Neighbors of figure skater Tonya Harding called police to a remote area of northeast Clark County on Saturday morning, reportedly to investigate gunshots from Harding's residence.
Neighbors called police to a remote area of northeast Clark County on Saturday morning, reportedly to investigate gunshots from the residence of figure skater Tonya Harding.
Sheriff’s Sgt. Tim Bieber said Sunday that a deputy responded to the area, but took no action.
The deputy had gone up to an area on Sunset Falls Road where somebody was calling in a noise complaint involving shooting, coming from across the street, which appears to be the Harding residence, Bieber said.
Bieber said the area is considered a nonrestricted shooting zone, and that target shooting is commonplace in many areas of rural north Clark County. The first call came in to the county’s 911 dispatch center shortly after 10 a.m., and the dispatch log notes that someone was “firing high-powered rifles in a dangerous manner.”
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Bieber said the deputy spoke with an unidentified resident who reported the shooting, but that the situation did not merit any citations.
The incident generated no written police report, he said.
The neighbor who called in the report, who asked not to be identified, told The Columbian that two of his tenants, who live in rental houses nearby, called him to complain about someone firing a gun. The landlord, who lives about 800 feet from Harding’s residence, said he was concerned enough to call police.
“Someone was discharging a gun,” he said. “I don’t know if it was Tonya or several people she had there. It’s happened before, and my tenants have also called before. I called the sheriff’s office. I wanted someone to talk to her or someone to find out what was going on.”
The neighbor added that he’s a hunter, that plenty of people in the area use guns, and that neighbors generally respect the infamous figure skater’s right to do what she wants where she lives.
“Quite frankly, sometimes I think it feeds the gossip mill when her name shows up,” he said Sunday. “I’m sure the deputy talked to her. There’s been no shooting today, and that’s fine. That’s the main objective. She has a perfect right to shoot. I don’t know that she’s not doing it in a safe manner. I called the sheriff as a courtesy.”
Efforts to contact Harding or her manager on Sunday were unsuccessful.
Harding, 37, first gained fame in 1991 as the first American woman to stick a triple axel in competition, winning a gold medal at the U.S. Figure Skating Championships.
In 1994, she was implicated with her then-husband and associates with bashing the knee of her skating rival, Nancy Kerrigan, during a practice session before the Winter Olympics. She eventually pleaded guilty to hindering prosecution and was banned for life by the U.S. Figure Skating Association.
The figure skater’s rise and fall from public grace continues to be the source of public titillation, with the opening of “Tonya and Nancy: The Rock Opera” just last month in Portland.
“I’m a redneck girl. I live in the middle of … nowhere,” she told The Kansas City Star during a December appearance at a mixed-martial-arts competition. “I cut wood, drink beer, work on cars, that kind of thing. That’s who I am.”