Property Dispute Escalation
By Joseph Snook
Jackson County, OR – On February 21, 2013, Daniel Young was accused of attempting to “run over” his neighbor Kevin Mayfield. According to Jackson County Sheriff’s Deputy Mike Ettinger’s report, Mr. Mayfield was “on a jogging run when his neighbor attempted to run over him with his vehicle… It was assumed to be Daniel Young.”
Ettinger, along with deputies Strohmeyer and Cicero responded to Mr. Young’s residence in an attempt at “contact with Young.” The deputy’s report describes Mr. Young’s daughter and wife as “unwilling to cooperate with the Sheriff’s deputies.” The Sheriff’s deputies were told repeatedly to leave their property. Why would Mr. Young’s family be uncooperative? Did the Sheriff’s deputies give them reason to be so unwilling to communicate?
During my initial investigation, I uncovered a history of violence against the Young’s that dated back nearly six years.
According to property reports and witness statements, the Young’s driveway is an easement for other property owners, known by the residents who use it for ingress and egress as Miller’s Gulch Road.
The Young’s have had several disputes with multiple neighbors regarding “use of the driveway.” According to Dan Young, “On one occasion while trying to return to my residence, I was blinded by a very bright light causing me to stop and get out of my car. I was then viciously attacked by my neighbor (just look at the picture on the right).” This was just one of several incidents over the past six years.
During a conversation with Dan and his wife Susan, they stated when the problems first started happening they would contact the Sheriff’s Department. After multiple neighbors became involved, it seemed as if they were against us for asking them to stay off the driveway with their ATV’s and other Off-Highway Vehicles (OHV’s). The deputies automatically “took their side.” All the Young’s have asked for is that people use the road to get to and from their homes without destroying their property with extraneous use, as well as endangering the lives of themselves and others. According to the Young’s, “some neighbors create large amounts of dust, travel at unsafe speeds and disregard the trespassing signs we have posted.”
Describing the lack of respect from Jackson County Sheriff’s Deputies, the Young’s voiced their concern over dealing with the police. They feel that no matter what happens, “the deputies will automatically arrest them every time.” Dan stated, “It’s just not fair, especially when we hold the legal claim to the property and the easement.”
Dan Young isn’t the only one who has had issues. Susan Young also claims to have been accosted by her neighbors, especially by Mr. Mayfield. Validation of Mrs. Young’s reports was captured on video just weeks ago as she was traveling towards her house. Mr. Mayfield is clearly seen on his dirt-bike taunting her as he rides next to her and revs up his engine. Mr. Mayfield is seen continuing past the driveway to his rental before discontinuing his confrontation with Mrs. Young. This video can be viewed here.
Mr. Young asserts that the current incident in which he has formally been charged with; recklessly endangering another person, and menacing, did not happen like the report states. Young stated he was returning home after he picked up his mail and saw Mr. Mayfield jogging. Young continued, “As I headed up the driveway, Mr. Mayfield was running alongside my truck, yelling at me and making a fist like he was going to hit my truck. I sped off and continued home.”
One of Mr. Young’s daughters offered that when she drives by Mayfield’s residence, she often witnesses him “run out of his house towards the gate like a dog does when they chase a car.” She continued, “It is very weird.”
There were no other witnesses to the event besides Mr. Young and Mr. Mayfield. Realizing this, the only real evidence in this case is the video Mrs. Young took of Mayfield, which supports Mr. Young’s version.
A neighbor stated that he has seen Off-Highway Vehicles (OHV’s) recently traveling on Miller’s Gulch Road. He also stated that “large amounts of dust are created, but this is Southern Oregon.”
The Young’s have spent “over $50,000.00 in attorney fees, doctor bills and other costs” attempting to make sure their neighbors use the driveway for its sole and only purpose – to get to and from their residence and to “defend Dan Young against false charges.” The Young’s are currently arranging to place video-surveillance on the road.
Multiple attempts to reach Mr. Mayfield were unsuccessful – several business cards were left at the house he rents. I have messaged him via Facebook with no return message or phone call.
What would you do if you were in Mr. Young’s position and why would Kevin Mayfield apparently avoid speaking with this reporter?
Editor’s Note: The Jackson County Sheriff should instruct his deputy’s to obtain some credible evidence before they falsely arrest someone for a crime. Both the sheriff and prosecutor should take a long hard look at the video recording that Mrs. Young has…
Anyone with information on this case is urged to contact Edward Snook at 541-474-7885 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.