• Welcome to AlpineZone, the largest online community of skiers and snowboarders in the Northeast!

    You may have to REGISTER before you can post. Registering is FREE, gets rid of the majority of advertisements, and lets you participate in giveaways and other AlpineZone events!

Homeowner pulls shotgun on snowboarder by Brighton

skiur

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 27, 2012
Messages
1,612
Points
113
Does he have posted no trespassing signs in the area?
 

Newpylong

Well-known member
Joined
Dec 20, 2005
Messages
5,036
Points
113
Location
Upper Valley, NH
As a gun owner, I will say the more limited "Castle Doctrine" nor the "Stand your Ground Laws" (used in NH and in this case Utah) would protect this guy if he shot the snowboarder. The Castle Doctrine requires one to retreat from the situation if possible. A Stand your Ground Law does NOT require that but also has a list of requirements which must be met before deadly force is used. This is not even close to one of them. As for charging him for simply brandishing a weapon on his own property? Not likely. Pretty ridiculous behavior though.
 

thetrailboss

Moderator
Staff member
Moderator
Joined
Jun 4, 2004
Messages
32,507
Points
113
Location
NEK by Birth
If that guy shoots someone he will go to jail. No way around that one. He would have no legal standing. Unless he plants a gun or knife and claims self defense. You can't shoot unarmed people at random in the US.
What if someone was lost, ended up down there and got shot. Very tragic.
I am a reasonable person. Knowing this is skiable terrain I would expect there might be some skiers. If skiers were coming down right at my house I probably would care. But if they were skirting my property or crossing a back portion I would not. I probably would put "signs with arrows saying please use this path out". So they stay in a less visable area.
Unless this guy had previous altercations that ended up with some kind of disrespect or property damage, I think his responce is far from reasonable.
I understand that there have been three prior altercations with this guy.
 

2Planker

Well-known member
Joined
May 16, 2007
Messages
1,517
Points
113
Location
MWV, NH
We threw Motorcycle locks on 3 very nicely equipped hunting ATVs that were parked on our Posted "No Hunting, No Trespassing" land.

NH Fish & Game came and impounded them all.... Then put them up for auction in Concord in 2017
 

thetrailboss

Moderator
Staff member
Moderator
Joined
Jun 4, 2004
Messages
32,507
Points
113
Location
NEK by Birth
More information about this guy. He, again, has a history. This is from the Salt Lake Tribune

Utah skier allegedly took shotgun butt to the ribs in confrontation at Brighton​

“He’s made a mess. We made national news. Nobody’s happy about it,” Town of Brighton Mayor Dan Knopp said.​


The tiny Town of Brighton is in a tizzy.

The rustic community at the top of Big Cottonwood Canyon has made national news before, mostly for accumulating unfathomable amounts of snow. But when it was mentioned on “The Today Show” on Tuesday, the story didn’t cast the burg of 441 people in a very flattering light.

In separate incidents Saturday, a snowboarder and a skier were confronted at gunpoint by a man who accused them of crossing his property. The man had set out a camp chair along a plowed path that led past several cabins. He then ambushed skiers and riders trying to make their way back from the National Forest to the road. In addition to pointing a rifle at them and yelling at them, the man shoved the snowboarder and allegedly shoved the stock of his gun into the ribs of the skier.

It’s not a good look for his community, said Brighton Mayor Dan Knopp.

“That horse has left the barn,” Knopp said when asked if anything could be done to prevent a pall from being cast over the town. “He’s made a mess. We made national news. Nobody’s happy about it.”

The Unified Police Department has been to the man’s house three times since the incident, according to Knopp. A UPD spokesperson said the case is under investigation but added that officers decided Tuesday to “look at the bigger scope of what’s going on.”

Though the man has lived in Brighton for 12 years, according to Knopp, the mayor said he has never met him. The Tribune does not name people who have not been charged with a crime. Knopp added, however, that several neighbors have told him they have had issues with the man over the years. Among the complaints he has heard is that the man blocks Old Prospect Road even though it is a public street.

“He’s been a problem child for a while,” Knopp said.

Saturday marked the first known time the man had been caught on video, but not necessarily the first time he had brandished a weapon at a skier or snowboarder. On a Reddit post related to the incident, a person identified as “savingaccount3″ said they had the same experience a few weeks prior.

Loren Richardson, 41, of Fresno shoots video for his Instagram page whenever he is out snowboarding. That’s how he happened to capture his entire interaction with the Brighton resident on his iPhone.

Richardson and several friends went to Brighton as part of a multistate ski trip. They stayed at a vacation rental along Big Cottonwood Canyon Road and rode several days at the resort. On the last day, Richardson said he exited Brighton Resort through an egress at the top of the Great Western Express lift and was taking his final run back to his cabin via the National Forest land outside the resort boundary. He came across what appeared to be a plowed road and was excited that he may have finally found a direct route to his cabin.

Instead, he found himself staring directly down the barrel of a gun.

“Right away he points the gun at me. And that’s where in the video you can see I turn both hands go up like, ‘Whoa,’” Richardson told The Tribune. “My stomach was in my throat. I was just like: Be apologetic. I don’t know. Why he’s going to shoot me? Why is this happening?”

