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Archive for the ‘Mount Baldy’ Category

A 27-year-old man was convicted Friday of attempted murder in connection with a samurai sword attack that nearly severed another man’s arm last year.

The Pomona Superior Court jury also found Wesley Brockway guilty of battery with great bodily injury and aggravated mayhem, but it acquitted him of conspiracy and torture charges stemming from the Sept. 30 attack on the then-47-year-old man outside the victim’s cabin on Mount Baldy.He is facing life in prison with the possibility of parole when he is sentenced Oct. 10 by Judge George Genesta.

Brockway’s older brother, Eric, was convicted of misdemeanor battery for using pepper spray after the victim had already been wounded with the sword, but jurors acquitted the 33-year-old man of attempted murder, conspiracy, torture and aggravated mayhem.

Eric Brockway, who was not accused of using the sword, was charged under a “conspiracy and aiding and abetting theory,” according to Deputy District Attorney Stefan Mrakich.

Eric Brockway was sentenced immediately to six months in county jail, which he has already served, Mrakich said. He was released from jail late Friday afternoon, shortly after the verdict.

The prosecutor contended that Wesley Brockway attacked the victim with a samurai sword that had a three-foot-long blade because he was angry that the victim painted out graffiti he had left on a pavement trail leading to the victim’s cabin.

The victim’s left arm was nearly severed, his pinkie finger was severed but reattached and his shoulder was split in two, Mrakich said.”He has limited movement of his left arm,” the prosecutor said of the victim, noting that he has no use of his left pinkie.

Both brothers testified and adamantly maintained that they had not tried to kill the victim, according to the Inland Valley Daily Bulletin.

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By Will Bigham, Staff Writer

POMONA – Jury deliberations are expected to begin today in the trial of two brothers charged with attempted murder in connection with a samurai sword attack on Mt. Baldy last year.

Thursday’s proceedings in Pomona Superior Court included jury instructions and closing arguments from the prosecutor and the attorney representing one of the brothers.

Ontario residents Wesley Brockway, 27, and Eric Brockway, 33, are accused of trying to kill David Gregory at Gregory’s Mt. Baldy cabin on Sept. 30, 2007.

The attack was meant as retaliation for Gregory’s removal of graffiti left by the brothers and others along a trail leading to Gregory’s cabin, prosecutors say.

The two brothers testified this week, and both emphatically denied trying to kill Gregory, who nearly bled to death after he suffered stab wounds to his left shoulder, arm and hand.

Wesley Brockway, who is accused of hacking Gregory with a samurai sword, said Gregory attacked him without provocation.

Gregory may have been cut during a struggle over control for the sword, Brockway said.

The brothers are each charged with four felonies: attempted murder, conspiracy to commit a crime, torture and aggravated mayhem.

In his closing argument Thursday, Deputy District Attorney Stefan Mrakich said the Brockway brothers visited Gregory’s cabin the afternoon of the attack intending to kill the man, who Wesley Brockway said had been his friend since 2003.

Mrakich called the brothers “violent and sadistic.”

“In this case there is no reasonable doubt,” Mrakich said. “… The evidence is overwhelming.”

Three days before the attack, the brothers and two other men visited Gregory for an barbecue. When it ended, Wesley Brockway spray-painted several profane messages about Gregory on the trail leading to the man’s cabin.

Gregory said he woke the next morning and painted over the graffiti.

Wesley Brockway said he visited the next day as well, and was pleased to see the graffiti had been removed because he felt bad about it.

Mrakich said the facts of the case prove otherwise. The brothers, he said, felt “rage” over Gregory’s removal the graffiti, and returned on Sept. 30 intending to attack him.

In reference to the brothers’ testimony this week denying the prosecutor’s claims, he called them “liars.”

Eric Brockway is accused of spraying Gregory in the face with pepper spray once Gregory had already been wounded by his brother, then telling Gregory he wouldn’t leave the mountain alive.

John Stanley, Wesley Brockway’s attorney, said the prosecution’s version of events is implausible.

“If it’s implausible, it’s reasonable doubt,” he said.

