By Joseph Snook
Investigative Reporter | US Observer
Clackamas County, OR – Last Halloween, Kevin Olsen had been out with his wife and friends enjoying each other’s company. The group headed to Tollgate Inn, in Sandy, OR. for a late bite, prior to calling it a night. Most had consumed alcohol – except for Kevin. He was the designated driver that night, which he says is a common practice these days. Looking back, He’s had a past that is not so squeaky clean, leaving him currently on probation for a marijuana conviction in South Dakota. Kevin is a licensed medical cannabis card holder in the State of Oregon, and had his card when he was charged for possession of weed in South Dakota. Unfortunately, S.D. laws aren’t in-line with Oregon’s.
After several trips to S.D. for court hearings, coupled with a never-ending bill for Attorney’s fees, Kevin was financially forced to accept a plea deal. He simply couldn’t afford the costs. Since then, Kevin has been on probation, which the terms of such indicate no alcohol consumption.
Going back to Halloween, Kevin and his group of friends were upset with the service they were provided at Tollgate. Some friends had mentioned, “where’s our water,” in a humorous tone, after being refused alcohol. After placing their food order, one of the witnesses stated that the group became too rambunctious and was asked to leave. Multiple other witnesses stated that the group had to wait over thirty minutes for their meal, which was partly why their humorous frustration ended up being voiced. Nonetheless, the group began to leave, when asked. That’s when things went sideways.
That’s when things went sideways
A 68-year-old man by the name of Eugene (Gene) Kalar was sitting at the bar, consuming alcohol. He pursued the group as they were leaving, by standing up and escorting them out of the bar. Gene was standing in the doorway as Kevin and his friends were leaving. As Kevin passed by, he and the closest witness claimed that Gene spat in Kevin’s face while, “demeaning” some members of the group. Kevin quickly raised his hand in a defensive manner, after, “being spat on”, resulting in Gene’s hat falling off his head. Kevin and his friends attempted to leave, but Gene pursued them into the parking lot. Gene’s story alleges he was trying to get a license plate number, but Gene’s own account of events clearly leaves room for misinterpretation – especially considering the incident was captured on video!
Gene ended up brawling with one of Kevin’s friends in the parking lot. It’s unclear who started the assault, although Gene clearly pursued the group, essentially taking the law into his own hands. As the two men fought, Gene drop-kicked Kevin’s friend in the groin, and followed up with a punch that shattered the man’s cheek bone – all viewable on a separate video. At this juncture, Kevin and some of the group left, while Gene headed back to the bar. After Kevin’s friend gained consciousness, he headed back into the bar, where he and Gene got into another altercation. Gene was thrown to the floor from his barstool, and physical contact ensued until the fight was broken-up.
The Tollgate Inn
The witness standing directly next to Kevin and Gene when the alleged “punch” was thrown, stated that Kevin never punched Gene. This witness should be the most important person for deputies to get a statement from, yet they never did, even though he was mentioned in their report. It was this writer who obtained the first account of what happened from that witness, and his account directly reflects the irrefutable video evidence. Only one witness besides Gene, who was not part of Kevin’s group, provided a statement to police that night. He stated to this writer on March, 3, 2016 that, “Every month you forget bits and pieces, you know that, right? This was in October.” Putting emphasis on forgetting bits and pieces, how clear was his memory shortly after the incident on the night in question? This witness stated that he, “saw the glasses fly off” Gene’s head when Gene was punched, but that did not happen. Just minutes after the incident, his memory had already failed, which was also proven by video surveillance. Maybe he thought he was helping? After all, Gene, a Vietnam Vet had just been in a fight. This writer attempted to give that witness the opportunity to set the record straight, but he disregarded my attempts to meet so he could read the police report and view the video. This writer has much more information about this witness, which will be published, should he continue to remember things that did not happen. As our only conversation came to an end, he said, “I don’t care what people think about me.”
There’s no question that Gene Kalar’s eye was injured. The real question is how did it happen? Was it really Kevin, or was the injury sustained during Gene’s first orsecond physical encounter with Kevin’s friend? Hypothetically, even if Kevin did cause the injury to Gene, a former Chief of Police said to this writer that, “the law states you’re entitled to use force until the threat (spitting) stops.” Kevin did not use force which is clearly supported by the video. Kevin stated he, “absolutely would have punched Gene for spitting on him, if he wasn’t a Vet.”
