Salem Police Dept.
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News Releases
Salem Police Investigating Hit & Run Traffic Crash ***Driver Arrested*** - 08/30/14
Salem PD Case #14-34903


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.

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.

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.
Salem Police to participate in traffic safety campaign - 08/27/14
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!
Salem Police To Participate in Seatbelt and Safety Restraint Campaign - 08/21/14
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: or at
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.
PIO Forum is August 21-Please note new time - 08/15/14
The next PIO forum will be held on Thursday, August 21 at 11:30 am. The meeting will be held at CCTV, 575 Trade St SE in Salem.

This is an excellent opportunity for media to meet with a variety of local Public Information Officers and to exchange information and ideas
Salem Police Accepting Applications For Citizen Police Academy - 08/06/14
Salem Police Department's 33rd Citizen Police Academy will begin on September 3, 2014 for a period of 14 weeks, ending December 3. Classes will be limited to 20 students and will involve Wednesday evening classes as well as three Saturday classes.

The goal of the Citizen Police Academy is to inform and educate citizens regarding police practices and services and to enhance the relationship between the police department and the community. Classes include: a session with Chief Jerry Moore; Traffic Stops; Defensive Tactics; SWAT Operations; Ethics and Drug House Investigations.

Successful applicants must be at least 18 years of age, have a valid driver's license, have no felony convictions, no misdemeanor arrests within 12 months prior to the Academy and must live or work within the City of Salem. The course is free, but to graduate, each student must attend at least 80% of the classes.

If you would like to be considered to attend the Academy, please contact Jennifer Graber at 588-6499 opt.1, or and an application packet will be mailed to you. The deadline for completed applications is August 31 but applicants are encouraged to submit their applications early as spaces are filled on a first come, first served basis.
Salem Police & Fire search for missing 16 year old **** UPDATE **** - 08/04/14
**** CORRECTION ****

Matthew Tufts went into the Mill Creek on the evening of August 3 and was found deceased on the morning of August 4.

**** UPDATE ****

Divers from the Newberg Fire Department water rescue team found 16-year old Matthew Tufts of Salem deceased at 9:37 am on August 2 in the Mill Creek in Salem.

Matthew had been swimming with friends in the Mill Creek at the east end of the Lakeside Village Mobile Home Park in the 3200 block of Turner Rd SE on the evening of August 1. He got into the water, and when he did not get back out his friends searched for him then summoned help. The Salem Police and Fire Departments responded and checked the area as well and requested assistance from the Newberg Fire Department water rescue team. Due to darkness and hazardous conditions in the Mill Creek, the search was suspended after midnight and resumed this morning. Matthew was located approximately 100 feet downstream from where he had gone into the water.

Matthew's family was present at the scene when he was found and is requesting no contact from the media at this time.

The Salem Police Department would like to remind those who are swimming in our streams, creeks and rivers that as the summer progresses and water levels change, submerged hazards such as rocks and tree branches can become even more hazardous. Please swim with caution

2:00am, Monday, 8/04/14

At 9:05pm, Sunday, 8/03/14; Police & Fire units responded to a report of a 16 yr old male who had been swimming in Mill Creek adjacent to the 3200 block of Turner Rd. SE. The male was seen to jump into the water but did not surface. The male was not wearing any floatation device.

Police & Fire units conducted both a ground and water search using a boat from the area where the male was seen entering Mill Creek north to the area of Cascade Gateway Park, which Mill Creek runs through. The male was not located. Mill Creek in this area has areas of both fast moving and calm, slower moving water.In addition, the water depth of Mill Creek ranges from areas of 2-3 feet to pools that are 10-15 feet deep.

A dive team responded, but due to hazardous water,current and nighttime conditions, it was determined to wait until daylight to conduct a search.

Due to the males age, and until his whereabouts can be determined, his name will be withheld.

This investigation is continuing. No further information is available at this time.