Friday, June 21, 2024

A note about a murder

Bradley Jay Cole (photo from Adam Rasmussen gofundme page)

This week, Bradley Cole and his wife, Debbie came to Lincoln City to celebrate 37 years of marriage. He was murdered while walking his dog. He died in a motel parking lot with his wife at his side.

Roland Evans-Freke, a transient, was charged with second-degree murder, second-degree assault and second-degree robbery. He is accused of killing Bradley Cole and is being held at the Lincoln County Jail. He is known to Oregon law enforcement.

According to Lincoln City Police they “responded to the Ashley Inn off Hwy. 101 just after 8 p.m. after receiving a report of an assault in the parking lot. Authorities arrived to the scene to find Cole badly injured and unconscious. Medical personnel attempted to resuscitate him, but Cole would later be declared dead. “

Reports have stated that Evans-Freke attempted to steal Cole’s dog. Evans-Freke is alleged to have beaten and kicked Cole to the ground.  Reports state that Evans-Freke left the scene for a moment and then returned to continue the beating.

This tragic story has been covered in countless news sources and we have nothing new to add to this story.

However, Lincoln City Homepage received a note about the event asking that it be attached to a previous story about emergency shelters slated to be opened in Lincoln City.  Instead of attaching as a comment that might never be seen-we have chosen to attach it to this story.  The author did include their name on the original submission but we have chosen to withhold it for now. 

The comment is as follows: “Any kind of homeless shelter, whether for mental health, or housing alone, should be rejected by everyone living in Lincoln County. On Tuesday, 5/14/24, a 69 yr. old man was killed in (a motel) parking lot in Lincoln City by a transient. The man was walking his dog outside when the transient man attacked him & stole his dog saying the dog would be better with him! The man died & was lying face down in the parking lot. He & his wife were…celebrating their 37th anniversary!

So, County Commissioners & Housing Authorities & all who would be involved in the decision making process regarding housing the homeless, we say, “No, we don’t want any temporary or permanent housing in Lincoln County!

It is dangerous to people living here & visiting! It will ruin our coastal towns. The crime, drugs, & everything else that comes along with supporting homeless housing will keep people from visiting & diminish quality of life for those that live here! NO TO ANY PROPERTY PURCHASE FOR HOMELESS SHELTER!”

Editorial note: While there has been no connection stated between Evans-Franke and any shelters and Homepage is not implying that there is, it is clear that many residents are either skeptical or outright fearful about the placement of these types of facilities and the types of people it might attract to our city. One may agree or disagree but we believe all voices have a right to be heard when it affects them personally.

There has been much movement to locate homeless and emergency shelters in Lincoln City. One can appreciate the desire to help others but Lincoln City is not Portland or Salem. 

In larger cities with higher crime rates it is almost a given that one must be aware of one’s surroundings at all times. However, we do not live in a town where we and those that we invite to visit us must have their heads on a swivel, fearful to walk their dog near a stranger. 

On the contrary, we invite people to come here and relax. We invite others here to forget their troubles and enjoy not just a beach, but a vision of a small town where we aren’t fearful of each other-friends or strangers.

Perhaps it is time for the people and agencies involved to pause and consider if their good intentions are a bit misplaced and they have let their hearts (and for some their public profiles) blind them to the realities of the world that so many in a small town such as Lincoln City would prefer to not participate in.

The question must be asked; is Lincoln City the appropriate place for the shelters now in place and still more proposed?  Does the introduction of an unstable population of people, with little to no support from state or private agencies into a sleepy coastal community help those in need more than it hurts those forced to host?

It has been said that one can choose their neighbors but one cannot choose their relatives.  Well, given the power that the Oregon legislature has given certain groups to force cities to accept homeless shelters, that adage is no longer true. 

One can no longer choose their neighbors.  Zoning won’t protect you.  Your elected local officials can’t protect you. 

It seems the only choices remaining are to take a chance with a stranger in a parking lot or don’t visit or live in Lincoln City because nobody will be there looking out for you.

Lincoln City Homepage Community Facebook page has received a gofundme submission from Adam Rasmussen.

(photo from Adam Rasmussen gofundme page)





Don Williams
Don Williams
Don Williams serves as publisher and editor of The Lincoln City Homepage.


    • You think this article goes to far? What???

      Roland Evans-Freke charges listed in this order on jail roster:
      Murder 2nd degree
      Assault 1st degree
      Robbery 2nd degree
      Murder 2nd degree
      Manslaughter 1st degree
      Assault 2nd degree
      Robbery 1st degree

      The photos of the inmates need to be put back on the Lincoln County jail roster, along with the charges. We need to be aware of who they are when they’re released for our own protection.

