We received this message Monday at Parker Live:
“Looking for a man in a pontoon boat with Oklahoma plates who has taken down and destroyed the only safe swimming area for dogs along the river. He has done this three times. There is a roped-off area for the dogs to swim in. It is constructed of boat rope and approximately 25-30 foam noodles, similar to the other swimming areas roped off at some of the resorts upriver. He has cut the ropes and taken them.
He has been back to Patria Flats to try to intimidate the locals who bring their dogs out for a swim during the hot summer months. He is very verbal and intimidating. The other day he pulled up in his boat in front of the swim area. The park ranger asked him to please come into the beach, that he would like to talk with him, he refused. The ranger asked him if he was the one that was cutting the ropes and he admitted to it. He said he would continue to do this each time we re-construct the swim area. Then he sped away downriver in his pontoon boat.
I would appreciate your help in trying to locate the boat so we can turn him over to the local authorities. Let’s join in as a community and stop this guy from destroying our park.”
Damn Obnoxious Guy
Thanks for the message, DOG. Since we received it, two things happened: first, we talked to the Sheriff’s Office who told us they’d be actively looking for this boat (especially since we got a license plate, which is of course connected to a name in Oklahoma). And second, DOG ended up sending us a followup message, saying that they’d tracked down the boat with the help of some Parker people on social media.
My first thought was: Why? Why would somebody care whether there’s a designated area at the dog park for pet owners to let their pets safely cool off in the river with some protection from river traffic? Does he have some mistaken belief that the area is impeding such traffic, or that dogs shouldn’t have access to the water, or that the ropes are finder’s keepers if they’re left in place? Or is he just an asshole?
My second thought is that a boat registered in Oklahoma should be easy to find on the Parker Strip (as indeed it turned out to be). If a boat plate doesn’t start with an AZ or a CA, it’s a minority citizen out here.
And thirdly, I hope this guy hears from law enforcement soon. He’s the kind of boater we need less of.
UPDATE 8/4: La Paz County Sheriff’s Boating Division says it needs to make contact with the man on the boat, and urges citizens to call the Sheriff’s Office if you see him or his boat at (928) 669-6141. Do not confront or get into a fight with him; just call the Sheriff’s Office and let them handle it.