FOLSOM -- The Shadow Glen Riding Stables in the Folsom Lake Recreation Area is surrounded by winding trails and thousands of acres with nothing but nature. People go there for horseback riding, fresh air and peace and quiet. But lately, riders say that quiet was interrupted by a man scaring several joggers and horseback riders.
"He'll jump up in front of the horses and, of course, that's dangerous," said Everett Blix. "It's actually an army camouflage tarp, from what I understand. That's what he's been hiding under. Then all the sudden 'woo!'" Blix said, putting his hands in the air.
Folsom lake park rangers say the man in his 30s is a transient who's been sleeping under a rug near the Snowberry Bridge.
Blix and Dennis Dew have been on alert looking for him. They haven't spotted the "elusive" man under the rug. They realize it sounds pretty strange.
"It's kind of funny, but nothing funny about somebody falling off a horse, getting hurt," Blix said. It could be dangerous, especially for the horses. I've seen people get thrown off horses, bucked off horses on a spook," Dew said.
Park rangers say they came out to look for the man after reading complaints on social media. They found him, cited him for illegal camping and other violations and evicted him from the area.
Homeless encampments are a growing problem in the region, park rangers say. Blix has noticed it too.
"As long as they keep to themselves, nobody really cares. But when they start doing things like that, trying to scare the people, scare the horses, that's when the danger aspect comes in," Blix said.
Park rangers say people reported the issue on social media and no one called them or 911. They urge people to report things like this so rangers can respond.
The transient was asked not to come back to the area and he wasn't charged with any crimes and nothing can really stop him from coming back.
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As reported to Folsom Lake SRA Park Rangers, for the past three days there have been repeated incidents of a man, lying in the bushes covered by a rug, who leaps up, flapping the rug, and deliberately frightening anyone who is coming along the trail. He will stare intently, is non-verbal, and is not easily intimidated when asked to move along. The Rangers have been to this area, but have been unable to spot him.
This person will be found on the right side of the trail as you leave the boarding stable, after the Snowberry Bridge and before the culvert. He will be behind shrubs and not easily seen until he leaps up. There are ways around this area, and it is suggested trail users travel in alternate areas until the Rangers apprehend this person.