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Trio charged; kids off hook

SCAFOLK032Bx003Fd07Item0013.pdf

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Trio charged; kids off hook

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St. Anne's property caretakers charged while trespassing legend-trippers get off the hook with all charges against the 38 youth dropped.
Trio charged; kids off hook
By Ryan Robb Oliver
Staff writer

Charges were filed this morning against the three watchmen accused of terrorizing two groups of trespassers at St. Anne’s Retreat on Oct. 10.

By noon, Cache County Attorney Scott Wyatt also announced trespassing charges against the 38 juveniles and young adults were dropped.

He said the decision to drop the charges came fr om the property owners, who were sympathetic to the what [sic] the trespassers said happened to them Friday at the hands of the watchmen.

John Jeppson, Arthur Peasnall and Jeppson’s son-in-law, Christopher Doerr, have each been charged with six counts of aggravated assault.

Aggravated assault is a third degree felony, and each count is punishable by up to five years in jail.

“the basis for the charges is that the actions alleged far exceeded the authority granted to the gunmen by state law and the property owners,” said Wyatt, who filed this morning’s charges.

On Oct. 10, 38 teen-agers and young adults were roped around the neck, handcuffed and forced to kneel in the retreat’s swimming pool when they were captured by the three shotgun wielding men for trespassing on the property. The trespassers claimed the men fired shotguns near them, and that the men threatened to kill them. One teen-ager said he was knocked unconscious and another claimed she was fondled.

Cache County Sheriff Lynn Nelson said he will be putting together a warrant for the arrest of the three men today. He said he didn’t yet know when or where the men would be arrested, but he said there’s a possibility they may turn themselves in.

Commentary
‘…the stuff heroes are made of’

Editor’s note: Jake Jeppson [Jeppsen], older brother of John Jeppson [Jeppsen], the man accused of terrorizing Cache Valley teen-agers in two incidents at the former St. Anne’s retreat in Logan Canyon, has written the following commentary in defense of his brother. Jake Jeppson [Jeppsen] is a Brigham City resident employed at the Utah State University physical plant. His book of cowboy prose and poetry, “Give My Love to the Children,” is on file at USU Special Collections.

By Jake Jeppson

I am writing this as an answer to the recent articles and reports in the local media concerning my brother, John Jeppsen, who is the lead watchman at St. Anne’s Retreat.

I feel it’s necessary to bring out some facts that have not been mentioned, and to say something about circumstances involved.

1. It is my understanding that the shotgun shells which John had were loaded with rock salt. Years ago these were used for raiders of melon patches, hen houses, private outhouses or stray dogs. These to sting severely, not kill.

2. A great to-do was made about the fellow that was knocked unconscious. Nothing is said about him coming up behind John to jump him during the arrests. John was an Airborne Ranger in Europe. Rangers are one of three groups of America’s finest fighting men. John was not, nor is he, a Vietnam vet (with mental and emotional problems), as earlier articles implied.

3. Emotions? Name me as any man anywhere who would not be wound tight while arresting 38 people as big as himself in the darkness or poor light, alone, in Logan Canyon at that time of day? Especially in view of the monetary value of property damage at the site and the later made threats which I know were made.

4. Nothing has been said about the threats made against John; i.e. “We’re coming back to get you.”

5. There are inconsistencies in the young people’s stories. The Herald Journal stories say the trespassers were arrested just inside the gate. An article in the Statesman quotes a young man as saying “just as he jumped down into the empty pool.” Another was that the fellow who was knocked out was struck with a billy club. That man was struck with a bullstroke (military term), from the shotgun butt as he attempted to jump on John’s back. In other words, John did his job (a tough one) and got the attacker before he could get him.

6. The rope and knots are a tool to contain and retain prisoners as taught to the Airborne Rangers. The knot is not a “slip-knot” nor a “hangman’s knot” as implied. It is a knot like the “bowline” used to tie boats or tie a horse “expressly) because the knot will not slip. The loop is tied loosely or semi-loosely as needed to hold.