The man can be seen on Richardson’s video shoving him with one hand and yelling at him: “Private property, you [expletive]! What are you, an Ikon user?”
Richardson unstrapped from his board and began walking with it a short ways down what appears to be Old Prospect Road. When he reached its end, he flagged down two skiers waiting there.

“Shotgun! Shotgun pointed right at me!” Richardson called out to them.

“I know, right?” one answered.

Indeed he did.

The skier who had allegedly been accosted by the same man declined to be interviewed and asked that his name not be revealed. However, his ski partner, Ryan Rigstad of Holladay, said his friend told him the man not only threatened him but put the stock of his rifle into the skier’s ribs.

Rigstad, 23, and his friend had come from the other side of the mountain. They were dropping into Brighton to catch the Ski Bus after finishing up the second day of a three-day backcountry ski class near Guardsman Pass that was organized by the University of Utah. Rigstad took a slightly different path than his friends and missed being confronted by the man with the rifle. He heard the man shouting, though, and hurried to the road to look for his friend.
(Ryan Rigstad) Ryan Rigstad, 23, of Holladay stands on Peak 10420 Saturday, Feb. 24, 2024, while taking a backcountry skiing class near Guardsman Pass. Rigstad and a friend were returning to the Town of Brighton after the class when his friend was confronted by a man with a shotgun who said he was protecting his private property.

(Ryan Rigstad) Ryan Rigstad, 23, of Holladay stands on Peak 10420 Saturday, Feb. 24, 2024, while taking a backcountry skiing class near Guardsman Pass. Rigstad and a friend were returning to the Town of Brighton after the class when his friend was confronted by a man with a shotgun who said he was protecting his private property.

Rigstad was 8 when he started skiing at Brighton Resort and he worked for a while at Solitude Mountain Resort just down the road. He said he never expected to have a gun pulled on him or one of his friends while in the canyon.

“I’ve always been taught: Be careful out in the desert,” Rigstad said. “But no one’s ever been like: Look out for hillbillies in the Cottonwoods.”

Rigstad said he and his companion filed a police report that evening with UPD. Richardson said he filed one Monday. Another report was filed Sunday, according to a UPD spokesperson. So far, however, no one has filed charges.

Knopp said it is his understanding that, since it is not illegal for the man to have a gun on his own property, little can be done about the incident unless charges are filed. He noted that most Brighton residents are skiers or snowboarders and understand what they are signing up for when they buy property bordering both a ski resort and a popular backcountry area.

“He never should have bought a cabin next to a ski resort if that’s an issue,” he said of skiers crossing onto private property. “That’s like buying a house next to a pig farm and then complaining about the smell.”

Richardson and Rigstad both said they have skied through populated areas in Brighton and at other resorts numerous times without issue. Neither saw signs indicating they were on or near private property, they said, except for one on Old Prospect Avenue facing the road and not the forest. They said they would have avoided the area if signs had been posted and they had seen them.

Rigstad, a self-described “map guy,” also pointed out that on the Brighton Resort trail map, the legend covers the out-of-bounds area that leads to the town. He noted that the Solitude map shows what areas out of bounds are private property, which he said he has found useful.

Both Richardson and Rigstad said they are speaking out because they don’t want someone to get shot.

“I just don’t understand that escalation,” Rigstad said. “I would be fine if he sat there in that blind corner and yelled at people. That would be fine. Or even have a big stick. But a gun?”

[IMG alt="(Rick Egan | The Salt Lake Tribune) Old Prospect Road, where a man threatened a snowboarder with a shotgun for allegedly entering his property near Brighton Ski Resort, on Tuesday, Feb. 27, 2024.
"]https://www.sltrib.com/resizer/UOvm...m/sltrib/ACKRZG6ZMZGQHCV3PCWZTAOYEA.JPG[/IMG]
(Rick Egan | The Salt Lake Tribune) Old Prospect Road, where a man threatened a snowboarder with a shotgun for allegedly entering his property near Brighton Ski Resort, on Tuesday, Feb. 27, 2024.

Knopp said he believes the man was using the gun as a prop but that doesn’t make the situation, or the optics, any better for the man or the Town of Brighton.

“Let’s just say the rest of the residents are not like that,” Knopp said. “No one’s happy with him.

Yeah, he’s got rights, but nobody’s got a right to do that.”


author

jjag@sltrib.com twitter-logo Follow @julie_jag
Donate to the newsroom now. The Salt Lake Tribune, Inc. is a 501(c)(3) public charity and contributions are tax deductible
 

Hawk

Well-known member
Joined
Nov 22, 2016
Messages
2,474
Points
113
Location
Mad River Valley / MA
The problem will be a angry drunk or a belligerent Skier or Boarder with eventually rush the Guy and then he will have a defense unfortunately
Because people that ski in the back country generally get blasted before they go off into uncontroled areas? More likely the guy with the gun is sitting at home getting blasted, hating his lot in life and then taking it out on some unsuspecting skier.
 

thetrailboss

Moderator
Staff member
Moderator
Joined
Jun 4, 2004
Messages
32,507
Points
113
Location
NEK by Birth
Because people that ski in the back country generally get blasted before they go off into uncontroled areas? More likely the guy with the gun is sitting at home getting blasted, hating his lot in life and then taking it out on some unsuspecting skier.
Yeah, I wonder why he has recently snapped. The three altercations were all within the last few days.
 

