PORTLAND, Ore. — The survivor of an attack on a Portland light-rail train where two people were stabbed to death has returned to college and says he’s ready to “at least pretend to lead some semblance of a normal life.”
Micah Fletcher, 21, on Thursday held his first news conference since the May attack where he and two other men intervened after authorities said a man boarded a train and yelled hateful comments at two black teenage girls, the Oregonian/OregonLive reported .
Authorities said 35-year-old Jeremy Christian then turned his attention to the three men and stabbed each of them in the neck, killing Taliesin Namkai-Meche and Ricky Best. All three have been called heroes for confronting Christian, who has pleaded not guilty to the deaths. Court proceedings are ongoing.
The neck wound to Fletcher broke his jaw bone and came within millimeters of his carotid artery. Fletcher said the path to recovery hasn’t been easy, but he expressed hope that his return to Portland State University would help ease that path.
“It’s a true privilege to come back,” Fletcher said. “It means I can at least pretend to lead some semblance of a normal life.”
He noted the attack has caused trauma and paranoia, which has made him fearful of his surroundings.
“I don’t feel safe anywhere, man,” he said. “Not even in my own bed.”
Fletcher waded into the topic of the city’s ongoing demonstrations, and he appealed for the need to overcome political division in order to solve the city’s issues.
“To be quite frank, this is our town, it’s our home. We’re the ones who get to make it what we want to make it,” Fletcher said. “We need to decide, we need to talk to one another and figure out as to what we want our city to look like.”
Information from: The Oregonian/OregonLive, http://www.oregonlive.com