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Produced & Maintained by Idaho Mountain Express, Box 1013, Ketchum, ID 83340-1013 
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Copyright © 2002 Express Publishing Inc.
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For the week of Oct 30 - Nov 5, 2002


Three hunters charged with attacking man

Express Staff Writer

Three Hailey residents were arrested for battery last week after they allegedly attacked a man and his young daughter when they rode a motorcycle into what they said was their deer hunting area.

Blaine County Sheriff Walt Femling said Robin Atwood, 33, Randy Atwood, 42, and William Ellinger, 41, were arrested at the Atwoods’ apartment in Balmoral on the basis of a description of their vehicle supplied by the alleged victim.

Femling said the incident occurred about 7 p.m. on Oct. 17 on a dirt road east of Countryside Boulevard in Woodside. He said Douglas Cooper, 39, was riding a dirt bike with his daughter, Haley Cooper, 7, on the back, when he came up on a green Chevrolet Blazer, driving very slowly.

Cooper told sheriff’s deputies that someone in the Blazer began waving, which he took to be a signal to pass. As he did so, however, the vehicle began to accelerate, and Cooper speeded up as well to get by. However, the road narrowed and he was forced to drive off it to avoid colliding with the Blazer. The motorcycle hit a rock, throwing both riders over the handlebars.

Cooper reported that the Blazer stopped and Randy Atwood and Ellinger got out. They allegedly told Cooper to remove his helmet so they could beat him up. He declined the request, but the two hit him six to eight times in the face anyway, he told police. At that point, Haley Cooper ran and hid behind a large rock.

Cooper reported that the two men told him he had ruined their deer hunting spot, and threatened to get their rifles from the vehicle. Cooper apologized, retrieved his daughter and got back on his motorcycle to leave. He reported that the men hit him two more times before he was able to do so.

Cooper gave the Blaine County dispatcher a description of the Blazer as well as its license number. Femling said deputies found the vehicle in the Balmoral parking lot the next day, but did not locate its occupants until that Tuesday.

Robin Atwood was allegedly driving the Blazer at the time of the incident. She may face a felony charge of aggravated battery if authorities decide she appeared to have forced the Coopers off the road intentionally.

"We are still working with the prosecutor to determine the charges that will be filed," Femling said. "Certainly we have misdemeanor battery charges.

"We are taking this very seriously. During hunting season, people have a right to go riding their motorcycles or mountain bikes or walking their dogs without being confronted or intimidated."



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