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Bend

Man who wouldn’t leave Bend homeless camp jailed on criminal mischief charge

Accused of throwing rocks at nearby business

BEND, Ore. (KTVZ) – A man who refused to leave his tent on a Central Oregon Irrigation District access road and has declined several offers of assistance since last fall was arrested Friday afternoon, accused of throwing rocks and damaging a nearby business, police said.

Just before 3:30 p.m., police responded to the COID access road behind Precision Body and Paint on South Highway 97, Lt. Clint Burleigh said.

Police had been working since last September with the 46-year-old man living in the tent, Burleigh said. Officers coordinated several outreach contacts, along with Deschutes County Health Services staff, “in an attempt to engage him in ongoing services and connect him to available community resources,” Burleigh said in a news release.

Earlier in the week, the man again was contacted by officers and service providers, offered numerous services and was given several days to leave the area, but he refused and stayed in his tent.

On Friday, the man allegedly threw rocks and caused damage to the body shop’s building, Burleigh said. Workers at the business identified the suspect, and officers applied for and received a warrant to arrest the man on the COID-owned property. He was taken into custody without incident, the lieutenant said.

The man was lodged at the county jail on a first-degree criminal mischief charge, related to the damage at the business.

Burleigh said the man’s personal property is being maintained for the next 30 days by COID, which will continue to clean up the area in question.

A manager of the auto body business told NewsChannel 21 in January and again earlier this week of the homeless camp resident trespassing on their property and threatening his employees numerous times.

Crime And Courts / Government-politics / News / Top Stories

Barney Lerten

Barney is the digital content director for NewsChannel 21. Learn more about Barney here.

Comments

40 Comments

  1. Let’s be honest; this individual had been given numerous opportunities to gain services, yet continues to threaten others and escalating his violent behaviors. With this detainment, he can and should be sent to the state’s secure mental health facility in Salem for evaluation and treatment. Of course, the “enlightened” closure of Dammisch, Fairview and Eastern Oregon state simply pushed the mental health problem into groups homes which moved into the streets. This is going to end up as another Randall Kilby episode in Bend.

  2. Very well said. As a society we need to actually do something to help these people, while keeping others safe. Our mental health system needs reform, and funding.

  3. With the documented and absurdly long history of violent actions and behavior of this man, to include apparently possessing a dangerous weapon at one point (described as a machete) and waving it at the employees of this business while threatening to cut off their heads…

    This latest threatening behavior and now arrest portends, in the future if he is released back into the community, either a violent incident between himself and another citizen…

    Or an officer involved shooting.

    Neither is acceptable under any circumstances and fault/blame will lie with the obstructionists who consistently interfere in whatever options are available that could see the man placed in a state mental facility. This includes a court hearing to determine his mental / emotional stability and his degree of Threat to himself and/or the community. These hearings occur in Oregon and have for decades – and are successful in providing protections if the judge hearing such a case rules in favor of detention, observation, professional evaluation, and recommendations from the PSY professional at the facility (e.g. “Follow the Science”).

    Unless a court hearing occurs here in Deschutes County and the judge hearing the evidence rules to protect the man and the community, this is not going to end well at all.

  4. Unfortunately, this guy is a poster-boy for a big flaw in our criminal justice/mental health paradigm. A person who is severely mentally ill is frequently the worst person to make decisions about their mental health treatment. How many times have we read ‘the perpetrator had recently stopped taking his meds’? I understand that; side effects of many meds are nasty, but the cost to society of people walking around totally detached from reality is worse. We (the criminal justice system) has to ‘force’ some people to take medications, or be institutionalized against their will. I used to have a job where I commited people involuntarily, and it was a tough decision, but I never regretted a single commitment, and I even had more than one person later tell me that I made the right call.

    1. You’re asking a lot from a society that can’t even invoke the 25th Amendment on a crazy man that had access to nuclear weapons. How should we expect that we’d infringe on this mans 2nd Amendment right?

  5. If he was a minority, the local Dems along with the propaganda network KTVCNNZ could have banded together and made him a national hero for his bravery…

      1. Barney A lot of the folks who make crazy statements here are the same guys who want you to post the names of all the perps. So, maybe you just not allow them to hide behind screen names. I would be first in line to post my real name as I do on Facebook.

    1. That comment about Barney is very hateful and uncalled for. I often disagree with some news articles on Z21 but for the most part Barney is fair in letting both liberals and conservatives speak their minds.

    1. You vets think you deserve more services than illegal aliens? You were born here and enlisted. What makes you so special? Get with the times.

  6. Rather sad when law enforcement feels they need to get a warrant to arrest the individual rather then rely on the large amount of probably cause they already had. Cover your hind end first is the way it has become and that will get people hurt.

        1. The presumption of innocence isn’t mentioned anywhere in the U.S. Constitution, but is often inferred from the mention of “due process”. That’s not the point; someone is placed into custody by law enforcement and under their control; there needs to be transparency and accountability when such drastic actions are taken by the gov’t.

  7. With these homeless camps increasing in town we are getting to a place where these encampments in Bend are becoming an acceptable norm. If you address your concerns to our City Council, BPD, or ODOT. Expect a form letter response using covid as their excuse for not enforcing vagrancy laws.

      1. And in the meantime waiting for these shelters our community is subjected to an increase of crime and violence along with the cultivation of disease and environmental hazards. Will these shelters located in a state that has for the most part legalized meth, cocaine,heroin, etc. allow housing regardless if they are sober and drug free? No surprise the 9th had a hand in this ruling.

  8. Then what? Putting a director’s hold on someone to force them into a facility does not fix the issue. This is not permanent housing. His actions are not necessarily those of a person with a disorder and could be the actions of a fed up person. How often has he been forced to leave a place he was trying to stay on? Are the services being offered coming with restrictions, like shelter restrictions for when people are permitted to come and go? If he can meet his activities of daily living, he should not be committed. He’s likely been mistreated by the system and has no interest in taking part in the so called help. State hospitals are not the answer for him. Did he have an option to relocate with assistance to do so? Was another area established for the homeless that was still close enough to access resources of his own accord? Did he strike any person with rocks? Is he a threat to himself or others? He’s definitely angry but not necessarily a threat. You don’t strip all rights from a person for refusing services. You don’t know just what was offered or what stipulation is involved to receive help and not everyone needs the help that is offered.

  9. Which of our progressive antifa supporting betters (who know how best to run businesses that pay a “living wage, what is a “fair” rental price, and how to house the homeless) is offering a spare bedroom for this gentleman? So many of you have told us rents are too high and pay is too low and you know the solution. So show us how it works. Provide your couch to this gentleman and start a business that gives him a living wage. And if you don’t? Explain why you can’t support a single individual but you’ll be able to support the entire homeless population with your policies. Please enlighten us.

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