Hawk

Well-known member
Joined
Nov 22, 2016
Messages
2,474
Points
113
Location
Mad River Valley / MA
Maybe because the conditions just got good so people are venturing out now. Maybe it is a case that one group went right to the guys house and then people followed tracks thinking it was the right way to go so the frequency is up and caught him at a bad time. Just speculation.
 

bigbob

Active member
Joined
Jul 10, 2007
Messages
722
Points
43
Location
SE NH
The ski area should add to the sign at the boundry that you have to cross private property to get back to a public road and do so at your own risk.
 

deadheadskier

Moderator
Staff member
Moderator
Joined
Mar 6, 2005
Messages
28,022
Points
113
Location
Southeast NH
How much land are we talking about here that has GI Joe so pissed off? Could the trespassers be seen from his house? Is the land posted? Has he had issues with vandalism or other damage from prior people coming on his land?

Note: I'm not suggesting any trespassing is okay, just trying to understand the context.

Why not just post the land and call the cops if people don't respect the signage? If I understand this situation correctly, the trespassers were trying to get to their rental. If I were the owner of that rental or others nearby, I'd probably warn people to stay off nearby private property as you never know what nutjobs might reside there.
 

Edd

Well-known member
Joined
Nov 8, 2006
Messages
6,589
Points
113
Location
Newmarket, NH
The landowner seems horny to pull the trigger on someone. In the vid he lays hands on the rider. He keeps it up he’ll do that to the wrong guy who’ll take that gun away from him.
 

thetrailboss

Moderator
Staff member
Moderator
Joined
Jun 4, 2004
Messages
32,507
Points
113
Location
NEK by Birth

kingslug

Well-known member
Joined
Dec 30, 2005
Messages
7,046
Points
113
Location
Stamford Ct and Stowe
Sounds like the guy in France that stopped his car in front of our bus and refused to move it...
Hated all the buses going through his town.
 

Internet Ski Pro

New member
Joined
Sep 23, 2023
Messages
11
Points
3
The ski area should add to the sign at the boundry that you have to cross private property to get back to a public road and do so at your own risk.
Looking at the video, it looks exactly like where i ended one day skiing Brighton. it was easy to do, and i saw no signs what so ever. i was skiing the trail right along the boundry, and dipped into so trees. then you end up below that trail.....like you cant get back to it without hiking up. Its pretty low angle stuff, so i was more focused on keeping some momentum to get to the bottom, and just like that, i ended up in a driveway just like in the video. Although, no armed homeowner with a 6 pack at the time. I definitely didnt duck a rope, or see any signs. Could there have been a few signs posted there that i missed? sure.
i did have quite a walk to get back to the lift.
 

thetrailboss

Moderator
Staff member
Moderator
Joined
Jun 4, 2004
Messages
32,507
Points
113
Location
NEK by Birth
Looking at the video, it looks exactly like where i ended one day skiing Brighton. it was easy to do, and i saw no signs what so ever. i was skiing the trail right along the boundry, and dipped into so trees. then you end up below that trail.....like you cant get back to it without hiking up. Its pretty low angle stuff, so i was more focused on keeping some momentum to get to the bottom, and just like that, i ended up in a driveway just like in the video. Although, no armed homeowner with a 6 pack at the time. I definitely didnt duck a rope, or see any signs. Could there have been a few signs posted there that i missed? sure.
i did have quite a walk to get back to the lift.
FWIW this guy admitted that he entered a gate at the top of Great Western (likely to ski Hidden Canyon). Coincidentally, I skied at Brighton the same day that this guy had his run in and I skied Elk Park top to bottom that afternoon, largely because I had never skied the bottom portion. I saw a clear rope and signage the entire way.
 

kingslug

Well-known member
Joined
Dec 30, 2005
Messages
7,046
Points
113
Location
Stamford Ct and Stowe
Guy who killed that girl who ended up on his driveway by mistake just got 25 to life.
Pulling guns on people carries a huge risk.
I don't think skiers and boarders present much of a threat...
 

Internet Ski Pro

New member
Joined
Sep 23, 2023
Messages
11
Points
3
FWIW this guy admitted that he entered a gate at the top of Great Western (likely to ski Hidden Canyon). Coincidentally, I skied at Brighton the same day that this guy had his run in and I skied Elk Park top to bottom that afternoon, largely because I had never skied the bottom portion. I saw a clear rope and signage the entire way.
i left that Elk Park somewhere around where i circled, maybe a little higher. This had to be like 7-8 years ago.
1709834281274.png
I really dont think i ducked a rope, or saw a sign. i always keep that "if you dont know, dont go" running through my head, when venturing through gates, or resort boundries.
 
Top