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Family grieves for man who died on amphitheater stage

Police say Damon Roberson's death was accidental; sister calls him 'extreme optimist'

(Update: Comments from sister)

Bend Police have identified the body found Saturday morning at the Les Schwab Amphitheater at Bend's Old Mill District as 49-year-old Damon H. Roberson and said they have determined it was an accidental death.

"No foul play is suspected" in the death of Damon H. Roberson, a Bend transient, Lt. Juli McConkey said Tuesday.

Police did not specify the nature of the accident, but McConkey said a review of video taken from surveillance cameras in and around the concert venue helped police determine the death was accidental.

"Bend police worked closely with the Old Mill, who were able to access the video surveillance quickly to assist with our investigation," McConkey added.

A citizen's report brought police and fire medics to the amphitheater around 8:35 a.m. Saturday for a welfare check.

Fire medics attempted lifesaving efforts on the unresponsive man, McConkey said, but it was determined he had died. Police taped off the area for a death investigation.

McConkey said this incident is unusual for the area.

"The Les Schwab Amphitheater and the area around the Old Mill is very safe," McConkey said. "There is security there, as well as surveillance video, so it is a very safe avenue for anyone who wants to go shopping or explore or any of those things. This is not anything to be concerned about."

Family members told NewsChannel 21 Roberson was an avid cyclist and enjoyed beach and mountain biking all over Central Oregon. They said Roberson camped out in the wilderness and was a yoga therapist for eight years. He moved to Bend four years ago, after a divorce.

"He was an extreme optimist, and I've gotten a lot of messages from Damon that describe him well," said Holly Roberson, Damon's sister. "He was always giving someone a high five, on and off the trails. He was super positive, very kind and curious, and inquisitive. Just a pretty stoked person in general."

Holly Roberson said this time for the family is tough, because Damon was houseless for the last days of his life.

"Knowing that he was pretty much on the street that last few days of his life is pretty heart-wrenching," she said. "We're dealing with it. It is tragic, and it's untimely."

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Arielle Brumfield

Arielle Brumfield is a multimedia journalist for NewsChannel 21. Learn more about Arielle here.


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