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Archive for October, 2007

 

Photograph taken in the Mount Baldy Wilderness

The United States Congress designated the Mount Baldy Wilderness in 1970 and it now has a total of 7,079 acres. All of the wilderness is in Arizona and is managed by the Forest Service.

Captain George Wheeler, who surveyed much of the American Southwest in the 1870s, wrote that the view from Mount Baldy was “the most magnificent and effective of any among the large number that have come under my observation.” In other words, he liked it . . . he really liked it. So do the scores of day hikers who visit Mount Baldy Wilderness today, making it one of the most popular hiking areas in Arizona.

An extinct volcano rising to 11,403 feet, Mount Baldy stands within the White Mountain Apache Reservation; the Wilderness occupies its eastern slope. Most of the forest covering the mountain is mixed conifers with ponderosa pine in the lower elevations and fir and spruce higher up. Large meadows break open the forest, carpeted in summer with wildflowers such as Indian paintbrush, columbine, penstemon, iris, and lupine. Until winter cloaks the area in snow, elk and deer are commonly seen. Beavers, mountain lions, coyotes, bobcats, and black bears live here with a variety of smaller mammals. Bald eagles, falcons, and hawks circle beneath the sun. Summer thunderstorms are frequent, as are lightning strikes on the mountain.

Two major trails crisscross the Wilderness. The popular West Baldy Trail (Sheep’s Crossing) follows the West Fork of the Little Colorado River for seven miles. The East Baldy Trail (Phelp’s Cabin) follows the East Fork of the Little Colorado for seven miles and receives much less foot traffic. The trails join near the reservation boundary to form a 14-mile loop. The last half mile to the top of the mountain, on Reservation land, is closed.

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Related?

Brockway Summit to Mount Baldy Out-and-Back Trail

Preview: This quiet ride on the Tahoe Rim Trail (TRT) offers some of the best overlooks of the Lake Tahoe Basin, as well as northern views of Castle Peak, Donner Lake, and Boca Reservoir. There is no hedging that this is a steady and unrelenting climb, but it is worth the effort. For the most part, the trail is smooth and well packed. However, there is a major rock garden before the 4.0-mile mark and rocky terrain for the last mile before the turnaround. The trail skirts the top of Mount Baldy before abruptly signaling the end of the road for bikers. Bicycles are not allowed in the Mount Rose Wilderness. For another sweeping view, take the side trip to Martis Peak lookout.

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Wesley’s backstory

Update 6/6/02 reference number given #113699 

Sgt. Hines,

     The situation is as follows: Wesley Brockway, white male, age 21, booking no. 7233564, CDC no. T52462 now in California State Prison, Calipatria (CAL) as level IV inmate until housing arrangements are available in level I.  He was taken into custody by the La Verne PD on 4/1/02 and sentenced to 18 months state prison on 4/10/02 guilty of ADW, Not Firearm, W/GBI.  From the first day that he was in custody, I would check the website www.lasd.org everyday at least four times a day.  Whenever there was a change for any information, I would print out the webpage and file into a binder. 

On Thursday, 4/18/02 at 11:40am, Wesley was moved to CJ module 4700.  His cellmates included one white inmate drugged on psych medications and four black inmates.  Black inmate no. 1 charged with rape-sodomy, kidnapping and mayhem (Crips gangmember facing a life sentence).  Black inmate no. 2-Richard, charges not known (facing a life sentence).  Black inmates no. 3 and no. 4 were supporting inmates no. 1 and no. 2 by instigating the hatred against Mr. Wesley Brockway once the in-cell beating began. 

I last spoke to Mr. Wesley Brockway on Sunday, 4/21/02 at 4:00 p.m.  During the phone conversation two of the four black inmates were given the courtesy of being able to make a couple of phone calls by me.  I used the 3-way call function several times.  I do remember one of their names as being “Paul”.  Afterwards, I resumed my conversation with Mr. Wesley Brockway and we finished up the phone call and hung up. 

