Still no clues in mysterious Oasis Park attack

first_imgAGUA DULCE – Robert Simons had just gotten out of his car when someone hit him from behind, knocking him unconscious. He came to 20 minutes later, picking himself up from a pool of blood by the gate to Oasis Park with a gash on his head that required 10 stitches. The owners of the former Oasis mobile home park, which Simons manages and which is being redeveloped as a recreation site, offered a $5,000 reward for information on the attack, but so far no clues have surfaced. But one of the owners, Manny Fernandez, said he believes the mysterious attack might be an indication tensions have escalated between residents of a far-flung enclave and Oasis Park, which two years ago blocked access through its property to the small settlement on Briggs Road in rural Agua Dulce. Briggs residents used to access their homes by driving through the Oasis Park property, crossing a Metrolink rail track and a makeshift bridge that has since washed away. The property owners argued the crossing wasn’t safe and blocked residents from driving through their property at any point. Now, the residents have to drive out of their way 31/2 miles along a dirt road to leave their homes. The fight over access through the park for more than a dozen households along Briggs has been heated in recent months, with a debate at the Agua Dulce Town Council last month, a legal battle winding its way through the courts and now an accusation of violence. Sheriff’s deputies, called to help settle disputes in the remote region several times, have no suspects in the assault on Simons. Since the Jan. 2 attack, Simons reported that he was under surveillance, including by somebody who watched him with binoculars. And threats against Simons were scrawled on “No Trespassing” signs around the property, Fernandez said. “It’s evident that this is an organized campaign involving several people working to basically put this man in a state of siege in his very own home … and then to have the property at their mercy again so they can do whatever they want,” he said. A leader of the Briggs Road community who has publicly battled Oasis Park could not be reached for comment. Intervening, county Supervisor Michael D. Antonovich last month asked the Metrolink board to study the possibility of building an at-grade railroad crossing the Briggs residents could use to cross onto park property on their way to Soledad Canyon Road. The fear is that because the longer back route passes through several of the Briggs properties, they could block access, as the park owners did when they bought their property. So the county is talking to those property owners, including the Mountains Recreation and Conservation Authority, to ensure access for the Briggs residents. “At the very least then, while it may not be the preferred access route, at least it’s a permanent access route if we can get to that point,” said Norm Hickling, Antonovich’s spokesman. It will be up to a court to decide if the Briggs residents can use the shorter drive through Oasis Park, and hearings on the matter are scheduled for this month. Meanwhile, Simons, who lives on the Oasis property with his family, has been visited by county code enforcers and sheriff’s deputies. County authorities have faulted Simons and the property owners for everything from Simons living at Oasis contrary to zoning laws to a failure to keep the property clear of trash. But Hickling said the Jan. 2 attack was serious, adding that Simons also was confronted recently when he went get his mail. “It’s a very serious matter,” Hickling said. “It’s something that we have communicated with the Sheriff’s Department.” [email protected] (661) 257-5253 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img

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