Video shows moment Rene Gonzalez claims he was ‘accosted’ on MAX train

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — After Commissioner Rene Gonzalez claimed he was “accosted by a woman” on a MAX train in late January, new video shows what took place.

The incident occurred two weeks after a family car caught fire outside Gonzalez’s Sellwood-Moreland home on Jan. 12. In the statement he released on Feb. 2, Gonzalez said he experienced “unwanted physical contact, followed by criticisms of the city’s policies regarding homelessness.” He also said he would not be using public transportation again until they have a “security solution to these targeted attacks.”

Rain, wind and even possible snow for some around region this week

As first reported by The Oregonian, the TriMet surveillance video shows a woman walking up the aisle of the nearly empty train when she briefly brushes up against him while passing by.

In an interview with KOIN 6 News, Gonzalez claims that in addition to the arson, people on his staff were assaulted and sent online threats over the last few weeks, which is why he was frustrated about the TriMet incident. He also gave his version of what happened on the train.

“I was sitting there and got bumped twice from behind, then engaged with some critiques of public policy. By itself, not a big deal. But in the aggregate with all the other things going on, it was avoidable contact. They could have avoided running into me,” he said. “I felt like it was really important to speak up about it.”

Gonzalez pointed out that multiple public officials have been harassed in Portland in recent years, including Commissioner Dan Ryan and Mayor Ted Wheeler, and says that he is currently the target.

Video shows moment Rene Gonzalez claims he was 'accosted' on TriMet train
TriMet surveillance video shows a woman walking up the aisle of the nearly empty train when she briefly brushes up against him while passing by.

“The focus seems to be on me right now. I’m the one that is getting all the attention,” Gonzalez said.

TriMet released a statement Monday in response to the video.

“We understand Commissioner Gonzalez’ heightened sense of security after the arson incident involving a car outside his home. It is unfortunate when community leaders feel they cannot travel freely in public. We look forward to welcoming him back on board when he feels safe to go out in public again.”

Watch the full video of the incident in the player above.

For the latest news, weather, sports, and streaming video, head to KOIN.com.