Apparently, racial hate pamphlets were being distributed by other white inmates later in the evening of Sunday, 4/21/02.  Inmate no. 2-Richard began assaulting Mr. Wesley Brockway by taking his throat and slamming him to the ground while screaming profanities.  Next, inmate no. 2-Richard strangled and spat in the face of Mr. Wesley Brockway.  He was in a delirious rage talking about demons then screaming racial hatred against the other race.  He proceeded with great force and banged Mr. Wesley Brockway’s head against the cement floor for six minutes.  Mr. Wesley Brockway was instructed to sit on his bunk while his breathing was difficult due to the earlier strangulation.  At this time inmate no. 1 was screaming at the top of his lungs then with no warning he struck Mr. Wesley Brockway in the face with a boxer’s jab with his left fist.  Dizziness and ear ringing were the only observations that Mr. Brockway could decipher.  Inmate no. 1’s next move was to say “This one’s getting dealt with!”.  Inmate no. 1 then took Mr. Brockway by his “blues” and threw him to the ground and began beating on him for 45 minutes.  Inmate no. 2-Richard would intermittenly throw punches to Mr. Brockway’s body during the 45 minutes.  The 45 minute beating included kicks to Mr. Brockway’s spinal cord.  Blood began pouring out of Mr. Brockway’s eye and lower eyelid. There are more details but I will jump ahead.  

Inmate no. 2 – Richard then flushed Mr. Brockway’s shirt down the drain because of the excess amount of blood.  Morning arrived Monday, 4/22/02.  The pill lady and a deputy came to check the cell so inmate no. 2-Richard quickly took Mr. Brockway’s booking no. and threatened Mr. Brockway to lie on his bunk with a blanket over his head.  Mr. Brockway was sure that the deputy would demand that he present himself for the wristband check but inmates no. 1 and no. 2-Richard told the deputy that Mr. Brockway was sleeping.  The pill lady and the deputy took their word and moved on.  During the whole day Mr. Brockway was taunted while the blood pouring out soiled two towels and two shirts.  When dinner arrived Mr. Brockway didn’t notice that the other white inmate had been taken elsewhere.  The dinner was taken from Mr. Brockway as was the previous lunch.  The only nourishment came from a couple of juices and pills that were forced on Mr. Brockway.  When the time came for Mr. Brockway to urinate he was denied the use of the toilet for the whole day. The next wristband check by the deputy came around but Mr. Brockway was overlooked again because inmates no. 1 and inmate no. 2-Richard verbally stated Mr. Brockway’s booking no.  Once sleep overtook most of the four black inmates.  Inmate no. 1 sat on Mr. Brockway’s bunk with a razorblade in hand, he hit Mr. Brockway and said, “I’m getting life and I have nothing to lose by killing you!”. 

Sgt. Hines,
I have to end this portion of the statement but will conclude with more.  This detailed information was from a letter written by Mr. Brockway.
Thank you,
     Wade Crowe

Sgt. Hines,

And just who is this Wade Crowe?  And what is his relationship to Mt. Baldy?

Strawman

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The Facts So Far (part 6)

Brothers plead not guilty in sword attack

By Rod Leveque, Staff Writer

 

Eric and Wesley Brockway

POMONA – Two brothers accused of attacking a Mt. Baldy man with a 3-foot sword and pepper spray pleaded not guilty Tuesday to attempted murder, torture, aggravated mayhem and conspiracy charges.After entering the pleas, Eric and Wesley Brockway were ordered to return to Pomona Superior Court on Nov. 13 for their preliminary hearing.

Authorities say the brothers assaulted 47-year-old David Gregory outside Gregory’s cabin near Mt. Baldy Road.

Gregory, who knew the brothers, has said the assault followed an earlier incident in which he cleaned up graffiti the two men left on the trail that led to his home.

The graffiti made derogatory statements about Gregory and his dog, Gregory said.

The next time they met, Gregory said Wesley Brockway, 26, hacked at him with the sword and Eric, 33, sprayed him in the face with pepper spray.

He had an arm and finger nearly severed by the sword, but has since been released from the hospital.

Attorneys for the Brockways declined to comment Tuesday.

The brothers remain in jail.

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Man describes being attacked with a sword

By Rod Leveque, Staff Writer

Eric and Wesley Brockway

iMOUNT BALDY – David Gregory ducked and juked as the attacker hacked at him with the three-foot sword.He heard screaming and shouting, then felt blinding pain as the blade ripped into his shoulder from a wild overhead chop.

“He was aiming to part my hair right down the middle, but I dodged, and he got me on the ball joint of my shoulder instead,” Gregory said. “He somehow got my left finger, too. It was nearly completely severed. It was hanging on by just a shred of flesh.”

