Bend man arrested for removing social distancing signs from park

A Bend man was arrested Tuesday after police say he repeatedly removed COVID-19 signs and caution tape surrounding a local park.

Lt. Clint Burleigh said Bend Police received a report from the Bend Park and Recreation District on May 4th regarding someone removing the caution tape and stealing social distancing signs from Quail Park, located at 2755 NW Regency St.

The signs were up to keep the properties safe and comply with the governor’s orders to stop the spread of COVID-19.

Between April 24th and May 4th, BPRD reported it was missing 10 COVID-19 signs and one sign that reminded park users to leash their dogs, Burleigh said.

The suspect also removed the caution tape from playground equipment multiple times.

BPRD continued to replace the signs and put up the tape around playground equipment. Because of all the signs being stolen and the tape being removed, BPRD then started using zip ties and locks to keep the signs secured.

Burleigh said neighbors and Park District employees had previous contact with a man that reportedly would let his dog roam the park and was suspected of removing the signs.

During the investigation, police placed portable cameras in the park to identify the suspect removing the signs and safety equipment.

On Monday, police checked video from the camera system and found several signs had been removed and the caution tape on the equipment was taken down the night before.

The video showed the suspect using bolt cutters to remove the signs, Burleigh said. Using the video system, the police identified 44-year-old Ricardo Orazetti as the suspect.

On Tuesday afternoon officers with the Problem Oriented Policing Unit and Patrol executed a search warrant at Orazetti’s home on in the 2500 block of NW Champion Circle.

During the search warrant, officers found evidence related to the most recent removal of safety signs and criminal mischief, Burleigh said.

Orazetti was arrested on charges of Theft I, Criminal Mischief II, Obstruction of Governmental Administration and Violation of the Governors orders. He was cited into Deschutes County Circuit Court for the listed crimes.


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