Three Portland cop block “activists” have taken their harassment to a new level, by going to the homes of the Portland Police Chief, a Portland Police Captain, and the Multnomah County District Attorney.
Robert West, Christopher Ponte, and Eli Richey are no stranger to Portland police officers and officials, according to OregonLive. They often videotape City Council meetings, Portland police arrests, and local protests, and are known for getting in someone’s face, especially officers.
We’ve even reported on registered sex offender Robert West, AKA “Uncle Bob,” in the past.
Apparently what they were doing is not enough, and they have been using new and different tactics in recent weeks. They have visited the homes and private property of Portland Police Chief Mike Marshman, Portland Police Captain Mark Kruger, Portland Police Sergeant Leo Besner, and Multnomah County DA Rod Underhill.
And they’ve threatened to film their children at their schools. In the recent visits, the group has taken close-up images of home addresses the license plates of personal vehicles. They also tried to go to the home of Portland Police spokesman, Sergeant Pete Simpson, but had the wrong address.
In response, Portland police and prosecutors are charging them with unlawful obtaining of communications, a misdemeanor. West and Richey are facing this charge, after complaints of filming strangers or private security when told not to. Richey has also been charged with trespass and telephonic harassment, and is in custody with bond of $250,000.
West is also in jail, under bond of $25,000, after a judge refused to raise his bond to $250,000, but has been ordered to stay at least 20 feet away from police when they’re performing their duties.
On July 10, Ponte went to Captain Kruger’s home, and said he was “trying to get some interviews about his past.” He was served afterward with a temporary stalking order.
Multnomah County Deputy DA James Hayden said that his office takes the group’s actions seriously. He said, “We think their actions are alarming. We think these actions and visits to officials’ homes are intended to intimidate them.”
Oregon state law states that a person must give notice prior to audio recording that they are going to record the conversation. The law gives as exceptions law enforcement officers, public officials in charge of jails, and police or sheriff’s departments, among others.
Hayden said that the latest actions involve private property, with the cop blockers in the driveway of the police officer or DA, and are often accompanied by vulgar language.
In the July 2 incident at Underhill’s home, his son came to the door first, then Underhill himself. He denied a request for a question, and told them, “this is my house on a Sunday.”
He then told West to leave and take “the others” with him, and not to come back. Richey was also present at that incident, where police were called. One “activist” was reported to be wearing a mask. Underhill has since posted a no trespassing sign in his yard.
West said he isn’t worried about the new charge and increased bond. He said that all it’s doing is “…piss me off and get me to do more.”
Mike Bluehair, who often accompanies West and films the incidents, said that he doesn’t see anything wrong with going to an official’s home “to try to get him to answer questions.” He said that he wouldn’t publish videos that had someone’s children in them, but West said that he doesn’t edit his videos.
Another incident occurred on June 29 when West and Richey filmed police handling a reported shoplifting at a Grocery Outlet store. Both were ordered off the property numerous times but refused to leave until a police officer started putting on gloves in preparation to arrest them.
As they left, West yelled at the officer, “We were just at the (expletive) chief’s house. We will be at your house next, you coward mother (expletive),” the affidavit said. “We’ll be at your (expletive) kids’ school. … I will be at your (expletive) kids’ school videotaping your kids.”
West, who is a registered sex offender, is on probation for disorderly conduct and interfering with a police officer. In 1984, in California, he was sentenced to seven years in prison after being convicted of a charge of assault to commit mayhem/rape.
Richey has been accused of filming a 21-year-old woman eating a popsicle near the Salmon Street fountain, while touching his penis outside his clothing. He has also been accused of filming children playing in the fountain.