Composite screenshot of KGW News and Portland Police YouTube videos (Pictured: Dr. Mary Costantino)
© 2023 Blaze Media LLC. All rights reserved.
An Oregon woman blamed the "defund the police" movement after a man hurled a metal water bottle at her head, knocking her unconscious.
Just before 11 p.m. last Friday, Dr. Mary Costantino, a 50-year-old interventional radiologist and mother of two, was walking home from having dinner with an unnamed friend in Portland. While they were walking along, a man believed to be "homeless" hurled an aluminum water bottle at them, striking Costantino in the head.
Costantino immediately collapsed to the ground, having briefly lost consciousness. When she awoke, she feared she might be dying. She called 911 and tried to collect her thoughts well enough to explain what happened. "I was like, 'I'm going to just try to verbalize a report of what's happening, so there's some record of how I died,'" she later recalled to Fox News Digital.
She credited her friend, whom she estimated is 6 feet 7 inches tall, with guarding her from further injury. Her friend "aggressively yelled" at the suspect as he ominously attempted to approach her while she lay on the ground, she said. The suspect, described as a bearded man in his 20s or 30s and wearing a dark hoodie and carrying a backpack, then fled the scene. He remains at large.
Surveillance footage captured the attack. Costantino and her friend can be seen walking in the lower-right portion of the video at about the :10 mark:
HELP IDENTIFY RANDOM ASSAULT SUSPECT PPB Case #: 23-198256youtu.be
After Costantino got off the phone with 911, she waited a while for police to arrive before she finally gave up and went home. She did not seek medical treatment, she said.
Lt. Nathan Sheppard with Portland police admitted that the department did not have enough officers to respond to Costantino's situation as quickly as they would have liked. "Our officers joined the Police Bureau to help people, and when they are unable, it takes a toll," he wrote in a statement to Fox News Digital.
"At the time this call came in, our officers were actively on 26 calls throughout the city," the statement added. "There were 0 free officers and another 52 calls holding."
Though Costantino was frustrated by the response time, which was nearly 30 minutes, she doesn't blame police for it. "I do not hold the police accountable for this at all — I hold our city accountable for defunding the police," she said. "We don't have enough police force to protect our citizens, and we did this to ourselves."
It seems that the rise in crime is a primary concern for Costantino. She believes that the unprovoked attack on her is not an isolated incident and hinted that crime will likely continue to rise since so many assailants remain on the loose. "The idea that this violent individual is still walking around here is terrifying, and it should be terrifying to anybody that lives in the city of Portland. It’s not just this guy. There’s a billion of these guys running around right now," she said.
Costantino claimed that she "absolutely did not vote for Jo Ann Hardesty," the former city commissioner who helped initiate the "defund the police" movement in Portland three years ago. According to the New York Post, Portland now has almost 200 fewer police officers than it had in 2019.
Lt. Sheppard suggested that more officers may be joining the team soon, which is encouraging. "We’re continuing to hire, so there’s definitely hope, and things WILL get better," he said.
Costantino also stated that she supported Republican Christine Drazan in the 2022 governor's race in Oregon, even though she has supported Democrats in the past. Drazan, who ultimately came up short in the election, made public safety and addressing homelessness a central campaign issue.
"I’m not so concerned for myself," Costantino claimed. "I’m concerned for my friends. I’m concerned for my kids. I’m concerned with everybody walking around downtown. I get angry thinking this could happen to somebody I care about. Or just anybody, even if I don’t know them."
Woman speaks out after being struck with metal bottle in 'random assault'www.youtube.com
Like Blaze News? Bypass the censors, sign up for our newsletters, and get stories like this direct to your inbox. Sign up here!
Want to leave a tip?
We answer to you. Help keep our content free of advertisers and big tech censorship by leaving a tip today.
Sr. Editor, News
Cortney Weil is a senior editor for Blaze News.