Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Nude man terrorizes Pendleton

It seems nude men running amok in Pendleton is something that has happened before.

In the June 8, 1942 edition of the East Oregonian, Pendleton police revealed a man had been stalking the streets at night, completely nude except for a sack over his head. The man had appeared at least two or three times in the previous month, and on one of those occasions attempted to attack a young woman. Police had kept the man’s antics on the down-low while they attempted to trap him, but the “Nude Terror,” as he was soon called, had up to then eluded them and they were turning to the citizens of Pendleton for their help.

The man was first reported on May 10 in the vicinity of Southwest Court Avenue and Tenth Street, and then again May 25 in the vicinity of the First Christian Church on the North Hill. On the night of May 30 he chased a young woman down Northwest Bailey Avenue to Main Street, then ducked back into the darkness between houses and escaped. During the first week of June a resident of Southeast Court Place called police when she saw a man exposing himself and throwing rocks at her window. Police were unable to locate the man in any of the sightings, and several people arrested for indecent exposure around the same time of the Nude Terror’s night-time excursions were eliminated from suspicion for various reasons.

During a final sighting, a man living on Southeast Sixth Street and Byers Avenue returned home at 2 a.m. June 11 to find a man wearing only trunks and shoes sitting on his front porch. The man fled into the darkness when illuminated by the car’s headlights, but as the homeowner approached his front door he said the man returned and brushed against him before disappearing again into the night.

Almost three weeks after their initial plea in the newspaper, police finally caught up with the man. Lloyd Vernon Scott, 31, was arrested by officers L.A. Bacon and Raymond Bannister at 11:30 p.m. on June 20 in the stairway on the south side of the Christian church. The officers were driving by the church and recalled that their quarry was often spotted near there. They shined the headlights of the patrol car on the stairway and discovered Scott, who was wearing nothing but a pair of socks. He surrendered without a struggle, which was a good thing — Police Chief Charles Lemons had instructed his officers to shoot the suspect if he was spotted and refused to surrender.

Scott was registered at a Pendleton hotel, and in his room police found a copy of the June 8 East Oregonian containing the original story about the Nude Terror. Allegedly a baker by trade, Scott said he had been traveling through the area during the past few months and had a wife in Spokane. Military records show he was discharged from the U.S. Army in 1939 for desertion. It was discovered he also had been arrested in Walla Walla for indecent exposure the previous month, and had skipped bail.

Scott later signed a confession to indecent exposure. In it, he said “I don’t know why I do this,” and admitted to an urge to expose himself — though he professed he had no memory of any of the incidents with which he was charged and claimed he was probably insane at the time.

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