then who gets hurt? He does; he ends up in the hospital,” said Sandie Straussburg, a friend who lives nearby.

According to Straussberg, the community has seen a spike in trouble lately.

“We used to not lock our doors. Now we lock everything,” she said.

City crews have noticed a spike in vandalism including graffiti and electrical wires ripped out of the park across from Backus’ bicycle shop. Park benches were recently removed to discourage loitering.

“It makes you wonder are they local kids that did this? Are they from out of town? Are they part of the homeless group? We just don’t know,” said Rendell.

That worries Straussberg, who fears trick or treaters could become their next target.

“It’s scary if these kids are going to gang up on one man and do that to him, what they could do to two or three little kids,” she said.

Security cameras were just installed at the bicycle shop, but friends say Backus may close for good out of fear for his safety.

 
 

Print
Email
|