‘Cantankerous people’ on Sandy Ridge trail

A biker on the Sandy Ridge Trail, March 12, 2014 (KOIN 6 News)
A biker on the Sandy Ridge Trail, March 12, 2014 (KOIN 6 News)

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — A fun day of mountain biking for Chris Hess, his wife, Angela, their daughter and their dogs quickly turned into one of the most traumatic experiences of his life when they encountered an agitated couple on the Sandy Ridge Trail.

At first, the Hesses thought the couple was bickering but they quickly realized their dogs were the target of the couple’s anger.

“The lady leaned down with something in her hand and the dogs were interested, but it was a stun gun and she was sparking it, trying to shock them,” Angela Hess said.

Their daughter got involved by trying to help the dogs, but the lady with the stun gun came after her. Things escalated from there.

“We didn’t see the gun until it came out,” Angela said. “The guy drew down right on Chris, right in his face.”

“I remember staring down the barrel of the gun,” he said.

Slowly he backed away, he told KOIN 6 News, but he thought he was about to get shot.

This incident happened in May 2013, but the Sandy Ridge Trailhead Facebook page has more stories of people being threatened.

Bike Michael Randall bikes the trail all the time and he believes he’s seen the couple that threatened the Hess family.

“The word is they’re not appreciative of what’s been going on in the area,” Randall said. “My own take is they’ve been hiking the area for years,long before there was legal access to that road because of the bull run situation and they just look like a couple cantankerous people.”

Another person, Kevin Nickel, told KOIN 6 News “a lady had her Mace out and said, ‘Keep your dog away from me or I will Mace your dog and you.'”

He said it’s time police find these people.

“Hopefully this will stop, but it sounds like it’s going down the route of something being done before someone is shot or a dog is shot.”

The Clackamas County Sheriff’s Office said the only reported incident was by the Hess family. But they have heard other reports via social media, as recently as last month.

There are suspects, officials said, and the case has been referred over to the District Attorney’s office.

“They seemed really crazy for lack of a better word,” Chris Hess said. “They seemed like they were nutzo.”

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