Thursday, August 2 2012, 09:29 PM CDT
Cave Junction man lives through Josephine County's new reality
By Hillary Brown and Ginger Shepherd/KTVL.com
CAVE JUNCTION, Ore. -- Nathan Richards is scared and hurt.
And he wants to be protected.
Richards was power washing his new business when a man drove up. He describes the man as drunk and out of control.
He asked the man to leave, but that is when he was threatened. The suspect drove toward him then stopped.
"I asked him to leave again and once again, he lurched his truck at me but this time, hitting me where my hip is," Richards said.
Richards called 911, but a deputy showed up five days after the incident.
But it was too late. There was no suspect and no evidence.
Josephine County Sheriff Gil Gilbertson says cases like Richards's are the new reality in the county.
The sheriff's office has only two deputies working one eight-hour shift five days a week. A change that came after a tax levy to fund the criminal justice system failed.
"It can take days, maybe weeks," Gilbertson said. "Holding pattern until we can find the resources to come and talk them."
Richards understands the need to make cuts, but he says residents in the outlying areas of Josephine County pay for support and they should get it.
"You do your job, you're getting paid to do it," he said. "You may have less support but you're getting paid to do the job."
The Cave Junction man is worried about his safety and is on the lookout for trouble.
"If he does come back and hurt me, I'm holding the county responsible for any damages to me and my property," Richards said.
For right now, all the sheriff can say is they are doing what they can with what they have.
"It saddens me, there's no help, I could have been lying dead, maybe they would have come them," Richards said.
News10 photojournalist Matt Valladao contributed to this story.