About FlashAlert on Twitter:
FlashAlert utilizes the free service Twitter to distribute emergency text messages. While you are welcome to register your cell phone text message address directly into the FlashAlert system, we recommend that you simply "follow" the FlashAlert account for Washington Co. Sheriff's Office by clicking on the link below and logging in to (or creating) your free Twitter account. Twitter sends messages out exceptionally fast thanks to arrangements they have made with the cell phone companies.
December 9, 2016 - With your help, Washington County Sheriff's Office Volunteers collected 1,087 new and gently used coats and about 120 additional items such as socks, scarves and gloves for people in need here in Washington County. Thank you to all who participated and gave warmth. And a special "thank you" to all of the Washington County Sheriff's Office Volunteers that continue to make this program a success.
Original release below:
Coat Drive Helps Foster Children and Their Families Keep Warm in Winter
October 28, 2016 -- The need has never been greater and it's never been easier to make a difference in your community. Here is your opportunity to make sure local foster children and their families don't go without such a basic necessity as a coat this winter.
Washington County is collecting new or clean and gently used coats and jackets as part of the One Warm Coat community service project. Coats of all shapes and sizes are welcome. This year the donation of children's coats is especially encouraged. One Warm Coat is dedicated to distributing reusable coats, free of charge, directly to local children and adults. The program is an easy way for you and your family to pass along coats and jackets that you no longer need.
Washington County has made donating a coat simple. Just bring your coats and jackets to one of the following locations during their regular business hours:
Public Service Building Lobby, 155 N. First Avenue, Hillsboro (Mon-Fri 8am-5pm)
Sheriff's Office Hillsboro Headquarters, 215 SW Adams Avenue, Hillsboro (Sun-Sat 8am-9:30pm)
Sheriff's Office East Precinct and Washington County Elections, 3700 SW Murray Boulevard, Beaverton (Mon-Fri 8am-5pm)
Sheriff's Office Bethany Precinct, 4576 NW Bethany Blvd, Suite L5, Portland (Mon-Fri 8:30am-4:30pm)
Land Use and Transportation, 1400 SW Walnut Street, Hillsboro, OR (Mon-Fri 8am-5pm)
Cornelius Police Department, 1311 N. Barlow Street, Cornelius, OR (Mon-Fri 8am-5pm)
City of Banks, 13680 NW Main Street, Banks, OR (Mon-Fri 8am-1pm)
Coats will be collected from now until Friday, December 2, 2016. Then Washington County will take care of the rest. All donated coats will be given to Foster Closet, who will distribute them at no cost to foster children and foster families.
One Warm Coat is national non-profit organization that supports and encourages coat drives. It helps individuals, groups, companies and organizations across the country collect coats and deliver them to local agencies that distribute the coats free to people in need. More than one million coats have been provided to those in need at no cost since its inception in 1992.
In partnership with the Cornelius Walmart and Cornelius Fred Meyer, underprivileged children enjoyed the opportunity this week to go holiday shopping with Sheriff's Deputies serving the City of Cornelius as well as officers from the Forest Grove Police Department.
On December 5th and 7th a total of 55 local children participated in the "Shop with a Cop" program. This annual holiday event partners deputies and officers with each child so they may select gifts for their family members. In addition to shopping for their family, each child received wrapped items from their own wish list. Children participating in these events were nominated with the assistance from local schools.
"It means so much to our students who get selected to 'Shop with a Cop'," said Fern Hill School Counselor, Jessica Sifers. "Not only do these kids get to go shopping for presents for their families, but they also learn that a police officer can be a resource for advice and be there when they need a friend."
The annual "Shop with a Cop" event is made possible through generous donations provided by community partners, including:
-Cornelius Fred Meyer
-Sheriff's Office Foundation of Washington County, Oregon
-Washington County Police Officer's Association (WCPOA)
-People Helping People
-Forest Grove McDonald's
Foundation President Sal DiGrande said, "The Sheriff's Office Foundation is proud to be a sponsor of the Shop with a Cop event. Partnering children together with law enforcement fosters a trusting relationship that will remain with them throughout their lives."
December 5, 2016 -- The Washington County Sheriff's Office is seeking the public's help in locating 31-year-old Benjamin J. Barber. Mr. Barber is wanted after failing to report to the jail to begin serving his sentence.
Mr. Barber was sentenced on December 1, 2016 to six months in jail after being convicted of five counts of Unlawful Dissemination of an Intimate Image (see original media release dated December 1, 2016). During his sentencing hearing, a Washington County Circuit Court judge ordered Mr. Barber to report to the Washington County Jail by 7pm on December 2, 2016 to begin his sentence.
Mr. Barber failed to report as ordered and a warrant was issued for his arrest. If you know his current whereabouts, please do not approach him. Instead, call 911 or non-emergency dispatch at 503-629-0111.
December 4, 2016--Washington County Sheriff's Deputies are searching for a person that stole a bicycle from a special needs man.
On December 2, 2016, Sheriff's Deputies were called to a residence in the community of Raleigh Hills, concerning a reported stolen bicycle. Sheriff's Deputies learned Jason Eland's bicycle was stolen from the Raleigh Hills Fred Meyer store at about 1:20 p.m. on Friday December 2, 2016.
Jason lives with his sister as he is unable to live by himself. Jason's main daily activities consist of him riding his bicycle to Fred Meyer then Washington Square. Jason is pictured with his red Trek bicycle. Family reports that Jason's bicycle is "his whole life."
Video evidence shows a man watching the bicycle, and then he got on it and rode off into an unknown direction. Sheriff's Deputies searched the area with no success. Sheriff's Deputies are inspecting surveillance video and other evidence.
There is a still photo of the suspect from the surveillance footage at Fred Meyer. The suspect was described as a white male with short hair. He was wearing a dark coat and a blue backpack.
Deputies are seeking the public's help regarding this case. If you have any information, please call the Washington County Sheriff's Office at (503) 629-0111.
December 1, 2016 -- On November 28, 2016, Washington County Sheriff's Deputies assigned to the Courthouse Complex had to contend with a large macaw located in a tree. It was determined that the bird belonged to Craig Buckner (top inset photo) who was at the courthouse for a court appearance.
Mr. Buckner had not expected to be at the courthouse long and had placed the bird into a tree on the courthouse grounds to wait. Mr. Buckner was taken into custody on his court case and was very concerned for the well-being of his companion animal. The 4-year old macaw, named "Bird," was very well trained and would not leave the tree for anyone other than Mr. Buckner. Court security deputies escorted Mr. Buckner outside to retrieve "Bird" from the tree. Sheriff's Deputies allowed the macaw to accompany Mr. Buckner inside the court booking area to eat and cared for.
After several phone calls, deputies were able to locate a friend of Mr. Buckner who could pick up and care for "Bird" while Mr. Buckner resolves his court case.
Deputy Shoana McKelvey (bottom inset photo), who cared for "Bird" during the course of events said, "Our Sheriff's Office has very strong core values of doing the right thing. I also have very strong moral values of treating all people with compassion no matter what role I am taking. Mr. Buckner was already in a stressful position and did not need the additional stress and worry of his loved pet, Bird! Bringing the two together brought me joy and brought relief to Mr. Buckner and safety to his bird."
Man First to be Prosecuted Under New Oregon Law
December 1, 2016 -- Benjamin J. Barber, 31, was sentenced this morning in Washington County Circuit Court in what is believed to be the state's first prosecution and conviction under Oregon's Unlawful Dissemination of an Intimate Image statute.
In June 2016, a criminal complaint was made to the Washington County Sheriff's Office that 31-year-old Benjamin J. Barber had posted pornographic videos of himself and the complainant to multiple adult web sites. The complainant reported that the videos were made with consent while the person was in an intimate relationship with Mr. Barber. However, after they terminated their relationship, Mr. Barber uploaded several of these videos to multiple adult web sites without the complainant's knowledge or consent. This activity is sometimes referred to as "revenge porn."
Washington County Sheriff's deputies investigated the allegations and ultimately arrested Mr. Barber on July 17, 2016, accusing him of violating Oregon's Unlawful Dissemination of an Intimate Image statute (see statute, below). Sheriff's office detectives continued the investigation by executing search warrants on several pornographic web sites.
After a two-day trial in November before Washington County Circuit Court Judge Beth L. Roberts, a jury found Mr. Barber guilty of five counts of Unlawful Dissemination of an Intimate Image.
During a sentencing hearing this morning, Mr. Barber was sentenced to six months in jail, followed by five years of formal probation.
The state of Oregon was represented by Marie Atwood of the Washington County District Attorney's Office. Mr. Barber was represented by Cameron Taylor of the Metropolitan Public Defender's Office.
The victim does not desire any media contact.
Unlawful Dissemination of an Intimate Image (Oregon Revised Statutes 163.472)
(1) A person commits the crime of unlawful dissemination of an intimate image if:
(a) The person, with the intent to harass, humiliate or injure another person, knowingly causes to be disclosed through an Internet website an identifiable image of the other person whose intimate parts are visible or who is engaged in sexual conduct;
(b) The person knows or reasonably should have known that the other person does not consent to the disclosure;
(c) The other person is harassed, humiliated or injured by the disclosure; and
(d) A reasonable person would be harassed, humiliated or injured by the disclosure.
(2)(a) Except as provided in paragraph (b) of this subsection, unlawful dissemination of an intimate image is a Class A misdemeanor.
(b) Unlawful dissemination of an intimate image is a Class C felony if the person has a prior conviction under this section at the time of the offense.
November 30, 2016 - In April of 2014, Madaline Pitkin passed away while under medical care at the Washington County Jail. In response to this incident, the Sheriff stated, "On behalf of everyone at the Washington County Sheriff's Office, I express my deepest sympathies and condolences to Ms. Pitkin's family and friends. Madaline Pitkin's death was a tragedy, and we remain committed to taking decisive steps to make sure that we have the highest level of health care available."
The Oregon State Medical Examiner's Office concluded Ms. Pitkin died from "complications of chronic intravenous drug abuse" and the circumstances of her death appear to indicate her medical care, provided by the contracted health care provider Corizon, was inadequate. In the seven days Ms. Pitkin was in the jail, deputies repeatedly expressed concern about her condition to Corizon staff. On April 23, 2014, the deputy supervising the unit where Ms. Pitkin was housed was concerned about Ms. Pitkin, and made calls to Corizon staff requesting she be seen. Ms. Pitkin was transferred to the jail's medical observation unit shortly thereafter. The following day, April 24, Ms. Pitkin collapsed and jail staff did their very best to revive her.
During the normal administrative review of medical records in the days following Ms. Pitkin's death, the Sheriff was shocked and dismayed to learn of Corizon's apparent lack of response to her written requests for medical help. Accordingly, the Sheriff asked the District Attorney to assign the County's Major Crimes Team to conduct a criminal investigation of Ms. Pitkin's death. The investigation did not find criminal wrongdoing, but it did document several very troubling issues with the care Ms. Pitkin received.
Further disappointing is the fact that in the two years from Ms. Pitkin's death, Corizon remains unwilling to resolve this claim without forcing Ms. Pitkin's family to file a federal lawsuit and relive their daughter's tragic death. Corizon took a similar approach in dealing with the death of an Oregon inmate at another jail, Kelly Conrad Green, who died under their care in 2013. Corizon settled the Green case last year shortly before trial by paying Green's family seven million dollars. As a result of these facts, and because Corizon refuses to comply with contract provisions which require they indemnify the County for Corizon's negligent performance, Washington County will likely join plaintiff in filing claims against Corizon related to this incident.
In 2015, Washington County began contracting with a new medical provider for the jail. The new provider -- NaphCare -- has demonstrated a clear commitment to significantly improve services for inmates. NaphCare's own initiative has resulted in health professionals having better access to inmates which provides more effective and efficient medical care. Sheriff Garrett said, "I could not be more pleased with their performance to date. Strong partnerships with professionals from the County Health Department and NaphCare will help ensure a more comprehensive and compassionate approach to inmate care."
November 26, 2016 -- The Washington County Sheriff's Office continues to receive reports about a scam where someone representing themselves as a sheriff's lieutenant directs the victim to load money onto a pre-paid cash card to avoid arrest for missing jury duty. A new victim is willing to speak to the media.
On November 25, 2016, a 70-year-old Washington County man was contacted by phone by someone who purported to be a lieutenant with the sheriff's office. The man was told there was a warrant for his arrest for missing jury duty. The man was then directed to a nearby grocery store and instructed to load almost $2,000 onto pre-paid cash cards. The man then provided the card access codes to the suspect.
Unfortunately, this scam continues in the community. Victims report the following similarities:
*They are contacted by phone by a convincing person purporting to be a law enforcement officer;
*The suspect names a specific Washington County judge and claims the judge has issued a warrant due to the victim missing jury duty;
*The victim is directed to a nearby grocery or convenience store with specific instructions on loading a pre-paid cash card;
*The victim is instructed to provide the suspect with the numbers on the card;
The Washington County Sheriff's Office requests the media's assistance in alerting the public about this scam.
This is a reminder that a law enforcement agency will never request fines to be paid by means of a pre-paid card. Information about warrants can be confirmed in person at the sheriff's office.
Anyone who has been victimized by this scam is encouraged to report the incident to non-emergency dispatch at 503-629-0111.
The victim is willing to speak to the media.
November 21, 2016 -- The Washington County Sheriff's Office is seeking the public's help in locating 30-year-old Aaron James Emery. Mr. Emery is wanted after recently cutting off his GPS monitor and fleeing from the Washington County Community Corrections Center.
On October 18, 2016, detectives with the Washington County Sheriff's Office arrested 30-year-old Aaron James Emery after a DNA match linked him to the sexual assault of a teenager in Aloha in March 2015. Mr. Emery was charged with Public Indecency and Sexual Abuse in the Third Degree.
Mr. Emery bailed out of jail the following day and was moved to the Washington County Community Corrections Center to finish serving time on an unrelated felony Assault in the Fourth Degree charge.
Inmates in the community corrections center can leave during the day to work or attend treatment. Mr. Emery was employed in the restaurant industry and was monitored by a GPS ankle bracelet. Recently, Mr. Emery cut off his GPS monitor and failed to return to the community corrections center. A no-bail warrant for Parole Violation (Abscond) has been issued for his arrest. