Salem Police Dept.
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News Releases
Salem Police To Participate in Seatbelt and Safety Restraint Campaign-UPDATE - 09/09/14
**** UPDATE ****

Salem Police Department participated in the Oregon Seatbelt and Safety Restraint Campaign from August 25 through September 7, 2014. During that two week period the Salem Police Traffic Control Unit issued 130 citations for safety restraint violations, 299 speeding citations, 28 citations for driving with a suspended license, an additional 408 citations were issued for various other offenses and 25 arrests were made for various charges.

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The Salem Police Department will be participating in a statewide campaign to address seatbelt use, proper child safety seat use, cell phone distractions (texting), speed violations and impaired drivers.

The Department will be using Federal funds from the US Department of Transportation to increase traffic patrols during the daylight hours from August 25 through September 7 in this third annual enforcement and education campaign. The goal of the campaign is to reduce the number of motor vehicle related deaths and injuries by increasing the public awareness of laws regarding the three most prevalent factors contributing to traffic crash injuries: safety restraint use, speed and impaired drivers.

A statewide observation survey in June 2013 found ninety- eight percent of Oregon's motoring public using safety belts, making Oregon one of the two highest safety belt use states in our country. Since the 1990 passage of Oregon's adult seatbelt law, observed seatbelt use among the motoring public has doubled from 50% to 98% while crash fatality and injury rates have both dramatically decreased by 58% and 24% respectively.

Child safety seats reduce crash fatality risk for infants under one year old by 71% and for toddlers aged one to four by 54%. Safety belts reduce fatality risk by 45 to 60 percent. And yet, 31%, or 61 of Oregon's 198 occupant fatalities in 2012 were reportedly unrestrained. ODOT estimates that approximately half of these fatalities could have been avoided with proper restraint use.

The Salem Police Department along with the Oregon Department of Transportation encourages all drivers and passengers to make a conscious effort to use their seatbelt at all times when traveling in a motor vehicle regardless of the distance traveled. We are also encouraging the proper use of child safety seats and restraints.

For help with child seats, refer to the seat manufacturer's instructions, vehicle owner's manual, or your local child seat fitting station. A list of fitting stations can be found at: http://www.nhtsa.gov/apps/cps/index.htm or at http://oregonimpact.org/car-seat-resources/
Salem Police to participate in traffic safety campaign-UPDATE - 09/09/14
**** UPDATE ****

The Salem Police Department assigned two officers to work varied shifts during the Labor Day holiday weekend on this high visibility project. These officers arrested four subjects for Driving Under the Influence of Intoxicants, cited two drivers for driving with suspended licenses and issued 17 citations and warnings on various other violations. There were four additional subjects arrested for Driving Under the Influence of Intoxicants by other officers in the Salem Police Department during this time period.


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Salem Police Officers will be partnering with Oregon Impact to participate in a statewide traffic enforcement and safety campaign throughout the Labor Day (September 1st) weekend to focus on motorists driving under the influence of intoxicants.

The goal of the statewide campaign is to reduce the number of motor vehicle related deaths and injuries by increasing public awareness of driving under the influence of intoxicants and focusing enforcement efforts during the busy holiday weekend. The campaign is in conjunction with Oregon Impact and other law enforcement agencies throughout the state.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) data shows that 780 people lost their lives in crashes involving drivers with a Blood Alcohol Content of .08 or more during July 4th holidays over the last five years (from 2007 to 2011). These fatalities account for 40% of all motor vehicle traffic fatalities over this same five-year period.

The Salem Police Department wishes everyone a safe and happy 4th of July, but please celebrate safely and always have a designated driver. Remember: When in doubt, get a ride!
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Salem Police Make Arrest In Gang Related Shooting (Photo) - 09/04/14
On Monday, September 1st, at about 9:30 PM, 25 year old Erik Coronel of Woodburn was driving through the parking lot of Petsmart, 2925 Lancaster Dr NE, when he encountered two young Hispanic males and one young Hispanic female. The Hispanic males were making gang gestures and there were words exchanged between them and Coronel. As Coronel was driving away, one of the males pulled a pistol out of his waistband and began firing at Coronel. Coronel sustained non-life threatening gunshot wounds and began driving himself to the hospital. Enroute, Coronel's passenger called 911 and they were instructed to meet medics and police at Fred Meyer, 3740 Market St NE, which they agreed to. Medics transported Coronel to Salem Hospital while officers searched the area of the shooting for the suspect.

