After years of cutting, gluing, and masturbating into women's hair, a Portland, Oregon, man has received a lifetime ban from the city's public transportation system — the first in the agency's history.
Jared Walter, 32, has been in and out of jail for years in connection with his offenses against women on the city's buses and light-rail trains. The registered sex offender has become known as the "TriMet Barber," and on Thursday, he was officially banned from local public transportation.
"As a public transit provider, people rely on our buses and trains to get to jobs and services," the TriMet general manager, Doug Kelsey, said in a statement. "But we cannot allow Mr. Walter to continue to ride based on his recent actions and behavior that threatens the safety and well-being of our riders and employees.”
Walter is currently in jail since being arrested last month on suspicion of 16 misdemeanors, including harassment, sexual abuse, and interfering with public transportation. According to local television station KATU, he was walking up and down the aisle of a train on March 20 when he stopped and stared at a woman. He sat down behind her and allegedly began touching her upper thigh and put his hand in her pocket, KATU reported.
His latest arrest came just four months after he was released from jail, where he'd been serving a sentence for harassment. Walter has more that a dozen convictions, many of them related to cutting women's hair and masturbating into it on public transit.
Transit officials repeatedly issued 90-day bans against Walter, but issuing a permanent ban required changing a local ordinance. Once he is released from jail, he may now be arrested again if he's spotted on a bus or train.
"Anything less than a lifetime exclusion would subject TriMet customers and employees to an immediate and serious threat to their safety,” Kelsey said.