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 Oregon Mountaineering Association
131 NW 4th St. # 258; Corvallis OR 97330
oma@i-world.net
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Oregon Guides and Guide Services

Doug Ironside Police Report

Doug Ironside was involved in our problems with the USFS, also known as the "Mountainsavvy Problem" or the "Kessler Problem".

In 2004 Glenn Kessler was involved in writing a bad check to the CSAC Avalanche Center. When this became public knowledge it was brought to our attention that Doug Ironside had a related criminal record. Sure enough, he once stole checks from another climber and forged them to make purchases at a local climbing store. He was convicted and spent an unknown amount of time in jail.

Most of the official police report is transcribed here, the original report is public record and can be requested from the Bellingham Police Department.

Report:

Cover page lists 1 Witness (W1), one Victim (V1), and three Suspects (S1, Douglas Ironside, S2, and S3, Donald Scott).

"I was discharged to [CLIMBING SHOP] on report of someone suspected of passing bad checks. Before I arrived he left and was stopped downtown by Officer J.  At [SHOP]  I contacted witness W1 who told me victim V1 had alerted them to watch for suspect S1 (IRONSIDE) as V1 suspected S1 of having stolen some checks from him, and cashing four of them at [SHOP]. On this date S1 (IRONSIDE) wrote a check for goods with one of his own checks. I photographed this check to obtain a sample of S1 (IRONSIDE) handwriting. I also took check #368 from witness W1, which was a forged check to [SHOP]. I impounded this along with 2 rental slips forged with victims (V1) name and a return slip for registered mail with V1 real handwriting on it. The addresses on the rental slips were 923 and 924.  924 is victims address, 923 may be old address of S1 (IRONSIDE) and also one of S3 (Scott). Suspects S3 and S1 had an adjoining room to victim V1, which is why they are suspected."

I left [SHOP] and contacted S1 (IRONSIDE). I informed him of his rights and he waived them. He told me V1 had accused him of the forgery but he had nothing to do with it. Ironside stated he had some checks taken from him and had reported it to WWU. No mention of checks was in that report. S1 (IRONSIDE) said he suspected S2 as S2 was interested in climbing and S1 had loaned him $100. S2 left town without paying it back. S1 then received in the mail an expensive green hiking pack from S2 in payment of the $100. S1 had the pack in his trunk and I photographed it. {Note - Notice the similarity between this effort to shift blame to somebody else and the comments KESSLER made when the police contacted him about his fraudulent check-writing.}

I asked S1 (IRONSIDE) about S2 and he told me S2 was not a good friend and he thinks S2 moved to Colorado. However, when S1 (IRONSIDE) had recently filed with the city for a solicitors license he had listed S2 as a character witness and had given a Seattle address. I took an ID photo of S1.

S1 (IRONSIDE) also told me his roomate was suspect S3, but he did not suspect him. I showed the photo to witness W1 at [SHOP] and they stated that it was a pack bought with one of the forged checks. W1 did accept one of the checks and thought S1 was the one who passed it.

Follow-up (same day):

W1 of [SHOP] called me and informed me that they had just gotten the mail and had got a check back from IRONSIDE that was stamped "Account Closed". She was advised to hold onto it and Detective G would contact her and pick it up.

Follow-up (five days later):

At 9:30 am IRONSIDE voluntarily came into this office in reference to some forgeries on the account of victim V1. IRONSIDE was read his constitutional rights under the miranda warnings. He understood his rights and signed a waiver to that effect and agreed to discuss and to provide a handwriting specimen. IRONSIDE made a complete handwriting exemplar which were compared against the four stolen and forged checks on the account of vicitm V1. In addition, also in evidence are two checks drawn on the account of DOUGLAS P. IRONSIDE, which IRONSIDE issued to North Cascade Alpine School and to Albertsons.

In comparing the handwriting there are numerous identical characteristics and it was felt by this officer that DOUGLAS IRONSIDE did in fact fill out and cash the four questioned checks. When asked about it Mr IRONSIDE denied any knowledge of the checks and stated that he had never seen or touched any of the checks. He further stated that about this time a person known vaguely to him as [S2, DONALD SCOTT] {who, you may recall, he once used as a character reference!}, who has a similar physical description to him, had been in his apartment on numerous occassions and he now feels that SCOTT (S2) is responsible for these forgeries. He further feels that DONALD SCOTT is somewhere in Colorado and no longer in the area.

Whatcom County Prosecuting Attorney was contacted, advised of the comparison in the handwriting and the numerous similarities and he advised that a probable cause arrest be made on IRONSIDE, charging him with four counts of forgery. IRONSIDE was then advised that he was under arrest for forgery and booked into city jail.

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