He said the brothers went to Gregory’s cabin the day of the attack intending to apologize for the graffiti.

He said that if the brothers had intended to attack Gregory that day, they would not have brought food for a picnic and invited three potential witnesses along for the visit.

On the day of the attack, the Brockway brothers visited Gregory’s cabin with two of Wesley Brockway’s friends and a woman who was friends with Eric Brockway.

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Will Bigham, Staff Writer

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POMONA – Both defendants in the Mt. Baldy sword attack trial took the witness stand Tuesday to defend themselves against attempted murder charges.Wesley Brockway, 27, accused of trying to hack his friend to death with a samurai sword, faced cross-examination from Deputy District Attorney Stefan Mrakich, the prosecutor, in Pomona Superior Court.

As he did at Monday’s proceedings, Brockway stated that David Gregory attacked him first with a small baseball bat and pepper spray before both men began to tussle over Brockway’s samurai sword.

Brockway again denied striking Gregory with the sword.

Gregory suffered numerous cuts and stab wounds during the Sept. 30, 2007, confrontation at his cabin, including a wound to his left shoulder that caused him to bleed nearly to death.

Brockway’s brother, 33-year-old Eric Brockway, is accused of spraying Gregory twice with pepper spray after the man was injured and encouraging his brother and other people in the group to leave Gregory to die.

Eric Brockway denied the assertions presented by the prosecution during testimony Tuesday.

The Brockway brothers and two other men visited Gregory three days before the confrontation for a barbecue at Gregory’s isolated Mt. Baldy cabin.

As they left the barbecue on Sept. 27, 2007, Wesley Brockway spray-painted numerous profane, derogatory messages about Gregory along the path leading from Mt. Baldy Road to Gregory’s cabin.

The group returned the day of the confrontation intending to apologize to Gregory and to share food with Gregory, Eric Brockway testified. Sept. 30, 2007, was Eric Brockway’s 33rd birthday.

Eric Brockway said he and another person in the group had lagged behind his brother and another man, Chad Blakely, when Wesley Brockway and Blakely reached Gregory’s cabin.

Eric Brockway testified Tuesday that he heard his brother cry for help.

“It sounded to me like (my brother) was being attacked,” Eric Brockway said.

Eric Brockway said he ran to the cabin and saw Gregory and Blakely bleeding, and his brother covered in blood from the knee down.

Shocked that there had been violence, Eric Brockway said he asked the group what had happened, and took out his cell phone to call 9-1-1. But there was no signal.

He asked Gregory if he needed help. Gregory, who Brockway described as “angry,” said he didn’t want help.

“Why did you do this? We came to apologize,” Eric Brockway said he told Gregory.

“(Expletive) your apology. You made this personal,” Gregory replied, according to Eric Brockway.

Gregory was holding the 18-inch baseball bat in his right hand, and he walked toward Brockway as if he intended to strike him, Brockway said.

It was then that Brockway said he pepper sprayed Gregory. He denied ever encouraging his brother and Blakely to leave Gregory to die, as Gregory testified last week.

Eric Brockway is scheduled to continue his testimony today.

Three Los Angeles County sheriff’s investigators are also expected to testify today. Closing arguments could begin this afternoon.

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Defendant takes the stand in samurai sword hacking case

Will Bigham, Staff Writer

POMONA – The man accused hacking his friend with a samurai sword testified in Pomona Superior Court Monday that he was acting in self-defense during the altercation last year on Mt. Baldy.

Wesley Brockway, 27, of Ontario said that on Sept. 30, 2007, David Gregory pepper sprayed him in the face and struck him in the head with an 18-inch baseball bat without provocation.

Gregory was angry over profane, derogatory graffiti left by Brockway three days earlier near Gregory’s Mt. Baldy cabin, Brockway testified.

Moments after he was hit by Gregory’s bat, Brockway said, Gregory reached for Brockway’s 3-foot samurai sword.

“My life was in danger,” Brockway said.

In the scuffle over the sword that followed, Brockway said he never struck Gregory with the blade.

Brockway and his brother, 33-year-old Eric Brockway, are both on trial on attempted murder charges for their role in the altercation that nearly killed Gregory.

