FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. (AP) - A man was evicted from a cave he had lived in for 11 years after pleading guilty to using a national forest for residential purposes. Thomas J. Crawford had a bed, books and clothes arranged on hangers, along with pots and cutlery for cooking in his cave in the Coconino National Forest in northern Arizona.

He was arrested Friday after a Flagstaff resident reported a suspicious camp. Crawford pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court on Monday and was sentenced to one year of probation and banned from the forest.

He told Forest Service officials he would come to Flagstaff every week or so to get supplies and water. 'As you can see, I don't have a TV or anything,' he said. 'I've got the sky, the wind, the rain, the canyon wrens. ... This is a beautiful mountain. You could explore it a lifetime...'

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1,315 hits Rate me! Share Favorite | Flag 16 years ago by KikiPeepers

Should this man have been allowed to stay in his cave?
FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. (AP) - A man was evicted from a cave he had lived in for 11 years after pleading guilty to using a national forest for residential purposes. Thomas J. Crawford had a bed, books and clothes arranged on hangers, along with pots and cutlery for cooking in his cave in the Coconino National Forest in northern Arizona.

He was arrested Friday after a Flagstaff resident reported a suspicious camp. Crawford pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court on Monday and was sentenced to one year of probation and banned from the forest.

He told Forest Service officials he would come to Flagstaff every week or so to get supplies and water. `As you can see, I don`t have a TV or anything,` he said. `I`ve got the sky, the wind, the rain, the canyon wrens. ... This is a beautiful mountain. You could explore it a lifetime...`

http://apnews.myway.com//article/20...


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18 yrs ago, 8 mos ago - Thursday 9/11/03 - 1:18:41 PM EST (GMT-5)
Whoa! Eleven years living in a cave in the Flagstaff area? He had to be verrrry cold in the winter.
18 yrs ago, 8 mos ago - Thursday 9/11/03 - 1:23:59 PM EST (GMT-5)
Of course he should have been. But the bastards had to find some way of making money out of him. They'll probably do him for tax evasion next.
18 yrs ago, 8 mos ago - Thursday 9/11/03 - 1:25:33 PM EST (GMT-5)
They should have left this man alone. What is wrong with people? Why bother him? It wasn't like he was hurting anyone or anything. The forest wasn't hurt.
18 yrs ago, 8 mos ago - Thursday 9/11/03 - 1:28:19 PM EST (GMT-5)
I think so. He wasn't harming anyone, he wasn't even plotting some huge terrorist threat (as far as we know, anyway). I think people like this should just be left alone. There doing less harm then your average 2.5 person household that wastes electricity and gas and multiple other resources, renewable or not.
18 yrs ago, 8 mos ago - Tuesday 9/16/03 - 5:51:20 PM EST (GMT-5)
I'd say you can't allow him. Maybe he's doing no harmbut you just can't allow poeple to live in a national forest. It needs to be protected and we can't make exceptions to the rules. If more people started living in places they would get ruined. The past has shown us that exceptions like these don't work.
18 yrs ago, 8 mos ago - Tuesday 9/16/03 - 6:18:22 PM EST (GMT-5)
That pisses me off. Who is to say what another free-willed human being can call home and what they cannot? He was obviously very happy there.
Why take someone away from what has been their home for eleven years?
18 yrs ago, 8 mos ago - Tuesday 9/16/03 - 6:22:39 PM EST (GMT-5)
the inside of a cave is 55 degrees year round, khaki..

it took them 11 years to even notice him?? wow, he's obviously a bother to everyone...sheesh..leave him alone already..

18 yrs ago, 8 mos ago - Tuesday 9/16/03 - 6:26:21 PM EST (GMT-5)
i agree that he wasn't bothering anyone and my first thought was YEAH let him stay, but the more and more i think about it, no matter if he was causing harm or not, its still illegal. the laws are there for reasons. he can live out in the country or woods in those new hay houses or clay. there are other alternatives for him
18 yrs ago, 8 mos ago - Tuesday 9/16/03 - 6:36:43 PM EST (GMT-5)
Laws can be bent. I'm sure the man who lived in the cave doesn't really care about laws. If people like that just want to be free... I say let them, as long as they're not hurting anyone.
18 yrs ago, 7 mos ago - Thursday 9/25/03 - 3:27:29 PM EST (GMT-5)
So you would all love to see a bunch of homeless people move into the national forrest and make their own dirty little communities? I'm sorry. Yes this guy wasn't doing any harm, but if he was allowed to stay that would establish "precident." (sp?) And that is a very bad thing.
18 yrs ago, 7 mos ago - Thursday 9/25/03 - 3:29:55 PM EST (GMT-5)
precedent
18 yrs ago, 7 mos ago - Thursday 9/25/03 - 6:20:33 PM EST (GMT-5)
i say no, because it was a national forest. hell, i've been busted for being at parks after dark. bastards.
18 yrs ago, 7 mos ago - Thursday 9/25/03 - 6:21:45 PM EST (GMT-5)
Not if he was using the forest as a toilet.
18 yrs ago, 7 mos ago - Thursday 9/25/03 - 8:23:14 PM EST (GMT-5)
Thanks Tanfeller.
18 yrs ago, 7 mos ago - Tuesday 10/7/03 - 5:32:11 AM EST (GMT-5)
Nice and innocuous as this story sounds, if you allow him to then anybody could just go and start living in the national park. That would ruin the national parks. Besides the obvious legal problems.
18 yrs ago, 6 mos ago - Sunday 10/26/03 - 10:39:51 PM EST (GMT-5)
It is not as though there is no where else to live. There is countryside for months that he could be living in. That particular bit has been set aside as a national park, not a KOA.
18 yrs ago, 5 mos ago - Monday 12/1/03 - 8:07:40 PM EST (GMT-5)
STOP USING BIG WORDS!
18 yrs ago, 5 mos ago - Tuesday 12/2/03 - 2:25:33 PM EST (GMT-5)
That isn't fair. He didn't do anything. He was there for eleven years - obviously if he'd done something wrong, like set the forest on fire, they should have.
18 yrs ago, 5 mos ago - Tuesday 12/2/03 - 2:26:15 PM EST (GMT-5)
Yea he took up residence on property he wasnt supposed to.
18 yrs ago, 3 mos ago - Thursday 2/19/04 - 6:19:06 PM EST (GMT-5)
I feel sorry for the man if he has no other place to call home, but the fact is , he is trespassing on federal land. It's against the law. And as castorquinn said, inevitably other people would elect to set up house there eventually, then what?
17 yrs ago, 11 mos ago - Tuesday 5/25/04 - 7:59:19 AM EST (GMT-5)
17 yrs ago, 11 mos ago - Tuesday 5/25/04 - 8:01:56 AM EST (GMT-5)
I bet he's never even heard of reality tv.
17 yrs ago, 11 mos ago - Tuesday 5/25/04 - 8:48:10 AM EST (GMT-5)
The horror!
17 yrs ago, 11 mos ago - Tuesday 5/25/04 - 8:51:33 AM EST (GMT-5)
According to John Gray's "Men Are from Mars, Women Are from Venus," it's only natural for this guy to be in the cave to begin with. It's also natural that he come out. Staying in one's cave is emotionally damaging. Hurray for the federal government looking out for his mental welfare.
17 yrs ago, 11 mos ago - Tuesday 5/25/04 - 9:25:18 AM EST (GMT-5)
well he wasn't bothering anything, if he was it wouldn't have taken them 11 years to find him, they should have just left him.

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