An Oregon sex offender nicknamed the “TriMet Barber” is no longer allowed on any TriMet public transportation system. The ban was put into place to stop the man from performing sick acts on unsuspecting women while aboard TriMet busses and trains.
Jared Walter, 32, convicted in 2017 for ejaculating in women’s hair and chopping snippets of their hair off while aboard busses and light rail trains, is accused of striking again in March, according to KATU 2.
Court records indicate Walter was on a train in Portland in late March when the latest incident occurred. Security footage showed him pacing back and forth down the train as if waiting or looking for someone. He spotted a seated woman, identified as Melanie Zaldivar, and after intently staring at her, he sat behind her.
“This gentleman got on a few stops after I did and sat behind me. I was on my phone looking outside the window and realized he was really close to me; his head was right next to mine,” Zaldivar told the outlet.
Zaldivar said she felt uncomfortable but didn’t think anything would happen with a bus full of people. She was wrong.
“Two minutes later, I feel his hand on my thigh and in my pocket,” Zaldivar said.
Police arrested Walter on March 25 and charged him with third-degree sex abuse, harassment, and interfering with public transportation. Walter, still behind bars, was banned this week from TriMet buses and MAX trains for life.
Oregon Live reports that TriMet’s general manager, Doug Kelsey, gave careful thought before issuing the ban.
“The decision to issue this individual a lifetime exclusion from the TriMet system was not one made lightly. As a public transit provider, people rely on our buses and trains to get to jobs and services. 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.”
— KOIN News (@KOINNews) April 18, 2019
Walter’s obsession with women’s hair dates back to at least 2009, when he was accused of cutting clumps of three women’s hair while riding on busses in the Portland area.
On New Year’s Eve 2010, one of the victims called 911 after the “TriMet Barber” chopped off a chunk of her hair while on a bus on McLoughlin Boulevard. The victim said Walter was “quiet as a mouse” as he sat behind her, snipping her hair on a No. 33 bus.
During a court hearing in 2010, Deputy District Attorney Chuck French said there were several other instances in which women reported the same thing happened to them. Walter also “superglued” and ejaculated into women’s hair while on public transportation.
Walter can seek a modification to end the ban if he successfully completes treatment and can prove that he’s been rehabilitated, TriMet’s board said. If he’s caught getting riding TriMet public transportation before then, he will likely face criminal charges of trespassing and interfering with public transportation.
[Feature Photo: The TriMet Barber/Police Handout]