SAUVIE ISLAND, Ore. – An Oregon City man is accused of using heavy-duty bear spray on a group of bicyclists on Sauvie Island and police said this isn’t the first time he’s done something like this.
Kenneth Tester, 68, allegedly got into an argument with some of the cyclists on Sauvie Island after they said he backed into one of their vehicles in a grocery store parking lot Sunday.
After that, witnesses said Tester fired a canister of bear spray into Jon Pearson's eyes at close range. Pearson's fellow cyclists were also nearby when the spray spread through the air and said they felt the burn, too.
"It was a big one, like you're going to shoot a grizzly bear. I was over 10 feet away and the blast felt like a fire extinguisher hitting me in the face," Pearson said. "All the rest of the people around me were choking from the fumes, too. It was awful.”
Tester was arrested at the scene for assault and disorderly conduct. In court Monday, Tester's attorney entered a not guilty plea on his behalf.
In 2011, Tester was accused of pepper-spraying another driver in Troutdale during a road rage incident.
The victim in that case said a driver cut him off with his pickup truck and so he honked at him. Then he said the driver motioned for him to pull over, sprayed him in the face and drove off.
The victim said his eyes started burning instantly and when he tried to wash them out, the pain got worse. He filed assault charges with police. The license plate on the pickup truck led police to Tester, but that case was later dismissed.