      And quit sending the mentally unstable to the same lodging where tourists are staying! This tragic event could have been prevented!

      But most of all, don’t vote for those that support the homeless shelters for our county!

      It’s way overdue that people need to be held accountable for their own choices. Don’t put shelters over their heads without treatment & forget them. Then the community pays the price & the problems escalate. Don’t do this to our beautiful coastal areas!

    • That is not the responsibility of the tax payer and community. If an individual like yourself wants to open up your own home to help some of these people, then go right ahead. Have you not been to Portland? Good luck….

    • Homeless shelters will destroy lincoln city like it destroyed Portland and Salem ! Lincoln city get ready needs on the street assaults steeling will become normal in this peaceful town !

  1. This sickens me. I am a single hard working woman in LC. I walk to and from work and to the US Market all the time. With my dog and without. My 24 ye old daughter also walks to work. This is so terrifying and just so devastating!

    • Joeli, since walking for transportation to jobs or shopping is often extra work, and thankless, I want to say Thank You for doing it. Walking is probably one of the best ways to get to know our city, care about it, and have eyes and ears on the city’s vibe. It’s impossible to “feel” the truth of this situation from inside a car motoring down Hwy 101. The more people out walking and using the bus system, the safer it’ll be for all.

      I wonder if the City has ever thought about pushing ODOT harder to make more room for walking and biking along Hwy 101? Walking and biking get very little respect for the service they provide, like reducing car congestion, and increasing the kind of community that can protect people from the kind of harm that just occurred. Installing bike parking at restaurants and grocery stores is an example of Respect. City councilors sometimes promise this kind of respect, but once elected, they don’t follow through. Speaking of respect, how many of Lincoln City’s tourist dollars come from Portland residents? Publicly trash-talking Portland is not just stinky talk; it could reduce tourism here. But I already wrote more about this in response to the city councilor’s Letter to the Editor on this story.

  2. Such a an unnecessary tragedy. Our deepest sympathy to the family.

    The same ill gotten thinking that has destroyed Portland is being repeated here. Good intentions as they may be, it is unsustainable and inappropriate for this small community. We moved from the Portland area to this peaceful and once safe community to get away from the crime and degradation, which plagued Portland. Elected officials be warned , stop where you are headed or you can be replaced by people who actually care about the this community and it residents.

    • As a Mother of two, and a hard working resident of Lincoln County nearly my whole life, this is a tragedy that hits home! Many of the homeless choose homelessness by their actions and free will to not work, and drug use is prevalent. The dangers of the drugs will affect us, pot, alcohol and worse drugs, Fentenal being lately the most fatal. I had a drug free home for homeless once. They stole, used and caused a ton of stress. I shut it down. Some are still doing well but the majority never turned from ill choices. The homeless aren’t the only problem. Stricter punishment for crime and drug use is the answer.
      My prayers go out for this family. We all have a reasonable assumption to safely in our Communities.
      God speed and may we make better choices in laws and keeping drugs away from our families.
      Prayers for all of us as times are changing.

  3. Don, this is poor journalistic reporting. The perpetrator was a RESIDENT in the same hotel as the victim. Your segue to homeless sheltering is therefore, illogical.

    • Elaine, thank you for taking the time to read the opinion piece and for writing to tell me where you believe I have erred. “Transient” was the word used by the police in their reporting of the incident. The segue was from the comment submitted by and attributed to a reader of Lincoln City Homepage who also used the term “transient.”
      I believe I was clear in my opinion piece which stated: “Editorial note: While there has been no connection stated between Evans-Franke and any shelters and Homepage is not implying that there is, it is clear that many residents are either skeptical or outright fearful about the placement of these types of facilities and the types of people it might attract to our city. One may agree or disagree but we believe all voices have a right to be heard when it affects them personally.”
      Thanks again for following Lincoln City Homepage.

      • Like a guy wrote in the epoch times you don’t need to look any farther than in a mirror to find out why we have problems. Lincoln city overwhelmingly voted for legalization of hard drugs. Now we’re reaping what we sowed. We overwhelmingly go to legalize marijuana. And I’m sure it will overwhelmingly support magic mushrooms. Until we quit calling them homeless or the unhoused and call him What they are druggies. The problem will never be solved. I say lock all the b*#@ards up. The good tax paying people of Lincoln city and Oregon should not have to deal with any of this crap. It’s time to start warehousing them. really the problem is not the drugs or the crazies. It’s the dogooders. they are the people that say these people have mental issues. I find it interesting I haven’t seen a East Indian or Asian person with a mental issue on the street. How can that be?