Gregory suffered a catastrophic wound to his left shoulder and numerous other gashes to his left arm and hand.

Wesley Brockway testified Monday that he and Gregory, known by some friends and Mt. Baldy neighbors as “Mountain Man Dave,” had been friends since summer 2003.

Brockway said he and another friend, Chad Blakely, would often visit Gregory at his secluded cabin to hang out and have barbecues.

Three days before the attack, on Sept. 27, 2007, the Brockway brothers, Blakely and another man visited Gregory’s cabin for a barbecue. They were drinking heavily during the visit, Brockway testified.

Brockway said he had his sword with him that day, as he nearly always did during visits to Gregory’s cabin.

During the mile-long walk back to his car from Gregory’s cabin, Brockway said he spray-painted numerous profane messages derogatory to Gregory on rocks and trees along the trail.

Brockway said he did it to entertain the rest of the group, and felt bad about his actions the following day.

He went up to the trail that leads to Gregory’s cabin on Sept. 28 and saw the graffiti had been painted over, presumably by Gregory. He said he was pleased it had been removed.

“We’re not gang members. We don’t get angry and territorial,” Brockway said.

On the day of the attack, the Brockway brothers, Blakely and two other people returned to Dave’s cabin intending to have another barbecue.

They planned to apologize about the graffiti to Gregory, whom none of the men had spoken to since their visit three days earlier, Brockway said.

Brockway said he had his samurai sword with him when he went to the cabin.

When the group arrived, Brockway said it was clear Gregory was upset. Brockway said Gregory attacked him without provocation only minutes after he arrived.

After Gregory reached for the sword, Brockway said he reached for it too. As both men struggled for it, the sheath was pushed off, Brockway said.

Brockway said he did not strike Gregory with the sword, and picked it up only after Gregory left the cabin area to treat his wounds in a nearby stream.

Brockway is expected to remain on the witness stand during court proceedings today, and must still face cross-examination by the prosecutor, Deputy District Attorney Stefan Mrakich.

The attorneys are also expected to give their closing arguments today.

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Will Bigham, Staff Writer

POMONA – A jury trial began Monday for two men accused of nearly killing a Mt. Baldy resident last year by attacking him with a samurai sword and pepper spray.

The proceedings in Pomona Superior Court included testimony from the victim of the attack, David Gregory, who while his alleged assailants sat in the courtroom only a few yards away described in gory detail the attacks against him.

Wesley Brockway, 27, of Ontario, and Eric Brockway, 33, are accused by prosecutors of attacking Gregory on Sept.30 and leaving him to die after a dispute related to graffiti.

Prosecutors say the brothers and two of their friends spray-painted graffiti three days before the attack along a canyon trail that leads to Gregory’s cabin about two miles south of Mt. Baldy Village.

The two men returned to attack Gregory after he painted over the graffiti, prosecutors said.

In testimony Monday, Gregory said the Brockway brothers, whom he had known since 2002, and two other acquaintances visited his cabin for a barbecue about noon Sept.27.

The men often met at Gregory’s canyon home to socialize, Gregory said.

Gregory said Wesley Brockway became angry the afternoon of the barbecue when he found a hip-hop magazine in Gregory’s possession with rapper Kanye West on the cover.

When he woke at about 8 the next morning, Gregory said he found graffiti along a half-mile stretch of trail leading to his cabin.

Gregory said he painted over the graffiti, and the Brockway brothers returned Sept.30 to confront him.Gregory said Wesley Brockway hacked him several times with a 3-foot samurai sword he often carried, nearly severing his left arm and a finger on his left hand.

Eric Brockway then sprayed him twice with pepper spray and told him he wouldn’t leave the canyon alive, Gregory testified.

Gregory was able to make his way to Mt. Baldy Road from his cabin after the attack, where he was helped by drivers who saw him lying beside the road.

The driver who initially found Gregory testified Monday that Gregory was covered in blood and drifted in and out of consciousness while he waited for help to arrive.

Gregory, who was dressed in a flannel shirt and jeans Monday, showed several of his scars from the attack to jurors during the court proceedings.

