By ERIC A. HOWALD
Of the Keizertimes
A chance encounter at a Mill City campground led to the arrest of a Keizer man who is now charged with menacing a group of male juveniles at Clear Lake Elementary School.
The charges stem from an incident Thursday, June 16, when a group of several boys were in the parking lot of the school about 9:30 p.m. and “being loud” by their own admission.
The boys saw a late model gray BMW enter the parking lot and the driver, who witnesses described as a man in his late 30s with a short, scruffy beard, began making comments about the boys’ volume.
The boys said the man used both profanity and referred to at least one in the group as a “dirty Mexican.” Some of the boys said the driver pulled out a black handgun after making the statement and pointed it at the group briefly.
At that point, the driver said, “Next time I come, I’m going to blast you fools,” according to witnesses.
The man drove close to the group and made another threat before exiting the parking lot the same way he arrived. One of the boys managed to take a video of the man and his vehicle, which was missing its plates, as it drove off. The boys called 9-1-1 after the incident and reported it to the Keizer Police Department.
Two days later, on Saturday, June 18, one of the boys was camping in Mill City and spotted the same driver and vehicle at the campground. His family was able to obtain the full license plate number and reported it to police.
The 2007 BMW sedan was registered to Kyle Robert Offield of 7445 Sagebrush Street N.E., which is located immediately to the east of the Clear Lake parking lot.
On Thursday, June 23, a search warrant was issued for Offield’s residence and executed the next day. Police conducted a traffic stop on Offield’s BMW on Windsor Island Road North and arrested Offield before taking him back to his residence.
Police officers conducted a search of the home and located a “Ruger” 4.5mm caliber BB gun under a nightstand in the master bedroom.
According to a probable cause statement released by KPD officials, Offield admitted to using profanity and a racial slur. Offield initially denied having the BB gun with him, according to the statement, but he later said he had the gun in his lap during the conversation with the boys. He claimed he did not point it at anyone.
Offield was taken at the Marion County Correctional Facility where he was charged with one count of menacing and released.