7. The owner of the property says he was “allowing John to stay there.” As if John was some homeless poor soul. John may have been staying there as part of their agreement, but he has a beautiful wife who is a fine woman, with whom he lives and they live with and care for our mother who is convalescing from a broken hip and joint replacement. The home they are living in is a very neat, clean and modern brick home in Providence with several bedrooms.

Now about the vandalism which is occurring all over our area. I was on top of Logan Canyon yesterday and stopped to use the public restrooms near Peter Sinks. On the older building the door had been totally ripped off and destroyed. There were unspeakable things which had been done inside and outside the restrooms. This is common all over now.

Several years ago there was a movie made called Walking Tall. It was a true story about a sheriff down south who was man enough to take on a corrupt system and individuals with his famous pick handle. He became a national hero. Two or three movies were made about his life.

Then there are the Rooster Cogburns and Big Jake’s of John Wayne. We cheer these men, yet seek to destroy a man who is striving to do his job and enforce the right of property owners to have their property be secure.

In Salt Lake City yesterday, a police officer was acquitted for shooting a dog while he was jogging. The owners were allowing it to run loose and get in trouble. Needless to say isn’t it lucky we don’t have such a law for kids and parents who cannot control their children and are embarrassed at the stunts they pull. I know, I have six of my own, two step-children and 22 grandchildren. Some of the finest people I know are also sharing this problem.

A remark was made in a commentary about the legends of St. Anne’s retreat, that a certain prominent attorney said he used to go up there when he was a kid, too. I don’t care if it was Thomas Jefferson, would that make breaking the law right? Or trespassing/vandalism?

John may not have done everything perfect, but who could under such conditions.

In my mind, John is a fine man, made of the stuff heroes are made of. If you think not-you try arresting 30 hell-raising young adults in the dark, lonely, middle of the night.

Source

Utah State University, Merrill-Cazier Library, Special Collections and Archives, FOLK COLL 32

Rights

Reproduction for publication, exhibition, web display or commercial use is only permissible with the consent of the USU Libraries Special Collections and Archives, phone (435) 797-2663.

Relation

Utah State University Folklore in the news collection, 1973-2012, FOLK COLL 32
http://archiveswest.orbiscascade.org/ark:/80444/xv04849
St. Anne's Retreat

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http://digital.lib.usu.edu/cdm/ref/collection/p16944coll20/id/22
SCAFOLK032Bx003Fd07Item0013.pdf

Text Item Type Metadata

Text

Trio charged; kids off hook
By Ryan Robb Oliver
Staff writer

Charges were filed this morning against the three watchmen accused of terrorizing two groups of trespassers at St. Anne’s Retreat on Oct. 10.

By noon, Cache County Attorney Scott Wyatt also announced trespassing charges against the 38 juveniles and young adults were dropped.

He said the decision to drop the charges came fr om the property owners, who were sympathetic to the what [sic] the trespassers said happened to them Friday at the hands of the watchmen.

John Jeppson, Arthur Peasnall and Jeppson’s son-in-law, Christopher Doerr, have each been charged with six counts of aggravated assault.

Aggravated assault is a third degree felony, and each count is punishable by up to five years in jail.

“the basis for the charges is that the actions alleged far exceeded the authority granted to the gunmen by state law and the property owners,” said Wyatt, who filed this morning’s charges.

On Oct. 10, 38 teen-agers and young adults were roped around the neck, handcuffed and forced to kneel in the retreat’s swimming pool when they were captured by the three shotgun wielding men for trespassing on the property. The trespassers claimed the men fired shotguns near them, and that the men threatened to kill them. One teen-ager said he was knocked unconscious and another claimed she was fondled.

Cache County Sheriff Lynn Nelson said he will be putting together a warrant for the arrest of the three men today. He said he didn’t yet know when or where the men would be arrested, but he said there’s a possibility they may turn themselves in.

