Police-lights-postOkanogan County Sheriff Deputy Ottis Buzzard and Winthrop Deputy Marshal Ken Bajema responded to a call over Memorial Day weekend after Lawrence Hooper and Erika Stephens encountered two men and a wrecked ATV on their property on Balky Hill Road, according to Sheriff’s Office reports.

One of the men had been riding an ATV on the steep hill behind the Hooper-Stephens residence, part of their private property, when he lost control and it rolled 200 yards, coming to a stop just 40 feet from a cabin, said Hooper. The man was with two friends on a second ATV, which they rode across the lawn in an effort to retrieve the damaged vehicle. They refused to leave until the police arrived, according to Hooper.

“I informed them that they had in fact been on private property. I also informed them that it was illegal to ride ATVs on Balky Hill Road,” wrote Buzzard in the incident report.

Buzzard issued a warning to the men about trespassing on the property in the future and urged Hooper and Stephens to post the property as private.

The officers did not witness the men riding ATVs on the closed county road, so they did not issue a citation, according to a sheriff’s department spokesperson.


More roads for ATVs?

The county commissioners are considering a request to open 132 additional miles of roads in the eastern and northern part of the county to all-terrain vehicles. The public hearing on the request is Tuesday (July 2) at 1:30 p.m. in the commissioners’ hearing room in Okanogan. For more information or to comment, contact Verlene Hughes at vhughes@co.okanogan.wa.us or (509) 422-7300.