Sadly, Kevin was arrested by deputies and charged with assault. He claims to have told them, “I never punched that guy (Gene).” When Kevin demanded that the deputies arrest Gene, too, he was told, “If you want him arrested, you’re going to have to contact another law enforcement agency for that. We won’t arrest Gene.” Two other witnesses also stated that deputies told them to find another law enforcement agency to arrest Gene!
Come to find out, the deputies allegedly knew Gene was a retired Captain from the Hoodland Fire Department, fairly close to Tollgate Inn, where the altercation took place.
For the next few months, Kevin was shunned by many in the community (word travels fast in Sandy, OR), essentially being labeled an, “old man beater.” Kevin stated, “the evidence should help the District Attorney to do the right thing and dismiss my charge.” Kevin is self-employed and was recently married. He stressed his innocence and willingness to only want the truth to be known, and, to move on with life.
This writer talked to the alleged victim, Gene Kalar, on June 2, 2016. Gene asked to not be quoted, but he offered some compelling details. It’s disheartening to this writer (I’m also a Vet) to find that another Army Veteran would lie to me, which Gene did – with ease.
1. Gene claimed several times that he has not seen the video. False. According to Joe, the manager of Tollgate Inn, he provided Gene a copy of the video footage.
2. Gene said he opened the door before he was punched. Although this may seem like a minor detail – it becomes serious when someone’s freedom is on the line. Gene never opened the door.
3. Gene stated he was knocked to the ground by Kevin. Another false statement proven by video.
4. Gene said immediately after he opened the door, Kevin punched him. He had no time to see Kevin’s fist coming at him. Not true. Gene stood in the already opened doorway for approximately five seconds before, “He spat in Kevin’s face,” according to a corroborating witness.
5. Gene claimed to be sober when the incident occurred, only having consumed half of a glass of wine. If he was sober, then why would he provide a false statement to the deputies?
6. Verifiable sources who have no reason to lie, stated that Gene told them, “he (Gene) really doesn’t remember what happened.” Obviously this statement does not align with what he stated to the police and myself. Maybe he was drunk, knew the cops, and embellished? Who knows? One thing is certain – Gene’s statement was not truthful and his actions on that night and subsequent to Kevin’s arrest are deplorable. He had a chance to be truthful, and he consciously decided to lie – at the expense of another’s freedom. Statements made, if not true, can still be relied upon to convict and incarcerate.
Gene’s culpability could actually result in criminal charges being filed against him. In Oregon, providing a false statement to the police is a Class A Misdemeanor (ORS 162.385). Furthermore, if Gene spat on Kevin, as alleged by Kevin and another witness, that too, is also a crime in Oregon (ORS 166.065). Let’s also not forget that taking the law into your own hands by pursuing and fighting someone could be interpreted as several crimes – Assault (ORS 163.160), Harassment (ORS 166.065), or at a minimum, Disorderly Conduct (ORS 166.025). Gene did not have to pursue someone into the parking lot who had already allegedly assaulted him. He could have easily stayed inside, and called 911. I will assume he was not arrested due to the fact he’s a Vietnam Vet, and a retired Captain from Hoodland Fire Dept. Obviously, that does not make him honest.
Shockingly, it has also been stated that Gene will commit a horrible offense, should this case continue – an offense that could easily make him liable for a felony crime. I will save that evidence for the right time, should the case continue.
The District Attorney’s charges against Kevin’s friend, resulted in a plea agreement that required him to have a criminal record, although he reportedly had never been arrested before.
Kevin, knowing he never punched Gene, decided to lawyer-up, contact the US~Observer, and fight back.
The D.A. and Prosecutor will be reviewing the evidence that has been compiled, and they should be commended for their pursuit of justice.
If the assault charge is not dismissed, Kevin will be prosecuted in August of 2016. If convicted, Kevin stands a good chance of going to prison since he’s on probation for possessing marijuana almost three years ago.
Rest assured that if Kevin’s misdemeanor charge is not dismissed – names of witnesses will be mentioned in a companion article and more evidence will be presented – evidence that further proves Kevin’s innocence.
In the interest of Justice, this case should be dismissed – and all should move on with life, peacefully.
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