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Downtown Armed Guard's Murky Background

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An armed private security guard patrolling downtown Portland is still working for Securitas, despite the security firm saying in October it would probably fire him for allegedly threatening a public citizen.

It has also emerged that the security guard, 34-year-old Michael Joseph Anglin, was caught fleeing a nine-year-old DUI warrant by a Portland Police Bureau officer last summer—but Securitas spoke up for their employee in county court, and even allowed him to serve his six days of jail time on the weekends while he continued patrolling downtown Portland with a gun during the week.

Anglin, who has reportedly worked for Securitas as a daytime bike patrol officer for almost three years, rides from one contracted property to the next around downtown and Old Town for the company, armed with a Glock 9mm handgun—the same gun carried by the city's cops.

A cab driver said on October 2 that Anglin tried to instigate a fight with him at the intersection of SW 6th and Stark, after the cabbie honked his horn at Anglin for cutting him off.

"The guy came up to the cab in a very threatening way, so I asked him what his name was," the cab driver told the Mercury at the time. "He told me he didn't have to tell me anything, and called me a little prick, that he was going to kick my ass, and I was a little motherfucker."

The cab driver then filed a complaint with Securitas using only the guard's badge number and his description. (The cab driver has since identified Anglin by photograph.) Securitas Services Area Vice President C.J. Fox told the Mercury in October: "If one of our officers was rude to the public and we have evidence of it, then that would be grounds for termination."

Fox would not divulge details of Securitas' disciplinary process because Anglin is a private citizen working for a private firm. Last week, an unnamed source familiar with the situation contacted the Mercury to say Anglin was not fired after the incident, and was only given probation. The Mercury has verified the source's identity and credibility, but the source wishes to remain anonymous for security reasons.

Anglin is the only daytime bike patrol officer working downtown Portland for Securitas (there are two at night), so his identity would not have been difficult for the firm to ascertain. He also has a distinctive tattoo on his right bicep—mentioned by the cab driver in his complaint.

Securitas has also known about a troubling aspect of Anglin's background since last summer, when he was caught by a Portland police officer with an outstanding DUI warrant on the police computer dating back to 1997.

Anglin was first arrested in October 1997 after crashing his truck, drunk, into the back of another car on the I-5 Bridge going north over the Columbia River. Despite confessing to the arresting officer, Darrell Shaw, that he'd been driving under the influence and that he'd shared four pitchers and six beers with a friend over the course of the evening, Anglin never showed up for his court date—which ultimately led to the warrant. He only turned himself in after a police officer urged him to on August 25, 2006—almost nine years after his original arrest.

According to court records, Anglin told the court in January that had he passed his background check at the Department for Public Safety Standards and Training (DPSST) in Salem, which certifies all private security in Oregon, despite his failure to appear in court for the DUI in 1997.

"And did anyone tell you there was a warrant when you went through that background check?" asked his defense attorney, Stacy Tela-Kerber.

"No," Anglin responded.

DPSST Director John Minnis did not return a call for comment about background procedures.

Despite the inconsistencies between Anglin's background check and his true police record, Securitas Bike Patrol Division Field Service Manager Chris Cohen wrote to the judge in January to stick up for him.

"He has been a crucial part of the bike patrol division's success and the ongoing efforts to reduce the crime rate in downtown districts," Cohen wrote.

Nevertheless, Anglin was sentenced to six days in jail, which he served on the weekends, and had his driver's license suspended for a year. He also had to attend alcohol counseling and pay $750 to one of the DUI victims. Efforts to contact Anglin through Securitas were unsuccessful by press time.

Asked this Monday, December 3, about Anglin's employment status following the complaint about his behavior in October and his drunken driving record coming to light, Securitas Vice President Fox declined comment.

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