By BROOKE SNAVELY
CENTRAL OREGON DAILY NEWS
Police are investigating alleged violent threats made against people who get too close to a camp near the Rimrock Trailhead.
Two people who have been threatened were trying to retrieve their dogs that were attracted to the scent of garbage.
A homeless person camped near the Rimrock Trailhead Good Dog park area allegedly threatened to shoot some people who got too close in recent days.
Forest Service law enforcement officers are now on scene investigating.
Anthony Fletcher recorded his encounter with the defiant camper. “Turn around you jack ass. Turn around and go away…”
“He said, ‘I’m going to load my gun and I’m going to give you until the time I get out of my tent for you to get out of here,'” Fletcher said.” At that point I had rounded up my dogs; I was walking out and I assured him I was leaving.”
Fletcher has walked dogs in the area 15 years. He says it’s the first time anyone has threatened him.
Fletcher posted a warning about the encounter on the “Dogs of Bend” Facebook page.
At least one other person responded that he also had been threatened by the occupant in the camp.
“We are aware of the situation and our law enforcement officers, as well as the Deschutes County Sheriff’s Office, are working on it,” said Jean Nelson Dean, Deschutes National Forest public affairs officer.
Dean says there are a number of areas on the Deschutes National Forest, notably China Hat Road, where people camp so that they are close to town.
“Based on a lot of conversation our law enforcement officers have had with folks in these areas, many of them are employed, they are working. They just don’t have enough money to afford housing in Central Oregon,” Dean said.
Fletcher believes dogs are attracted to the aroma of garbage and human waste at the camp near Rimrock Trailhead.
Other dog owners report their pets have gotten ill eating things they find near the camp, including human excrement.
“I don’t fault the person who is living there. It’s been going on for months. There’s a truckload worth of garbage out there,” he said.
Forest Service law enforcement were attempting to talk with the camper near the Rimrock Trailhead while I was there.
At law enforcement’s request, I backed away to de-escalate the situation.