  4. Just a heads up- this guy stayed at a local hotel I work at in Newport, OR for several weeks. (A few months before this murder.) He was clearly mentally ill. The focus really needs to be on funding research and programs to better understand mental illness, more hospital beds and staffing in psychiatric hospitals, and specific task forces with qualified professionals to assist officers in calls regarding response to calls involving mentally ill persons.
    If there are no specific/adequate shelters for the mentally ill, they wind up at hotels. The local hospital here has sent patients to our hotel on numerous occasions without information on their conditions, so we can’t really deny rooms until the person has been seen as unsafe to be around other guests. It’s not an occurrence at just our hotel, it’s city and statewide. So, consider that when you vote for or against shelters.

    • Totally agree. I do not like the turn this article took at the end. I am thankful for our shelters. Furthermore, if one looks up the murderer’s name in the county case search you will find he was recently released and they knew he was dangerous… forbidden from having weapons of any kind or alcohol as a condition of his release. That is the great failure I see here. Rest in peace Mr. Cole.

    • Interesting. Do you have any more information to share about him? Was he working? How was he paying to stay in hotels? Why does a hospital ‘send’ patients to a hospital and again, who pays? Seems to me we need to expand the mental hospital facilities in Oregon instead of more shelters.

    • Coming from someone that has diagnosed mental illness, you can lead a horse to water but can’t make them drink. And mine is not drug related and I have managed to struggle through life and stay on my feet and support myself because I have didn’t run from my issues by using drugs and accepted help.

      Most of these mentally ill that you see, and especially around Portland is 100% drug related. That is not going to be solved with mental hospitals or shelters. The only one that can make the change is them. All of the help in the world can’t turn an addict into a recovering addict. They have to make that choice themselves.

      It is clear as day what the problem is. Stop making excuses. The populace voted to legalize drugs, support covid restrictions, and won’t raise a voice against real estate investment companies.

      The results:

      – A bunch of drug addicts running around out of their mind. Robbing, stealing, assaulting, defacing property.

      -A mass loss of businesses and jobs making people homeless and hopeless, turning to drugs, resulting in mental illness.

      -Housing costs going thru the roof, causing more homelessness and hopelessness, turning to drugs, resulting in mental illness. At least druggies could band together and put a roof over their head before housing prices went completely out of control.

      So, I guess more shelters and mental health institutions are going to solve this problem…… Unbelievable……The pure lack of critical thinking and common sense is mind boggling .

      • You said it right. Also, Oregon was the first state to legalize Marijuana. What good did that do????? Try it and do other drugs, I assume. Now, you have plenty of junkies everywhere and then the open border with more drugs pouring in. These people should not be in our small Coastal towns, but instead, the larger cities where they can be placed.

      • 100% truth and Oregon voted for all the drugs. Figure that out, friends.Oregon is the worst state in all for housing and caring for mental patients young and old.

  5. There is another choice, justice dealt at the hands of the populace. Vote out the idiots in charge and replace them with same law abiding people who will not shy away from dealing with these broken pieces of crap.

  6. It is extremely tragic and heartbreaking that a good man lost his life but your whole article is based on a lie. He wasn’t a transient. He was staying at the hotel. Also you linked charges which aren’t convictions. What happened to innocent until proven guilty? What are his actual convictions?

  7. Also it seems to me this is more a mental health issue. As you pointed out he is known by law enforcement and in the link you provided he had 4 of the same charge before this tragedy happened. Why wasn’t he flagged for mental health treatment? He obviously needed it.

    • You ever hear the phrase, “You can lead a horse to water but you cannot make it drink?” Same analogy, HB. I’m sure this “alleged” murderer (See? I’m respecting the innocent until proven guilty part you posted earlier. But we all know Roland did it.) was provided resources during his incarceration and upon release to get himself right. Many transients (don’t want to use the word homeless or I might offend someone) refuse those services. Look at the regulars who sit at Fred Meyer and other high travelled corners. It’s obvious they would rather receive a handout than improve their situation on their own and with the resources our area provides. Not to unpack too much, but there are a variety of reasons people become transients. No one says, “When I grow up, I want to be a transient.” But like Don wrote, our coastal community is here for people to relax and enjoy the Oregon Coast. These transients are not here for those reasons. I would encourage many here to do a ride-along or two with an officer AND a deputy so you can witness first hand what I’m saying here is true. Posting ill-informed opinions is all well and good in the privacy of your keyboard. My bet is you will be that horse that refuses to drink the water though.