During opening statements Monday, Wesley Brockway’s defense attorney told jurors that statements from one witness conflict with the official police account of what occurred the day of the attacks.

The attorney, John Stanley, said that one of the men who was present during the attack told police a different version of events during untaped interviews with investigators.

Only statements that corroborated the official police version of the attacks were taped by investigators, Stanley said.

Deputy District Attorney Stefan Mrakich, the prosecuting attorney, said the Brockway brothers’ trial will likely last the rest of the week.

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Two accused of hacking victim with a 3-foot-long sword

POMONA – A trial date has been set for the two brothers accused of hacking a man with a 3-foot sword at a cabin at Mt. Baldy in September.Eric and Wesley Brockway will return to the Pomona Courthouse on April 28 to begin their trial. They 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.

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

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

They became regular visitors to the area, hiking every six or eight weeks, Gregory said.

On Sept. 30, Gregory said he and the brothers barbecued chicken and drank beer together.

The men left and when Gregory awoke the next morning, he was shocked to see they had defaced the trail to his home with graffiti, he said.

The scrawl made derogatory comments about both Gregory and his dog, he said.

He cleaned up the graffiti, an act that is believed to have led to the attack.

The next time they met, Gregory said Wesley Brockway hacked at him with a sword and his older brother Eric Brockway sprayed him in the face with pepper spray. He fled the attack and was found on the road by a passer-by.

From the attack, Gregory had an arm and finger nearly severed by the sword. He was taken to Los Angeles County-USC Medical Center with severe injuries and had his limbs reattached.

The two brothers pleaded not guilty in October to the charges and are still in custody.

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POMONA – A trial is set to begin Monday for two brothers accused of attacking a Mt. Baldy man with a sword and pepper spray.  Eric and Wesley Brockway are charged with attempted murder, conspiracy, torture, and aggravated mayhem in connection with the Sept. 30 incident.

Prosecutors say the brothers attacked David Gregory near his Mt. Baldy cabin, nearly severing the man’s arm and a finger, possibly because Gregory had cleaned up graffiti the brothers left a few days earlier.

Both have pleaded not guilty.

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Tagline reads: “He Faced Starvation Like A Man”

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Chapman Ice Canyon Resort

2nd chapter of a proposed history of Ice House Canyon by Alison Fuller, Historian, 1980

II. The History

  • Indians and the Mission Timbers – Ed Hagus
  • Derivation of Place Names
  • Mining and the Early Mountaineers
  • Evolution into a National Forest
  • Water Companies
  • The Chapman Family
  • The Icehouse Canyon Resort
  • The Era of Cabin Construction
  • The Trail Camps: Trail Inn and Kelly’s Camp
  • The 1938 Flood
  • The Avalanche Tragedy of 1944 and other accidents
  • Mountaineering Feats
  • The Icehouse Canyon Improvement Assn – Ken Neff
  • The Present Hiking Era

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Location: San Bernardino County, California

Named after Saint Anthony of Padua (1195-1231), a Franciscan and a Doctor of the Church. He is revered as protector Saint against infertility, and is the patron Saint of the poor, of Padua, and of Portugal. He was the most famous of the followers of St. Francis and is credited with many miracles. It is believed that this peak name was given by Antonio Marfa Lugo (1778-1860), possibly on the Saint’s feast day-June 13 (1841). The Lugo’s were an illustrious local Californio family. Antonio’s father, Francisco, was with the Rivera y Moncada expedition (1774), and stood guard at the founding of el pueblo de los Angeles (1781). During Antonio’s administration as Alcalde, the pueblo grew slowly from a twin of the small Gabrieleño Indian village of Yang na that it displaced, to a fiesty hamlet numbering 1,250 souls that was frequently at odds with either Monterey or Mexico City (1840). LA’s first college, Saint Vincents (now Loyola-Marymount), began with Antonio’s son, Vicente. Later, Antonio’s daughter Maria would marry Stephen C. Foster, the first American Mayor (1847). The Lugo’s were so prolific that many of today’s Angelenos claim them as ancestors. Antonio Lugo, born at Mission, San Antonio de Padua in Monterey, and was christened there by Saint Junipero Serra (1713-84), always felt a closeness with his namesake and certainly had many examples of this name all about him. For example, a ship named San Antonio bore the first contingent of the sea division of the Sacred Expedition that colonized Alta California (1769). Lugo also named one of his holdings after the Saint: the 29,513 acre (Mexican Land Grant) Rancho San Antonio (1810), which was located southeast of and adjacent to el pueblo. The Lugo home is still standing in present day Bell-Gardens, which itself was named after Major Horace Bell (1830-1918), whose name was also given to a number of other Southland communities.

