MEDFORD, Ore. — A man accused of sabotaging mountain trails and injuring cyclists in Ashland has pleaded guilty.
Dempsey was accused of running cords across the trail and placing logs in different areas in order to obstruct mountain bike riders. Several people were hurt as a result of hitting those obstacles or swerving to avoid them.
Dempsey pleaded guilty to charges of fourth degree assault and reckless endangering. He apologized to the victims in court on Wednesday. Those victims said many of the obstructions were hidden around blind corners, and some riders were caught off guard and knocked off their bikes.
Bill Roussel of Ashland Mountain Adventures was one of those victims, and he said his business suffered as a result of Dempsey’s actions, saying people were afraid of getting seriously hurt while riding the mountain.
He said several organizations have worked to mend fences between mountain bike riders and other trail users, but said Dempsey’s crimes took that process a step backward.
“When you have something like this take place, it just puts anger back in people’s minds and hearts. It’s just conflict, and we’d like to see conflict not be there,” Roussel stated.
Dempsey was a former psychiatrist with Jackson County, he has not worked for the county since last year.