BEND, OR -- A local man’s attempt to shame vandals near Tumalo Falls has gone viral, and could soon result in criminal charges for those responsible. Brett Nelson posted a photo to Facebook over the weekend of a man and his teenage children, describing how they carved their names into a handrail. Nelson said the man continued to allow his children to deface the railing even after a verbal confrontation. The man, reportedly from California, also let Nelson take their picture.
Kassidy Kern with the Deschutes National Forest tells KBND this incident highlights a bigger problem. "There’s a lot of vandalism that happens in the National Forest, and the Deschutes National Forest is not exempt from this. From our perspective, we also see it as a broader issue, and this particular issue kind of drills down to Brett’s story. We’re very glad that he shared it, and we’re happy he’s able to work with our law enforcement officers to see if we can get a good resolution."
While vandalism is common, Kern says they don't often get to take advantage of worldwide exposure. "The power of social media is at work here. Individuals have shared this more than 50,000 times now, and there are some leads on some potential individuals. Brett is working with our law enforcement officers and giving them information so they can contact whomever they need to contact. "
According to Kern, the damage will cost several hundred dollars to repair. If identified, the vandals could be charged with a Class B Misdemeanor, and could face up to a $5,000 fine and six months in jail.