Baldock incidence prompts coordinated efforts
On Friday evening, August 16th, at approximately 5:00 p.m., Oregon State Police and local Clackamas County law enforcement officials responded to a report of an assault and possible kidnapping at the southbound Baldock I-5 rest area.
The first alert issued by OSP stated that an unidentified male had assaulted and injured an adult female and possibly attempted to kidnap her young child.The most recent updated alert from OSP indicated this crime was not likely an attempted kidnapping
Oregon Travel Experience (OTE) rest area operations personnel were asked by law enforcement to help at the rest area’s crime staging area following the incident. Staff followed established protocol and provided assistance as requested.
OTE’s Director of Rest Area Operations Jason Nash was present during the search for the perpetrator.
“We’re here to offer whatever support we can in finding the person who committed this crime,” Nash said.
“Baldock is a large, nearly 55-acre parcel of heavily wooded grounds, similar to a small state park,” said Nash. “It takes a lot of boots on the ground to search and secure.”
Over 2 million travelers have used Baldock rest area in the last seven months, including 406,000 in the month of July. Nash said it is the most heavily used rest area on I-5.
“A busy rest area like Baldock is almost like a small city,” said Nash. “With that many people passing through one area, there are bound to be a few folks who engage in less than law-abiding activity.”
Nash said that OTE and OSP work together to diminish criminal activity within OTE’s rest areas. OSP’s Lt. Gregg Hastings noted that crime in the Baldock rest area has dipped significantly since OTE has initiated their onsite management.
Oregon Travel Experience’s CEO Kyle Walker was notified and has asked travelers to remain vigilant.
“OTE is always mindful and concerned about the safety of the motoring public and rest area users,” said Walker. “As a woman who travels frequently myself, this incident is a reminder that crime can occur anywhere, at any time. I would urge travelers to exercise good judgement when leaving their vehicles and using large wooded areas such as Baldock.”
“The back lot where the victim parked is more remote than the parking area near the highway,” said Nash. “Because of the high traffic count at this rest stop, it can be difficult to find space at the more visible front lot.”
Nash said travelers should remain alert and use the following personal safety guidelines, especially when using more remote parking areas:
– Stop, look and listen: be aware of your immediate surroundings and any unknown persons
– Park in an area that is well lighted and where other people are around
– Never leave valuables in your car such as cell phones and purses
– Lock your vehicle when you leave it unattended
– Before you exit the restrooms, check to make sure you have all your belongings
– Avoid walking in unlighted or isolated areas
– If you are followed or threatened, call for help (Shout or scream for help, and call 911)
– Avoid carrying large sums of cash
– Check your surroundings before exiting your vehicle, and if suspicious activity is noted, remain in your car with the doors locked. Notify law enforcement if possible from your cell phone.
– Do not stand close to strangers asking for directions
“We are always looking for ways to improve safety and convenience for our travelers,” said Nash, “and are extremely grateful that the two victims involved in this incident will recover and are now safe with family. I am confident that the person responsible for the assault will be apprehended.”