Naked man irks residents, attacks KATU crew

Naked man irks residents, attacks KATU crew »Play Video
Olga Spitsa and her mother talk about their neighbor, who they say regularly runs around in the buff on his property.

HAPPY VALLEY, Ore. - Olga Spitsa and her mother have never had a neighbor quite like the guy who lives next door.

"I have two sisters who just don't need to see that kind of stuff," Spitsa told KATU News. "They are wholesome girls and they don't need to see someone's nakedness, unless it's, you know, their husband."

Spitsa was talking about Steven Howatt (pictured on the right). People up and down the street say he routinely gardens in the nude, goes to his mailbox in the nude and even relaxes in his hammock in the nude - all in clear view of his neighbors.

Walking around in the nude on your property is not illegal in Oregon, but Howatt's actions got so alarming that a group of neighbors took the problem to City Hall.

"We want people to feel comfortable in our community and we all, of course, want to live in harmony," said Steve Campbell, the city's Community Services Director.

The complaints about Howatt prompted Campbell to draw up an ordinance banning public nudity.

"The ordinance's intent is to let people know that if they are viewed from a public place and it offends someone or causes alarm or annoyance, then it would be a violation of city ordinance," he said.

City leaders, though, know the ordinance may be challenged in court because under state law, public nudity is legal.

However, Portland does have an ordinance that prohibits the public display of genitalia and Happy Valley hopes to do the same thing.

There have been several high profile pushes to outlaw public nudity in Oregon, but every one of them has failed.

Happy Valley's City Council will be holding a public hearing Tuesday night to consider the new ordinance.

So what does Howatt think about all this?

We knocked on his door and when he did not answer, we left his property and began talking to neighbors and shooting video.

Twenty minutes later, Howatt approached us in the street and tried to wrestle the camera away from our photographer. The photographer was not hurt.