Posted: Jun 26, 2013 4:57 PM by Katy Harris
Updated: Jun 26, 2013 5:06 PM
DILLON - Members of the Rainbow Family along with law enforcement and the public gathered in a Dillon gym to clarify rumors and discuss concerns, including criminal activity, with just a few days until the group's scheduled gathering.
So far, 2,100 people have assembled on U.S. Forest Service land near Jackson, Montana for the Rainbow Family gathering.
A woman who is a member of the Rainbow Family had a list of accusations that have been made against the unorganized group and asked law enforcement if they'd had any reports like dogs being stolen and produce being urinated on. Dillon Police Chief Paul Craft said he had not received any of those reports.
But Beaverhead County Sheriff Jay Hansen did report that three sex offenders were arrested during routine traffic stops for failing to register. Three males were also arrested for warrants out of Oregon. Two males have been hospitalized with severe head injuries. One of those was Life Flighted to Missoula.
"There's an increase in criminal activity during this event. I don't know if it's members of the Rainbow Family. I don't know until we do an investigation. It could be somebody else. It could be somebody coming in, knowing that this incident is happening in the Big Hole and take advantage of our local community," Hansen said.
"Oftentimes it's a really rough entrance. We hit a town or a state and it's the culture shock, but by the end you'll see that a lot of these folks that are dirty and funny looking are actually the hardest workers who will stay to do most of the cleanup and sorting the trash hauling out things," Sibling, a member of the Rainbow Family, said.
Sibling says the Rainbow gathering and Forest Service have done a good job at working together to hold the event on public land compared to years past.