The investigation was jointly conducted by Salem PD's Criminal Investigation Section and Gang Enforcement Team. Wednesday afternoon, the shooter was taken into custody and the two juveniles with him were identified. The shooter is 18 year old Jose Antonio Lopez-Avalos of Beaverton. He was booked into the Marion County Correctional Facility charged with Attempted Murder, Assault II, and Unlawful Use of a Weapon.

Deputy Chief James Ferraris, who is in charge of the Investigations Division said, "I am very pleased at the investigation conducted by the Gang Enforcement Team and detectives. We will not tolerate senseless gang violence in our city and will use all available resources to swiftly hold those responsible accountable."
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Salem Police Honor Guard Receives Grant From Siletz Tribe - 09/03/14
The Salem Police Department Honor Guard has received a grant from the Siletz Tribe in the amount of $2,167.84 in order to replace aging team equipment and to equip new members of the team.

The Salem Police Department Honor Guard was established in 2001 with six original department members, both active duty and retired. The team's primary mission is to support families and coworkers of peace officers killed in the line of duty and the secondary mission is to represent the Salem Police Department and our proud police profession and rich ceremonial heritage at police activities and events. The team was originally funded through the Salem Police Foundation and private party donations and has participated in over 20 fallen officer services in three states, over a dozen memorial services-including the National Police Week in Washington, DC, multiple City and Police Department functions and numerous community events with flag presentations.

It costs approximately $1,500 to outfit a new member of the team with uniforms and equipment, and the grant from the Siletz Tribe will cover the costs of one and one half uniforms for new team members.

The Salem Police Department wishes to thank the Siletz Tribe for this generous donation that will enable the Salem Police Department Honor Guard to continue in this rich tradition of honoring our law enforcement profession.

Anyone wishing to make a tax deductible donation to the Salem Police Honor Guard may do so through the Salem Police Foundation at PO Box 2631Salem, OR 97308, attention Honor Guard, or on the Salem Police Foundation website at SalemPoliceFoundation.org.
Salem Police Investigating Shooting Incident - 09/01/14
11:20pm, Monday, 9/01/14

The correct date of this incident in Monday, 9/01/14.

Detectives from the Gang Response Unit and Criminal Investigations are currently investigating the incident. No further information is expected to be released to night.
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10:35pm, Monday, 9/01/14

At approx. 9:38pm, 9/1/14; Salem Police responded to a shooting incident which occurred near the 3000 block of Lancaster Dr. NE. One subject sustained a non-life threatening gunshot wound. The victim was contacted while enroute to the hospital. Detectives and the Gang Response Unit are continuing the investigation.

Information is limited at this point as Detectives verify information regarding this incident.
Salem Police Investigating Hit & Run Traffic Crash ***Driver Arrested*** - 08/30/14
Salem PD Case #14-34903

UPDATE: 2:20am, Sat. 8/30/14 HIT & RUN DRIVER IDENTIFIED AND ARRESTED

Moments after the crash, the driver fled the scene and drove through a red traffic light at Commercial St. NE & Marion St. NE. This intersection has a photo redlight camera installed which takes photo's of vehicles and drivers who disregard the red traffic signal. Officers were able to access the photo as several witnesses reported the photo redlight camera flash going off as the silver Jeep Cherokee fled the scene.

While Officers were following up on accessing the photo redlight picture, a stolen vehicle report of a Jeep Cherokee was called into Salem Police at approx. 9:15pm, (Fri. 8/29/14). A Patrol Officer responded and took the stolen auto report.

At approx. 11:00pm, (Fri. 8/29/14), the photo of the silver Jeep Cherokee which was driven through the photo redlight from the crash was received. From the photo, the vehicle license number and drivers photo were identified. Further investigation revealed that the registered owner had earlier reported the vehicle as being stolen. The owner matched the photo of the driver taken by the photo redlight camera.