  8. I agree this is a small coastal tourist town,homeless shelters are going to deter people wanting to visit being in fear, therfore it is going, to hurt businesses especially small ones, not to mention our beautiful little town will end up like portland…Thus us such a horrible and senseless tragedy. Prayers abd thoughts are with the family.. I hope the mayor and city officials will be looking closely at this situation,and make changes…

  9. This is horrible for this family! Condolences to his wife and family. NEVER SHOULD HAVE HAPPENED!!!

    We’re facing homeless camps coming to Dallas, Oregon. There is too much money lining political pockets to stop this. Lincoln City recd a lot of money for housing your houseless population. Of course it will no doubt be dissolved in other organizations.

    The people will pay… businesses will pay.
    The only ones coming out ahead are the wrong people.

  10. God Bless this entire family. Such a horrible happening and I live half a block from that Motel and walk by it each day. I am very fearful of the groups of homeless men all the time sleeping in doorways, sitting on the benches in the bus shelter. We do not owe them a thing. They drink, smoke and have cell phones and one shouted at me and showed his gun in his pocket. Thank you for posting this.

  11. I have mixed feelings about this. I have a nephew who lived here a short while and died in Portland of an overdose. I have watched as Portland has been home to the homeless. I do not want this town to turn into a small version of Portland. It is happening everywhere!

  12. Great article. The way I see it- an agency puts a bunch of people on the payroll to work out homeless. Yet it doesn’t go away & people are still on the payroll. It’s a revolving door. Some want help, some don’t. It’s a very small percentage, if any, of success stories. I’m tired of the lawlessness & destruction of our streets & natural habitats. Send them to their families back yards.

    • Great point. I agree that shelters don’t help anyone anymore. The drug problem is too rampant.

      I have seen a decent solution for the homeless that are actually trying to make a life for themselves, and family. Homeless because real estate investment corporation and AirBnB have driven up the prices so high, working class cannot afford a roof over their head anymore. A problem that never seems to be brought up.

      My folks’ town set aside an area at their fairgrounds for people living in RVs or vans. They have to be county residents, employed (or they help get them employed), no drugs or alcohol on premises, quiet hours, zero tolerance for any kind of violence or threats, zero tolerance for slobs.

      If you don’t have a van or RV, they’ll put you up in a barracks for an exchange of 5 hours of site cleanup a week, help you find a job, and if you can stay employed and drug/alcohol free for 180 days, they will help you help you get an RV or Van, or roommates in an apartment.

      It has worked well so far. The homeless shelter was closed due to drugs and violence, but the fairgrounds “RV park” has remained, and had no issues. It’s mostly full of people that were displaced by their landlord selling their rental, and the new owner either turning it into an airbnb or doubled/tripled the rent.

      These people just want to stay in their home town and/or keep their kids in the schools they are in and with their friends. No one should get pushed out because of gentrification. And the fact that senior citizens on fixed incomes are being driven out because of skyrocketing property taxes because of home values grossly overvalued due to slumlords and AirBnb owners, is an absolute travesty and needs to be addressed.

      Homeless shelters are just going to turn this area into Portland. They don’t want to deal with the mess they created, and now want to pass it onto us. It is not a solution for our homeless residents. It will just bring the Portland/Salem/Eugene exiled transients

  13. God Bless his family for their tragic loss of this loving father and grandfather. I can not imagine what they are going through.
    I live a short distance from the hotel and walk by it each morning. I am fearful of the street people sleeping in the doorways of businesses and am very cautious not to carry money or wear any jewelry. Too many places offering to care for these people and some that I observe are drinking alcohol. I do not think we are very safe and we speak about this all the time.

  14. “If you build it, they will come.”
    This is a horrible, horrible thing that has happened in our community and an unbelievable tragedy for the family. I cannot imagine the pain and suffering they are experiencing. I know this is a controversial and unpopular opinion but I’m going to say it…This is a HUGE dilemma, as the homeless do not contribute anything good or beneficial to the community. Homelessness, drug abuse and mental illness need to be dealt with in facilities. Allowing them to live on the streets or be put up in state funded housing solves nothing. The homelessness, drug abuse and mental illness incorporated within our city creates extremely unsafe conditions. I recently went to the laundromat at the end of town and literally took my life in my hands when a homeless, mentally ill person came in swearing/ranting/raging. Police were called but the response took 30 minutes as no physical attack had occurred yet. By then the person was gone.
    Unfortunately, building homeless shelters will only bring more homeless. We don’t want to turn into a mini Portland. Our beautiful beach town will be destroyed.
    This terrible, brutal murder should have never had the opportunity to occur. And right now a family is experiencing the most horrific, unimaginable pain. My thoughts and prayers are with them during this extremely difficult time.
    I empathize with individuals whom have fallen on hard times but something needs to be done because when a persons ability to simply walk outside a local hotel and be subjected to an unprovoked attack and be murdered is beyond inexcusable. We need to seriously reassess the safety of our community and visitors who come to Lincoln City.

