- Associated Press - Tuesday, February 25, 2014

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) - A young man who hit a 70-year-old store employee in the head with a skateboard last summer was sentenced Tuesday to five years in prison.

Daniel Dorson declined to apologize Tuesday, saying he was only guilty of “defending my own.”

In July, police responding to an assault outside the Portland Outdoor Store found Larry Allen with a head wound that needed more than a dozen stitches. Witnesses told police Allen was hosing off the sidewalk when he was attacked by street kids.

The bashing provoked citywide disgust and put a renewed spotlight on the issue of homeless young people camping on downtown sidewalks.

The 18-year-old suspect fled and was arrested in Northern California in October. He accepted a deal from prosecutors in which he pleaded guilty to attempted assault.

Prosecutor Chris Mascal considered withdrawing the plea agreement Tuesday because Dorson wouldn’t apologize to Allen.

Judge Youlee You briefly cleared the courtroom so Dorson’s attorney could talk to him. Dorson, however, stood firm and refused to say he was sorry.

The Portland Outdoor Store has sold Western wear for about a century and its neon sign is a city landmark. Allen, who has worked there for more than 30 years, was attacked after asking a group of street youth to move because he wanted to spray the sidewalk. The young people said the sidewalk is public property and they wouldn’t go.

Allen missed three weeks of work and told the judge he still has health problems from the attack.

He told reporters after the hearing he was disappointed by the lack of an apology, The Oregonian reported (https://is.gd/ENHPAY).

“I don’t know why he wouldn’t have had anything to say,” Allen said. “He’s quite a bit bigger than I am, too. …If I had been younger, it might not have been so bad.”

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