[WPXI] A 68-year-old man who sprayed bear repellent at a bicyclist on Sauvie Island pleaded guilty Tuesday tounlawfully using mace against a person and was sentenced to mental-health treatment.
Kenneth Lyle Tester also was sentenced to two years of bench probation and ordered not to possess any weapons, including bear spray.
About 12:30 p.m., Tester was backing out of the parking lot at the Cracker Barrel store, 15005 N.W. Sauvie Island Road, in his Ford F150 truck, which had a canopy attached that partially obscured his view, said defense attorney Lisa Ludwig. And a cyclist who’d been standing in the lot began to complain to Tester that Tester had almost run him over.
An argument ensued.
Tester replied back that he didn’t think the parking lot was a good place for the group of cyclists to rest, Ludwig said. At some point, someone in the group approached the driver’s side window and Tester blasted him with bear repellent before driving off, Ludwig said.
Seems like there’s probably two sides to this story, so I’m not gonna bother getting into the nitty gritty of who did what and whether it was okay. Should you spray a bicyclist with bear spray? Probably not. But I wasn’t there. I didn’t see what happened. So can I really render a judgment? No way. I’m not that arrogant. I can’t condemn Ken Tester until I’ve walked a mile in his shoes.
But what I WILL say is this: this guy lives in an area where there are apparently so many bears that he feels compelled to keep bear repellent on hand at ALL TIMES. Think about it. This wasn’t a can of “just in case” bear spray under the sink. This shit was in his CAR. And I gotta say, if my town was overrun by bears to the point that I had to keep a can of bear repellent in my car to stop myself from being mauled to death when I idle too long at a red light, I PROBABLY wouldn’t be wasting it willy nilly on some dickhead bicyclist hanging out in a parking lot. Even if you hate bicyclists as much as I do, it’s not worth the trip to jail, and it’s DEFINITELY not worth leaving yourself completely unprotected in the event of a bear attack. Bears are no joke, people. Don’t let a bicyclist trick you into leaving yourself vulnerable.Follow @Falco_DC