HR's Baker fought David Peterson, man who has been charged with four murders

October 15, 2011

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Scott Baker, (top) faced David Pedersen in a MMA bout in July; just a couple months before a murder spree that left four dead.

When Scott Baker stepped into the octagon on July 16, he had no idea what he was getting into.

Or rather, who he was getting into it with.

It was a full-contact cage fight - that much he knew. The Rumble at the Roseland was an amateur mixed martial arts event, and his opponent, he knew, was also fighting for the very first time.

To the tune of heavy metal music, Baker, a former Hood River Valley High School wrestler and graduate, entered the ring first and bounced around his corner poised for the bout. David Pederson entered second, to the tune of what resembled old Irish folk music.

Among Pederson's tattoos were a large swastika on his back, a picture of Adolph Hitler on his stomach and the letters "SWP" (Supreme White Power) stretched across his throat.

"I saw all the tattoos at weigh-ins and said to myself, 'oh great,'" Baker said Wednesday about Pedersen, who was arrested in California last week, accused of committing four murders with his girlfriend Holly Ann Grigsby. Among the victims was Pederson's father and step-mother, as well as a 19-year-old man from Lafayette, OR and a 53-year-old California man.

"I didn't believe it at first, when I saw his picture on the news," Baker said. "It's just crazy. After the fight, he shook my hand and said good job. He seemed like a nice guy."

Baker won the bout in less than a minute by getting Pedersen in a choke hold.

"I saw him again at the coast at a different event," he said. "After the fight a few of the fighters hung out. I even had a couple beers with him. And honestly, he didn't stand out. He was quiet, but he seemed like a nice guy."

When Portland news outlets caught wind of Baker's fight with Pedersen, it wasn't long before a reporter and camera were at his Hood River home, and before Baker and his two kids were on Fox News, telling the story of his bout with a murderer.

"The whole thing is just crazy," he said. "I found out right before the fight that he had just got out of prison. At that point it was too late to do anything but fight, so I didn't think about it."

Reports note that Pederson was released from prison in May after serving seven years behind bars for, among other things, assaulting a police officer and threatening the life of a judge.

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Parkdale third graders sing "12 Disaster Days of Christmas"

Welcome to your sing-able Christmas gift list. What follows is an emergency rendition of “12 Days of Christmas” – for outfitting your home or car in case of snow storm, earthquake, flood or other emergency. Read it as a simple list, or sing it to the tune of “12 Days” – you know, as in “ … and a partridge in a pear tree…” Not to make light of it, but the song is a familiar framework for a set of gift ideas that you could consider gathering together, even if the recipient already owns items such as a bunch of coats, tire chains and flashlights. Stores throughout the Gorge are stocked up on all these items. Buying all 12 days might be prohibitive, but here are three ideas for checking any of the dozen off your list (notations follow, 1-12.) The gift items needed to stay warm, dry and safe are also coded to suggest items in your abode (A) in your car (C) or both (B). 12 Gallons of Water (A) 11 Family meals (B) 10 Cans of propane (A) 9 Hygiene bags (B) 8 Packs of batteries (A) 7 Spare coats (B) 6 Bright red flares (C) 5 Cozy blankets (B) 4 Tire chains (C) 3 Flashlights (B) 2 cell phone chargers (B) 1 And a crush-proof first aid kit (B) Price ranges? Here’s a few quotes for days Three, Two, Four and Nine: n A family gift of flashlights (three will run $15-30, Hood River Supply, Tum-A-Lum) n Cell phone chargers (two will run $30-60) n Tire chains (basic set, $30, Les Schwab, returnable if unused for the winter) n Family meals ($100 or so should cover the basics for three or four reasonably well-fed days) n The home kit should be kept in a handy place near an exit, and remember that water needs to be replenished every few months. If you have a solid first aid kit already, switch out the gift idea with “and-a-sto-o-u-t- tub-for it-all …” Otherwise, it’s a case of assembling your home or car kits and making sure all members of the family know what the resources are and how to use them (ie flares and propane). Emergency situations are at worst life-threatening, at best deeply uncomfortable if you and your family are left without power for an extended period, or traveling and find yourself in a situation where you need to wait out a storm, lengthy traffic delay, or other crisis. Notes on the 12 gift ideas: 12 – Gallons of water: that’s one per person in a four-member family to last for three days, the recommended minimum to be prepared for utility outages. 11 – Easy-open packaged goods, energy bars, dried food and nuts are good things to include for nutrition. Think of what your family of four needs for three days to stay fortified and hydrated (see number 12). Can-opener also recommended 10 – If you have a propane camping stove, keep extra fuel handy. 9 – Hygiene bags: put packaged moistened towelettes, toilet paper, and plastic ties in large garbage bags (for personal sanitation) Resource list courtesy of Hood River County Emergency Management, Barbara Ayers, manager/ 541-386-1213. The county also reminds residents to Get a Kit, Make A Plan to connect your family if separated, and Stay Informed. See www.co.hood-river.or.us to opt-in for citizen alerts. Enlarge



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