Trans-identified homeless male, repeat offender, released without bail after arrest on charges of kidnapping special needs child on Portland train

Stark has an extensive criminal record with charges that include possession of amphetamines and trespassing.

Katie Daviscourt Seattle WA
A trans-identified homeless man accused of recently kidnapping a special needs student in Portland, Oregon has been released from custody after a judge determined that bail be reduced to zero, per the released booking records.

Matthew Clayton Stark, 42, reportedly approached the special needs student while riding the yellow line MAX train near the Rose Quarter Transit Center in January 2022, according to court documents viewed by KATU.

"That was the biggest mistake you ever made," Stark reportedly told the boy before threatening him with physical violence and stealing his cell phone, KATU reports.

According to the affidavit, Stark walked the boy to a house in North Portland after getting off the train and ordered him to knock on the door and tell someone that "Micha was here to see his son." The homeowner said they were unfamiliar with that name. Stark then walked away from the victim who immediately called the police.

Police were unable to locate Stark until February 2022, when a transit deputy recognized Stark from a flyer and made an arrest, the outlet reports.

Stark was arraigned on charges of kidnapping, coercion, and interfering with public transportation on February 10, 2022, and during an April 25 hearing, the judge reduced Stark’s bail to zero.

Stark, who self-identifies as a woman named "Tru," was charged with kidnapping, coercion, and interfering with public transportation on February 10, 2022. However, Stark was released from custody on April 25 after a Multnomah County judge reduced his bail to $0.00 following a court hearing.

Stark reportedly worked with Street Roots, a Portland-based newspaper that pays homeless people, and was subsequently profiled by the outlet in 2021. Stark said he is guided by one quote: "Whatever you love, do it in such a way that inspires others to follow behind you boldly." Stark went on to suggest that Portland is a hub of "feminine energy," going on to say: "I’m a 40-year-old trans female, and I’m happy that way. It’s almost a trepidatious feeling to me — how comfortable I am with myself. I spent most of my life being uncomfortable, and it’s an amazing feeling to be my authentic self."

Stark has also made clear that he is a staunch supporter of the trans movement, posting a photo on Facebook of a drawing that equates trans rights with human rights.

A second photo that was posted to Facebook suggests that Stark is also an aspiring Antifa member, sketching what appears to be Egyptian-inspired garb, with the words "Antifa cloaks" and "All Angels Passover with Tru's Redline On Board" written around the depiction.

Stark's artistic talent doesn't just include sketches and drawings, but also music. A two-minute video features Stark awkwardly looking at and away from the while singing "The Dock of the Bay" by Otis Reading.

Aside from the kidnapping charges, Stark has an extensive criminal record with charges that include possession of amphetamines, trespassing, and "climbing up and down from Blue Star Memorial Tower... swinging around nunchakus," the outlet reports.

Before the judge ordered his release, Stark received a "Very High Risk" category for pretrial monitoring following a Close Street Evaluation Report.

As a condition of release, the judge ordered Stark to attend an outpatient treatment program for substance abuse, but never showed up and an arrest warrant was issued for Stark in October 2022.

According to KATU, Stark reportedly told his counselor that he would "rather be homeless living in a tent" than get treatment for substance abuse.

Authorities were unable to locate Stark until May 2, 2023, and appeared in court on Wednesday.


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