by Anne Yeager and AP Staff
Posted on February 18, 2010 at 12:26 PM
Updated today at 7:37 PM
PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — The death of a Portland bicyclist is now being called a homicide.
Detective Bryan Steed said Thursday he believes 31-year-old Kipp Crawford was assaulted during a robbery, and that’s why he was in the street shortly before he was struck by two vehicles in North Portland last November.
A new witness and evidence has surfaced, that Crawford may have been assaulted and robbed prior to his death.
By the look on their faces, the last thing Jean and Verne Crawford wanted to do was face a host of cameras and reporters Thursday. But they did it for their son, Kipp.
“I’m devastated, utterly heartbroken, ” said Jean Crawford, Kipp’s mom.
Kipp Crawford was riding his bike near the University of Portland whend detectives say he either lost his balance or was pushed into the traffic.
Now a witness recalls a man standing over Kipp and they were both yelling at each other. Two accused drunk drivers then hit and killed Kipp, as he was lying in the middle of the street. Detectives don’t think the two drivers were involved in the assault.
But the Crawford family has come forward, wanting to put the pieces together in their son’s death. Kipp’s dad Verne couldn’t hold it together, as he talked through tears.
“It’s not just for us but his sister and the big circle of friends, ” said Verne.
He and his wife want to know who robbed and assaulted their son.
“We are devastated to lose such a gentle soul, ” said Jean.
Kipp was a musician who toured the country playing the drums. It was his passion and his family swears he was on his way.
Verne has a tearful message for the community and hopes any witnesses will come forward.
“It hurts a lot so if anyone has anything to offer, it would help.”