  15. My question is it was 8pm I know there is still people driving by there at it is not dark at 8pm and no one tried to help him before he killed him I know if I was driving by and seen someone getting beaten I would stop to help the person on the ground

  16. You know what,I agree. The coast is a place for enjoyment. When I go I want to try to find a float not get killed for my dog. I have walked all around Lincoln city and lately there are a lot of people sleeping on the beaches, now I won’t be going out alone. For sure

  17. Thank you Don for posting this tragedy.

    We recently found transients defecting and leaving their bags of human waste behind houses in the Taft area.

    This tragic murder coupled with this unsanitary problem of mentally ill openly defacating on private property will only get worse if the residents allow it.

    Push back. Do not let these government politicians, housing commissioners and authorities get away with this!

    Go to the City council and make your voices be heard. This murder is a clear indication Our SAFETY has been compromised!

    Don’t let those in power build any structure that encourages the unstable mentally ill people to gain a foothold here.

    Stop the insanity and vote out of office those that are in charge of perpetuating an unsafe environment for the property owners in Lincoln city and lincoln county,
    We need to hold these officials accountable NOW before lincoln city is overrun by sickness, disease and corruption.

    • Bingo!

      “Don’t let those in power build any structure that encourages the unstable mentally ill people to gain a foothold here.”

      That’s the only way. We must all come together, even if we have to barricade the building sites. The cities created this problem and now they don’t want to deal with it and make it ours. Many are already walking this way.

      Our future looks just like Portland if we allow this. If not for yourself, do it for the local youth.

  18. I agree with all 100% we don’t need this in our city who knows what will come in yes some are good but seems like the bad is out numbering the good. More they are given more they want without working for it.

  19. In Reserve NM, a little town in Lincoln County New Mexico
    The have a law that every head of household must own a gun and know how to use it They have very little crime in Reseve

  20. We moved here a few years ago and one of the reason we decided to was that it seemed like a cute, nice, safe place to retire. Since
    then they have started building these homeless places and without caring how
    LC residents feel about it. Now we have a tourist, walking his dog and is killed by a transient. We are beginning to question the wisdom of moving here.

  21. Our current conservative US Supreme Court has ruled we cannot clear the vagrants from public spaces until we have enough shelter beds for all of them. We have people sleeping in the bushes and parks and doorways all over town. We cannot reclaim our public and private spaces until we have shelter beds available.

  22. Over the last ten years, news articles related to crimes in LC & Newport have “graduated” from simple car break-ins to the tragic murder of Brady Cole. This happens when citizens refuse to vote yes to raise our taxes for more police and deputies to patrol our cities and county area 24/7. Our civic leaders seem more interested in offering services to those who refuse to contribute to our society than they are protecting hard-working citizens. Laws are being passed to protect them too (look at the Newport Library, across from our County Jail for proof). Can we please start supporting our men and women who sacrifice their lives to keep us safe!

  23. I’m sure everyone is aware that Lincoln City council just agreed to pay 48.000 for bullet proof windows in city hall. They are afraid that they will be shot. rules for thee but not for me. We also should feel safe and at this time I do not.

  24. I am sad for this beautiful family who lost their father, husband, grandfather, and all those who called him friend. What a traumatic and awful experience for his wife to bear.

    Thank you for sharing the piece and editorial. I want there to be solutions for people experiencing homelessness and for those with substance abuse and mental health issues. However, we need to go beyond simply providing interim housing. If our county does not have the resources to support people with housing (or other issues) or the funds to provide services and tools for these folks, then we are not ready to call these offerings a solution. Just because there are state and federal funds available does not mean our leaders have put together a thoughtful plan to address the problem holistically.

    A small town like Lincoln City, whose revenue is primarily derived from tourism, is not an appropriate target for short-term or interim transient/homeless shelters. Our town cannot afford to lose our ability to safely welcome tourists to our community without fear.

  25. Somebody should do some research where the alleged murderer got his funds for the long hotel stays mentioned in these comments. As a taxpayer we need to know where the money is going. Did the other agencies that had charges against him have options or a responsibility to keep the public safe?


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