Saturday March 8, 2014
Oregon Bikers Help Find Answers for Vulnerable Missing WomanTim King Salem-News.com
One more "good news" story you won't catch anywhere else.
(SALEM, Ore.) - If I don't write about it now, I'm sure nobody in Oregon will ever hear the story of a small group of bikers saving a lady from certain disaster a couple of weekends ago at an Oregon rest stop.
My friend Mike Kondash of the USA Gypsy Joker Motorcycle Club and two friends, had stopped at a state park near The Dalles, Oregon on a warm Saturday. The friends were relaxing by their Harley Davidson's when they were approached by a woman who seemed confused, and looked to be maybe in her late fifty's.
She told Mike and his friends that she needed help, that she was 'supposed to meet a man who had escaped from prison'. She asked for their assistance in sorting out provisions she had purchased for him. Sure enough, when Mike and the others walked with the woman to her car, there were a number of camping items, survival gear; all things that had recently been purchased.
She also had a pile of money for the supposed "escaped prisoner". Mike Kondash says the woman was well dressed and did not look like someone who would aid an escaped convict. The money was laying in the open, on the picnic table, which had been unattended until the bikers walked over.
Mike said that he was concerned for the woman's safety. It was clear that she was extremely vulnerable and not necessarily in control of her actions. He used his cell phone to call 911 and advised them that the woman was in a state that seemed very unusual and he suggested that the fire department come to the location to check on the woman and help figure out what was actually going on.
Next, a person associated with the state park arrived to see what was going on. Mike explained that fire had been called and were on their way. It was either a blessing or fantastic coincidence, but the park representative happened to know that one of the campers was a psychiatrist, and asked Mike and everyone to hold on. Speeding off in a golf cart, the park employee returned quickly with a genuine shrink, who by further coincidence, specialized in cases of this nature.
The psychiatrist initiated what would turn out to be a half hour conversation with the woman. Rather than sending a fire or medical unit, the dispatch center sent an Oregon State Police trooper to the scene.
Kondash explained to the trooper that a professional doctor was talking to the woman, and the trooper then joined the bikers and the camp representative in watching with genuine interest as the doctor got to the bottom of what was going on.
He was able to learn that the woman was missing and her family was actively searching for her. Mystery solved.
Exactly who the woman was is unknown to us, but it is not as important as the point of this story. We as a society need to not judge books by their covers. I'm glad it was Mike Kondash and members of the Gypsy Joker club who the woman approached. Many people would have taken her money, taken advantage, but instead she approached men who protected her, and were rewarded by watching a complex human problem unfold in front of their eyes.
Kondash says they were pretty blown away; it was a mind boggling experience. When it was all over, he appreciated the way the state trooper treated the situation, and he marveled at the chance that a psychiatrist happened to be so close and accessible.
After Mike and his friends walked back over to where their bikes were, another state park employee approached him to tell him his motorcycle was parked improperly, by about one foot, and that he had to move it "right now". Mike looked at the person and told them he wouldn't do it, and that if they had a problem, there was a state cop nearby they could tell. For some reason that OSP trooper never came back over.
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