Skate park - Skateboard, Street Justice
- *** Skate park - Skateboard, Street Justice ***
Corvallis, Oregon -- 08/01/2005
Three teens "seeking street justice" hunted for Mark Miller
for days among Corvallis' homeless, telling people they were
going to beat him up, according to a recently released Corvallis
Police Department report.
When Cruise Cassidy, Tyler Boyce and Mike Martin found Miller
on Oct. 19, it was near the shelter under the Fourth Street Bridge,
where homeless people often socialize and drink by a smoky fire.
The trio beat him to death.
On Oct. 14, the 52-year-old Miller had been in a fistfight,
pulled out a knife and slashed Cassidy on the hand.
According to the police report, after that fight, one homeless
man said he started seeing the teens "everywhere, Safeway,
Dari-Mart, under the bridge, and they kept asking, Where's
"They were looking for Miller but didn't find him," said another
witness, who sometimes bought alcohol for the trio. He came
across them three times in five days under the bridge.
Another homeless man said that hours after Cassidy was slashed,
one of the teens came after him with a knife, mistaking him for Miller.
The police report, which became public information due to the trio's
recent conviction and sentencing for manslaughter, shows the teens'
persistence in seeking revenge.
Other details also came to light, including information that Miller
could have been charged for slashing Cassidy. Before the case
could be heard by a grand jury, Boyce, age 15, Cassidy, 19, and
Martin, 19, had taken the law into their own hands.
Several witnesses said that they thought the teens were just meaning
to hurt Miller not kill him. One woman worried that the teens were
under the bridge on Oct. 19, but people by the fire thought she was
When Miller left the gathering, though,
the three teens ran after him.
Miller suffered severe head injuries as a result of the beating,
according to the report, and was kicked in the head while down
on the ground. He died in part from blunt force trauma, according
to an autopsy.
Cassidy estimated the fight lasted five minutes. In the police report,
an officer said, "I asked Cassidy if they beat Miller for the entire
minutes and he said, I guess so.' I also confirmed with Cassidy that
Miller never fought back once he was on the ground."
Miller pleaded for the beating to stop, Cassidy said.
When the three teens started running from the scene, one suspect
came back and asked if Miller was alright or dead. They ran through
the homeless encampment, and witnesses heard one saying he thought
Miller had been killed.
"(Cassidy) told me he just wanted to get him back for stabbing him.
He told me he did not intend to have him die," an officer said.
Like many other police reports, statements in this one include a
jumble of conflicting or semi-coherent viewpoints and changing
As Miller's condition fluctuated in the hospital on Oct. 19 and early
Oct. 20, Martin and Boyce denied involvement in the beating,
according to the report. Boyce's father, Ed Boyce, also told police
his son was at home during the time period the assault occurred.
Cruise Cassidy, however, essentially confessed that the three
assaulted Miller. Hours later, at 5:05 a.m. Oct. 20, Miller died,
and the teenagers faced more serious accusations.
The report includes statements that Miller previously had bought
alcohol for the teens, and that the teens were drinking before they
fought with him on Oct. 14 and the night they beat him on Oct. 19.
Miller also had been drinking the night he was beaten, and
during the previous three weeks he was struggling more with
Cassidy told police that Miller tried to apologize twice to him
on Oct. 19 once in an alley and again under the bridge.
Miller's problems with Boyce, Cassidy and Martin
may have stemmed from before the knife incident.
Sue Dilworth, who owns the property where Miller was staying,
told police that Miller had been having problems with three
teenagers for a couple of weeks.
Catherine Burch of Corvallis, Miller's daughter, said
Miller feared for his life because of teens bullying him.
"Miller told her about some teens hitting him with a skateboard, and
said, Those boys from the skate park are going to kill me,'" the report
All three suspects accepted plea deals in the killing.
Cassidy, who prosecutor Christian Stringer said did the bulk of
the damage against Miller, pleaded guilty to first-degree manslaughter
in March and was sentenced to 10 years in prison.
Martin, now 20, pleaded guilty to second-degree
manslaughter and was sentenced to six years in prison.
In June, Boyce, who turned 16 this month, was the last of the three
to be sentenced, receiving six years in custody after pleading guilty
to second-degree manslaughter.
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