Earlier Indian names for Mount San Antonio were fortunately recorded. A Serrano Indian legend survives that tells of the arrival of their ancestors upon this peak from somewhere to the North-they followed the pure white eagle of their Land God, who perched on this summit, whereupon they settled here (ca.600). The Serrano variously knew it as Jóaka’j, Juáka’, Joakaits, and Hesakkopa’. The Gabrieleño called it Juáka’j, and Hifá’do’.. The Luiseño knew it as Hifá’doyah. The Cauhilla called it as Hifá’doga. It was a place where Mountain Sheep were hunted, and this would definitely give it a sacred connotation since these animals were held in considerable reverence.

This peak is first cited as San Antonio in the Los Angeles Southern Vineyard (1858).

First known ascent was accomplished by members of the Wheeler Survey, via Lytle Creek-their leader, topographical assistant Louis Nell, calculated the elevation to be 10,191 feet which is only 127 feet off the current reading (1878). At about this time American miners renamed this summit Old Baldy because of its barren appearance above its tree line-this is first mentioned in the Los Angeles Star (1871).

There was a flurry of activity when gold was discovered just below Baldy Notch by F. L. Riche, and it was sporadically extracted by placer mining (1869-73, 1878-79), and by hydraulic methods (1882-95).

William B. Dewey made an ascent and noted plenty of bear tracks but no human trails to the top (1882). In those days this area teemed with Deer, Big Horn Sheep, Grizzly Bear and Mountain Lion. Dewey later served as a guide for a popular vacation spot of the day called “Stoddard’s Resort”, and then opened his own “Baldy Summit lnn”-so named because it was only 80 feet below the summit–climbers know this is not exactly the best place for a resort and as luck would have it, a gale soon blew it off the summit. Dewey eventually made 133 ascents of this peak. Charles Francis Saunders in his Southern Sierras of California (1923) observed that “if you have anything of the Californian in you, you mark [San Antonio] for the objective of an outing sometime”. Perhaps because of this advice, Baldy became the most climbed mountain in Southern California by the 1920’s.

A main cross-mountain Indian trail passed over adjacent “Baldy Notch” connecting the Los Angeles basin with the desert, this later became the “Old Baldy wagon trail” which was widened into an automobile road by Los Angeles County (1930).

The Sierra Club dedicated the Angeles Chapter Lodge (1930) on the slope of this peak and named it after the first woman President of the Club, Aurilia Squire Harwood (ca. 1860-1928).

Access for hikers was eased further when the Bear Flats Trail and the legendary Devil’s Backbone Trail (both of which had been hacked out fifty years earlier) were reworked and made safer (1937).

The first ski ascent was made by George 0. Bauwens (1922), who seeking to improve access these slopes in winter, later helped found the Sierra Club Ski Mountaineers (1934).

The sms built the first “Baldy Ski HuT” (1935), which burned down but was immediately rebuilt (1936).

The first commercial ski-lift was built to Baldy Notch (1952).

Variant names include: Baldy, Old Baldy (San Bernardino N.F., 1943), Old Baldy Peak (Army Mapping Service, 1952), San Antonia Peak, San Antonio Peak (Rand McNally), San Antonio Mountain (USGS, 1931), and even the Supreme Summit of the Sierra Madre (Drury, 1935).

Sam Fink still holds the HPS record for the most ascents of this summit.

Name first appears on the Whitney California Geological Survey Report (1878).

Name officially accepted by USBGN (1961).

Peak was on the original 1946 HPS Peak List. Weldon Heald climbed this peak in 1928.

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