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On May 18, 2023, at 6:05pm an organized group of Tanglewood Lakes residents (approximately 45 persons or more) gathered at the gates of Tanglewood Lakes and removed the gates from the entrances as a protest.

Two Deputies arrived at 6:27pm to find multiple individuals at each gate removing the components of the gate. The crowd at the gates were upset with the Tanglewood Lakes Management for disallowing them to enter and exit the gates freely. Deputies were grossly outnumbered in the situation and all of the gates had already suffered damages or were removed. Deputies attempted to communicate with the subjects and their requests were denied. The protest was peaceful yet damaging. It is the belief of the Deputies that aggressive action would have resulted in violence or injury to citizens or themselves.

Deputies identified many of the subjects at the event. Reports will be sent to the Linn County Attorney to determine the charges in the case. There were no threats nor violent actions on behalf of the persons removing the gates.

Last night, we stationed a Deputy in the area of Tanglewood Lakes to attempt to deal with any further fall out regarding the situation, there was none.

Apparently there have been videos released on social media by the persons who removed the gates, in these videos the presenter would suggest that the Sheriff’s Office was on their side, and we were warned of the incident. We do not take sides and the presenter in the video did send me a text message at 5:28pm telling me that the gates would be removed. I did not see this text message until 6:22pm when I received a phone call from my dispatcher telling me of the events ongoing at Tanglewood. My Office was not notified of upcoming events through any proper channels, such as calling Communications to make a report of the event.

Since the event at Tanglewood, Deputies have prepared reports for the Linn County Attorney’s review. The Linn County Attorney will be the responsible party to bring charges in the event, as with all cases. We will expect warrants or summons from the Office of the Linn County Attorney to further the case.

Several callers this morning would suggest to the Sheriff’s Office that we should have stopped the incident at any cost. My response to this is that the incident was nearly complete upon our arrival. We have collected evidence and identified many people involved. If we would have taken aggressive measures to stop the incident, injury would have certainly occurred. In todays society we have trained to de-escalate situations without blood shed or injury to the citizens that we serve.

Moving forward we will be presenting reports to the Linn County Attorney for prosecution as discussed above.

Kevin J. Friend

Linn County Sheriff

 

EDITORS NOTE: Staff at the Linn County News are working on this story as it develops and plan to have a full article in next week's edition.

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