REDDING, Calif. — Over a thousand pounds of trash, and other blight, was removed from an illegal camp underneath a bridge in Parkview Riverfront Park during a community cleanup on Wednesday morning.
Park Rangers and Community Work Program Officers with the Redding Police Department focused their efforts underneath the bridge crossing over a seasonal creek, draining into the Sacramento River. They said officers found an illegal camp underneath the bridge and bank on the adjacent side of the creek. When their officers arrived, they found two people, identified as 40-year-old Heidi Hogate of Redding, and 47-year-old Chiew Saephan of Shasta Lake.
RPD said their Park Rangers were familiar with both Hogate and Saephan after contacting them several times in recent weeks. Rangers had previously informed both people that they were trespassing and illegally camping in a public park, according to police, and they were given warnings to leave the area or be subject to further enforcement. Ultimately, RPD says Park Rangers arrested both Hogate and Saephan for trespassing and placing petroleum products in a place where they can pollute a waterway. They were both booked into the Shasta County Jail.
Community Work Program Officers, with help from offenders from the Shasta County Sheriff's Alternative Custody Program, then began cleaning the area underneath the bridge. Police said Hogate and Saephan's personal property was booked for safekeeping, however, 1,380 pounds of trash and other blight were removed from underneath the bridge.
Police said crews found a plastic bag containing an ounce of methamphetamines in Hogate and Saephan's encampment. They were both additionally charged with possession of a controlled substance.
"Our Special Services Unit, and specifically your Redding Police Park Rangers, strive to ensure that our community parks are safe for everyone to enjoy and that the natural beauty of those areas is protected for future generations to enjoy," the Redding Police Department wrote in their press release on Wednesday.