Officers responded and contacted the vehicle owner at approx. 12:10am, (Sat. 8/30/14). During the interview, the owner admitted to being the driver at the time the vehicle went through the red light at Commercial NE & Marion NE, but denied being involved in the traffic crash. The owner initially reported that he drove home to West Salem, where he later discovered the vehicle stolen. As the interview continued, the owner admitted to being the driver at the time of hitting the bicyclist. The driver got scared and fled the scene. He then returned home, reported the vehicle as stolen and then drove it out into rural Polk County where he left it. The driver then told the Officers where the Jeep Cherokee was located and Officers responded to it.

The driver of the silver Jeep Cherokee has been identified as:
Antonio RAMOS-PEREZ, HMA, 38yrs. (dob:4/19/76), of West Salem. RAMOS-PEREZ will be booked into Marion Co. Jail on charges of:
* Felony Hit & Run (Failure to Perform the Duties of a driver involved in an accident); and
* Initiating a False Report

The vehicle was insured at the time of the traffic crash. The crash investigation and reconstruction are continuing.
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UPDATE: 12:35am, Sat. 8/30/14
The bicyclist who was struck has been identified as Ricardo SOTO, 53yrs of Salem. Mr. SOTO sustained non-life threatening injuries but was admitted to a medical facility.

The investigation is continuing and being handled by Patrol and Traffic Control Unit Officers. Anyone with information concerning the driver or 1990's silver Jeep Cherokee are asked to contact Salem Police at 503-588-6123.
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Incident: Vehicle vs Bicyclist Hit & Run Injury Traffic Crash
Occ time/date: 8:48pm, Fri., 08/29/14
Loc: Commercial St NE & Union St. NE

Salem Police are investigating an injury Hit & Run traffic crash involving a vehicle and bicyclist. A bicycle being ridden by a 53 yr old male who was traveling east on Union St. NE, and crossing Commercial St NE was struck by a silver 1990's model Jeep Cherokee who had been traveling south on Commercial St. NE. The bicyclist was thrown into the air and landed in the roadway with injuries. The Jeep Cherokee continued past the accident scene, pulled over and stopped for a few moments before fleeing the scene, driving south on Commercial St NE from Marion St. NE.

The bicyclist was transported to the hospital due to his injuries. The name of the bicyclist is being with held pending notification of family.

The Traffic Control Unit is assisting Patrol Officers with the investigation. Commercial St. NE at Union St.NE is currently closed and is expected to be closed for approximately one hour.
Patrol Officers have re-routed traffic pending the reopening of Commercial St. NE.

Anyone who may have witnessed, (who did not speak with an officer on-scene) or have information on the accident, the Silver Jeep Cherokee or driver are asked to call Salem Police Dispatch at 503-588-6123.
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Salem Police Request Assistance in Locating Missing Endangered Juvenile (Photo) *** UPDATE *** - 08/21/14
*** UPDATE ***

Last night at approximately 8:20 pm, Bethany Desanto was spotted in the area of Portland Rd NE and Hayesville Dr NE by citizens, who contacted the Marion County Sheriff's Office. Bethany was taken into protective custody a short time after by Marion County Deputies and was immediately returned to the custody of the Department of Human Services.

The Salem Police Department would like to thank everyone who contacted us and offered assistance and information.


Salem Police Detectives are asking for assistance from the public in locating a missing 15-year old girl who is possibly in a situation that presents a danger to her.

Bethany Desanto was contacted by a Salem Police Officer on August 12, 2014 when she was found living with her homeless mother in Minto Brown Island Park. Bethany was taken into protective custody at that time and placed in the custody of the Department of Human Services, who later placed her in a foster home in the north Salem area. She fled from that foster home on August 13, she has not been in contact with her relatives, and her whereabouts are currently unknown.

Bethany is known to use controlled substances and alcohol and may frequent homeless camps and other areas that could place her in direct danger. A missing person report has been taken by the Marion County Sheriff's Office and she has been entered into the national database as missing and endangered. Bethany may also give a false name when contacted.

Anyone who has information about Bethany is asked to contact Salem Police Detective Sergeant Michael Bennett at 503-540-2456, or 911 if they know of her current whereabouts.

Photos of Bethany are attached.