Dear Editor, I am writing this article concerning an encampment of homeless people located just below Pebble Beach Drive near Preston Island.
This matter first came to my attention during the 4th of July holidays when I was awakened by flashing red lights outside of my bedroom window at around 4 a.m. When I looked out to see what was going on, I observed a group of fire and rescue people attempting to rescue a person who had fallen off the cliff onto the rocks below. It is approximately 45 feet down to the beach at that point.
After about an hour, the rescue people brought up the injured individual.
There is a well-worn trail down to the beach at that point, where all the foot traffic has caused a lot of erosion. It is a steep, dangerous incline/decline that is a treacherous place to go during daylight hours. This is a common area off Pebble Beach Drive where the fire and rescue people do a lot of their training.
My second encounter occurred in the afternoon a few days ago when I was out in my backyard digging dandelions. I looked up to see a young woman scrambling up over the cliff into my backyard.
She looked frightened and starting running around inside my yard in a confused state, looking for a way out. I told her she was on private property and that I would let her out my back gate.
I also noticed she was looking back over her shoulder as she came up into my yard, so I went over to look over the side to see a young adult male climbing up after her.
I yelled at him not to come any further, while waving my stainless-steel dandelion digger in his direction. The potential intruder immediately stopped his ascent and started back down toward the beach.
I walk down on the beach below Pebble Beach Drive a couple of times a year. It had been about six months since I had been down there, so I walked down to that area via Preston Island. I ran into a neighbor who had already been down there and she said she wanted to show me what was going on.
Within a short distance of walking off the driveway down to the Island, we saw well-worn trials leading into the dense underbrush. At one point, we saw a tent in the underbrush. From that location, I looked up to see two of my neighbors’ houses where people in their 90s lived.
I wondered what would have happened if the intruder who had been pursuing the young women who came into my yard a few days earlier had happened into either of my elderly neighbors’ yards while they were outside.
Our Pebble Beach Drive community has a dangerous situation brewing with the unauthorized squatting of these people down on the beach.
I recall in mornings past having smelled the scent of marijuana coming from the area of the two houses where my elderly neighbors live. I now realize this odor had been coming up from the campsites in the underbrush down on the beach.
I subsequently filed a complaint with the sheriff’s department.