November 10, 2022
Elisabeth Shepard, Communications Director
DA Mike Schmidt announces arraignment of Nicole Hileman, 41, for bias crime against a transit employee
PORTLAND, Oregon – Today Multnomah County District Attorney Mike Schmidt announced that Nicole Anne Hileman, 41, was arraigned on five charges including Bias Crime in the First Degree, Assault in the Fourth Degree, and three counts of Interfering with Public Transport.
The charges stem from an incident on Wednesday, November 9, 2022. A TriMet customer safety supervisor responded to a disturbance on a MAX train in the area of Southeast Bybee Boulevard. Hileman allegedly called a man unknown to her on the train racial slurs and threatened to punch him. The safety supervisor instructed Hileman and the man to deboard the MAX. The man complied while Hileman and the safety supervisor remained on the train. Hileman then allegedly stated that the safety supervisor had taken the man’s side in the confrontation because she was “on his team” which she interpreted to mean they were both of the same or similar race.
In response, Hileman allegedly stood up as though she was about to deboard but instead spit a combination of saliva and food on the front of the safety supervisor’s body. The safety supervisor then physically detained Hileman in response to the escalating behavior until police arrived to effectuate an arrest. Hileman resisted and struck the safety supervisor in the head with her fist and kicked her in the leg. The safety supervisor reported the pain in her head as a 4 out of 10 and was later diagnosed with a concussion. Once police officers arrived and arrested Hileman, she allegedly referred to the victim as “it” and repeatedly inquired as to what her gender was.
A charging document is only an accusation of a crime. Hileman is innocent unless and until proven guilty.