A Grass Valley man was arrested June 13 and is accused of firing a weapon near a group of men who were working on an adjacent property. Nobody was hurt.
Brett Wade King, 40, was lodged at the regional jail last Wednesday on charges of menacing and pointing a firearm at another, which are both misdemeanors, and unlawful use of a weapon, a felony.
Oregon State Police Sgt. Kaipo Raiser said seven laborers who were working on a field behind King’s house were taking a lunch break in the shade of trees on the property line between the field and the house. They were on the field side of the tree.
The seven men said a man came out of the house with an AR-15 rifle “and basically started yelling at them, saying get away from this house and get out of there,” Raiser said. They said the man was aggressive, angry and confrontational.
They said as they were going back to work, and immediately after the confrontation, a couple of rounds were fired in an unknown direction, Raiser said.
The workers were “freaked out” and described his weapon as a machine gun.
Raiser said he spoke to King and King said he shot one round and was firing at deer to chase them away. Raiser said there were a lot of deer on his property, but it appeared he had food out for them.
Raiser said king was “quite pleasant with me, he was cordial. He realized he made a mistake.” He said King said he “didn’t know what was going on. He said, ‘There was a bunch of shady people in my backyard.’”
He said the laborers, all of whom are from the Gorge, were “a stone’s throw” from the man’s house.
Raiser said the people leasing the field behind the man’s house said the man was “unhappy with the fact that hemp is being grown there and he’s expressed his displeasure to the county that this is happening.”
Hemp looks similar to marijuana but does not have THC, the intoxicating property of marijuana. Hemp has industrial uses including food, rope, clothing, paper, and housing material.
The people leasing the field said they were worried about being able to hire people to work on the property, Raiser said.
King posted bail and is due in Sherman County Circuit Court on June 29.