Three Hospitalized and Two Arrested in Ashland After Propane Explosion
ASHLAND, Ore. — Three have been hospitalized and two arrested last night after an explosion that took place in Ashland’s designated camping area behind 1175 E. Main Street.
The two suspects arrested at the scene were 19-year-old Noah Brennan (also known as Nova Brennan) as well as 48-year-old Jocelyn Cotner. Both have been accused of assaulting one of the victims, while the other two victims were caught in the subsequent blast.
According to a news release from the Ashland Police Department, one of the suspects hit a victim with a “small camping butane-fed burner”. In the alleged assault, the container of butane broke, ignited, and caused a “fire ball” that led to the injuries of the original victim and two other victims that were inside a nearby tent.
Ashland Police Chief Tighe O’Meara revealed that the attack itself stemmed from an argument involving accusations of thievery.
One cause for concern was the delay in dispatching Ashland Police officers after the original emergency call was placed. The call of an explosion was placed to 911 at 8:35 p.m. Ashland Police Officers were then dispatched twelve minutes later at 8:47 p.m. This is highly unusual, especially for a call regarding an explosion.
Police Chief O’Meara addressed this detailing, saying that such a delay is “not what we strive for”. He said he would be checking in to see why there was such a large delay in the first place.
As of now, the two suspects are facing charges of second-degree assault, menacing, and reckless endangerment.
The three victims in this case are Rick Bevel, Karen, and Chris; they were named by Debbie Neisewander, an advocate for Ashland’s homeless population. As of now, all three victims are still in the hospital and recovering.