Man yells ‘slow down,’ gets severely beaten by driver

Joe Garvey 'sucker punched' on his Oak Grove residential street

Joe Garvey was attacked by the driver of a speeding car after yelling at the man to slow down. (KOIN 6)
Joe Garvey was attacked by the driver of a speeding car after yelling at the man to slow down. (KOIN 6)

OAK GROVE, Ore. (KOIN 6) —  A man is recovering from a severe beating in Milwaukie’s Oak Grove neighborhood after trying to look out for the safety of his neighbors.

Joe Garvey yelled at a speeding car just after 9:00 p.m. Thursday night, only to have the driver double back, exit the car and “sucker punch” him outside Sparrow Park near his home on Southeast 19th and Sparrow St.

An iPhone video shows the man repeatedly punching Garvey, as a woman attempts to pull him off, yelling “Jimmy, no!”

“This guy runs up to me, spins me around, and just sucker punches me,” said Garvey.

“After that first hit, I don’t know what happened, it was lights out until I woke up in hospital.”
Garvey spent the night at Oregon Health Sciences University Hospital and is still recovering.

“I got my nose broken in a couple spots,” Garvey said. He also needed stitches inside and outside his mouth.

Southeast 19th and Sparrow St. in Milwaukie's Oak Grove neighborhood. (KOIN 6)
Southeast 19th and Sparrow St. in Milwaukie’s Oak Grove neighborhood. (KOIN 6)

He said the man was speeding down his street in a white car, when he yelled for the man to slow down – the posted limit is 20 miles per hour — for the safety of dogs, children and pedestrians in the neighborhood.

He said two men and a woman were also in the car.

“There’s people walking, there’s kids, it’s not a wide street,” said Garvey.

His roommate, Alan Widlits, said he wishes he had been on the street with his friend. The attacker, who appeared to be in his thirties according to Garvey, had fled by the time police arrived.

“I just don’t understand what’s going on anymore, I don’t understand road rage,” said Grange.

An investigation into the assault is ongoing, said Milwaukie Police spokesperson Ulli Neitch.

“We have some very good leads in the matter right now,” she said. However, because the investigation is ongoing, no further information is available. She said during summer months, nearby Elk Rock Park plays host to numerous parties, and Milwaukie Police receive numerous noise complaints. Spring Spark on SE 19th and Sparrow St. enters into Elk Rock Park.

Neighbors said it is a popular spot for teenagers to drink and smoke.

“I drive that area quite consistently, but you can’t be on every street in the city at the same time 24 hours a day,” said Neitch.  Anyone with information about the attack, or who recognizes the suspect, is urged to call the Milwaukie Police.

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