Commentary
‘…the stuff heroes are made of’

Editor’s note: Jake Jeppson [Jeppsen], older brother of John Jeppson [Jeppsen], the man accused of terrorizing Cache Valley teen-agers in two incidents at the former St. Anne’s retreat in Logan Canyon, has written the following commentary in defense of his brother. Jake Jeppson [Jeppsen] is a Brigham City resident employed at the Utah State University physical plant. His book of cowboy prose and poetry, “Give My Love to the Children,” is on file at USU Special Collections.

By Jake Jeppson

I am writing this as an answer to the recent articles and reports in the local media concerning my brother, John Jeppsen, who is the lead watchman at St. Anne’s Retreat.

I feel it’s necessary to bring out some facts that have not been mentioned, and to say something about circumstances involved.

1. It is my understanding that the shotgun shells which John had were loaded with rock salt. Years ago these were used for raiders of melon patches, hen houses, private outhouses or stray dogs. These to sting severely, not kill.

2. A great to-do was made about the fellow that was knocked unconscious. Nothing is said about him coming up behind John to jump him during the arrests. John was an Airborne Ranger in Europe. Rangers are one of three groups of America’s finest fighting men. John was not, nor is he, a Vietnam vet (with mental and emotional problems), as earlier articles implied.

3. Emotions? Name me as any man anywhere who would not be wound tight while arresting 38 people as big as himself in the darkness or poor light, alone, in Logan Canyon at that time of day? Especially in view of the monetary value of property damage at the site and the later made threats which I know were made.

4. Nothing has been said about the threats made against John; i.e. “We’re coming back to get you.”

5. There are inconsistencies in the young people’s stories. The Herald Journal stories say the trespassers were arrested just inside the gate. An article in the Statesman quotes a young man as saying “just as he jumped down into the empty pool.” Another was that the fellow who was knocked out was struck with a billy club. That man was struck with a bullstroke (military term), from the shotgun butt as he attempted to jump on John’s back. In other words, John did his job (a tough one) and got the attacker before he could get him.

6. The rope and knots are a tool to contain and retain prisoners as taught to the Airborne Rangers. The knot is not a “slip-knot” nor a “hangman’s knot” as implied. It is a knot like the “bowline” used to tie boats or tie a horse “expressly) because the knot will not slip. The loop is tied loosely or semi-loosely as needed to hold.

7. The owner of the property says he was “allowing John to stay there.” As if John was some homeless poor soul. John may have been staying there as part of their agreement, but he has a beautiful wife who is a fine woman, with whom he lives and they live with and care for our mother who is convalescing from a broken hip and joint replacement. The home they are living in is a very neat, clean and modern brick home in Providence with several bedrooms.

Now about the vandalism which is occurring all over our area. I was on top of Logan Canyon yesterday and stopped to use the public restrooms near Peter Sinks. On the older building the door had been totally ripped off and destroyed. There were unspeakable things which had been done inside and outside the restrooms. This is common all over now.

Several years ago there was a movie made called Walking Tall. It was a true story about a sheriff down south who was man enough to take on a corrupt system and individuals with his famous pick handle. He became a national hero. Two or three movies were made about his life.

Then there are the Rooster Cogburns and Big Jake’s of John Wayne. We cheer these men, yet seek to destroy a man who is striving to do his job and enforce the right of property owners to have their property be secure.

In Salt Lake City yesterday, a police officer was acquitted for shooting a dog while he was jogging. The owners were allowing it to run loose and get in trouble. Needless to say isn’t it lucky we don’t have such a law for kids and parents who cannot control their children and are embarrassed at the stunts they pull. I know, I have six of my own, two step-children and 22 grandchildren. Some of the finest people I know are also sharing this problem.

A remark was made in a commentary about the legends of St. Anne’s retreat, that a certain prominent attorney said he used to go up there when he was a kid, too. I don’t care if it was Thomas Jefferson, would that make breaking the law right? Or trespassing/vandalism?

John may not have done everything perfect, but who could under such conditions.

In my mind, John is a fine man, made of the stuff heroes are made of. If you think not—you try arresting 30 hell-raising young adults in the dark, lonely, middle of the night.

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