Los Angeles County sheriff’s detectives say Gregory was attacked Sept. 30 by a sword-wielding man and his brother outside Gregory’s cabin on Mount Baldy.

They believe Wesley and Eric Brockway hacked and pepper-sprayed him because they were upset he had cleaned their graffiti off the trail that led to his home.

Eric Brockway, 33, and Wesley Brockway, 26, remain in jail in lieu of $1 million bail apiece. They face charges of attempted murder, aggravated mayhem, torture and conspiracy.

Both are to be arraigned Oct. 16 in Pomona Superior Court. Their attorneys have not responded to calls for comment.

Gregory’s arm and finger were surgically re-attached. The 47-year-old Mount Baldy man went home from the hospital Saturday, and is recovering with friends in the mountain community.

He described the harrowing sword attack on Monday, saying he was still baffled as to why the two men he considered friends turned on him so violently.

Gregory said he has known the brothers since about 2002, when they first hiked into his canyon to escape the city below.

He said they seemed a “bit ornery” at first, but he told them they were welcome to relax near his cabin whenever they wanted as long as they agreed to “mind their manners and be respectful.”

The brothers did so and became regular visitors, hiking in every six or eight weeks, he said.

For five years, Gregory had no problems with them, he said. But for reasons he can’t explain, things soured on their second-to-last visit.

It was a Thursday, and Gregory and the brothers barbecued chicken and drank beer together.

Everyone seemed to have a great time, and Gregory said he wished the Brockways a safe hike out as they departed that evening.

When he awoke the next morning, he was shocked to see the brothers had defaced the trail to his home with graffiti, he said. The scrawl made derogatory comments about both Gregory and his dog, he said.

“It was on the ground, it was on the rocks, it was on everything,” he said.

Gregory, who takes pride in keeping his trail tidy, spent several hours that morning scrubbing the graffiti clean.

He said he next saw the brothers the following Sunday, when they hiked into the canyon with friends.

This time, he said, Wesley Brockway was belligerent from the start, taunting him about a confrontation he had just had with a neighbor.

Gregory said he believed he and Wesley were about to come to blows, so he pulled out pepper spray and blasted the visitor with a stream to the face.

Wesley, who carried the sword when he hiked in the canyon, drew the weapon, and the struggle began, Gregory said.

“It was so fast, so furious, it’s hard to describe,” Gregory said. “It was like a maelstrom – like being tossed into a whirring blender.”

Gregory said he tried to wrestle the sword away from Wesley, but couldn’t get the upper hand because his opponent outweighed him by about 50 pounds.

“The sword was going and I was trying to duck and weave and bob,” he said. “We were absolutely locked in a death struggle to control that sword. I was getting sliced and he was screaming and yelling.”

That’s when Wesley delivered the hack to the shoulder.

But then, Gregory’s fortune turned. Although wounded, he toppled Wesley onto some patio furniture, he said. He then retreated a few steps toward his cabin door, dropped to a knee and cradled his severed finger.

He was bleeding profusely, he said, and believed the worst of the fight was over.

“I thought my fight now was to get out of the canyon alive,” he said.

But more was still to come.

Eric Brockway, clutching a cell phone, approached from a nearby trail, asked what happened, then inquired as to whether anyone needed help, he said.

“I said, `Yeah, yeah, I think I could use some help,’ ” Gregory said. “I was still holding my nearly severed finger.”

But Eric’s demeanor quickly changed as he surveyed the battle zone, Gregory said.

“He went from compassionate to cold and calculated,” he said. “The phone went into his pocket and he produced his own pepper spray.”

Gregory said Eric walked up to him and sprayed pepper spray at his eyes as he was on the ground. He held his breath and closed his eyes to minimize the sting.

He said Eric then turned to his brother and made a chilling statement.

“He said, `We can’t let this guy get out of the mountains alive,’ ” Gregory said.

Gregory said he pretended the pepper spray had blinded him, and he stumbled toward some nearby water as if to rinse it off.

He said Eric followed, sprayed him a second time, and then repeated the threat. Again, Gregory held his breath and closed his eyes to minimize the sting.

The moment Eric turned his back, Gregory decided his only chance at survival was to run. “That’s when I jumped up. That’s my chance,” he said.

Gregory said he ran downhill, hoping to make it to a Southern California Edison facility he knew to be about a half-mile away via a trail.

He had plotted the escape route before, figuring it would be handy if he were ever bitten by a rattlesnake.

He reached his destination without anybody chasing him, he said.

Now, his last struggle would be the hike up the final several hundred feet of pavement from the facility to Mount Baldy Road.

Gregory said he didn’t know the extent of his injuries as he trudged up the blacktop, but he did notice he was bleeding heavily. He was woozy, and had to stop every 50 feet or so to muster the strength to continue.

“Each time I had to do it I thought, `Man, this could be the last time I could sit down. I may never get back up,’ ” he said.

Gregory eventually dragged himself to Mt. Baldy Road and collapsed on the shoulder. He said he remained there five to 10 minutes before a passing driver stopped to help.

The retired musician was taken to Los Angeles County-USC Medical Center, where he underwent surgery for his shoulder and finger. Doctors told him more surgery may be needed, depending on how his injuries heal.

Despite the ordeal, Gregory has no plans to leave his mountain home, nor will he hesitate before befriending visitors.

“One bad apple doesn’t spoil the whole bunch,” he said. “I’m damned determined to stay up here. This is my community and I have a lot of people supporting me.”

FIRST REACTION:

This David Gregory is 47, but he talks like an old coot. He says “ornery” and uses archaic phrases like “one bad apple”. Also, a “retired musician”. Clarify this for me: he made so much money he can retire at 47 and live in a leased cabin off a service road. Or he’s just quit making music.

Eric looks scary. Wesley looks like a kid.

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Prosecutors link sword attack to victim’s removal of graffiti

Rod Leveque and Wes Woods II, Staff Writers

 

OMONA – The two brothers accused of hacking a man with a sword atop Mount Baldy might have done so because they were upset he had painted over their graffiti, prosecutors say in court records.

Wesley Alan Brockway and Eric Brockway were angry enough, prosecutors claim, that they armed themselves with a 3-foot blade and pepper spray for their confrontation with 47-year-old David Gregory.

While Gregory sat at his Mount Baldy cabin, Wesley Brockway, 26, began hacking at him with the sword, breaking his shoulder bone and nearly severing his arm and a finger, prosecutors claim.

Then, as Gregory lay on the ground, Eric Brockway, 33, twice sprayed him in the face with pepper spray, and then said to his brother, “We can’t let him leave here alive,” prosecutors say.

The new details were made public in a criminal complaint filed this week against the Brockway brothers, who are charged with attempted murder, torture, aggravated mayhem and conspiracy in connection with Sunday’s attack.

Their arraignment is scheduled for this morning in Pomona Superior Court.

Authorities say Gregory owned the cabin. He was known to clean up the trail leading to it and remove graffiti that had been painted on the rocks.

Wednesday evening, an official at Los Angeles County-USC Medical Center said Gregory was in surgery.

Investigators believe he was somehow acquainted with the Brockway brothers before the incident, but they would not say how.

A witness to the attack also received a cut to the arm, Los Angeles County sheriff’s Detective Richard Busch said Wednesday.

Busch said the sword used in the attack was found Tuesday outside Gregory’s cabin. Investigators have refused to reveal other details of the attack.

 

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Second brother charged in Mt. Baldy sword attack

By Wes Woods II, Staff Writer

POMONA – The brother of an Ontario man charged with a sword attack of a friend over the weekend at Mt. Baldy now also faces charges.

Eric Brockway was to join brother Wesley Alan Brockway, 26, in court this morning after Wesley’s arraignment was rescheduled in Pomona Superior Court.

The Brockway brothers have been charged with four counts of attempted murder, conspiracy to commit a crime, torture and aggravated mayhem, according to a Los Angeles County felony complaint.

The fight Sunday afternoon left a 27-year-old man with severe injuries to his arm and a second unidentified man with a cut to his hand, authorities said.

Sunday afternoon, a group had hiked to a cabin the 27-year-old man owned on Mt. Baldy Road. A fight occurred shortly after 3:30 p.m. at the cabin.

The 27-year-old victim was taken to Los Angeles County-USC Medical Center with severe injuries to his arm.

On Monday, two detectives and Wesley Brockway went back to the cabin to look for the sword, which reportedly was tossed outside. Authorities on Tuesday declined to say if the sword has been found.

Los Angeles County sheriff’s Detective Richard Busch said everyone involved in the incident knew each other.

“The motive could be described as something to do with the personal relationship,” Busch said.

The brothers knew the man who owned the cabin and would occasionally stop by, he said.

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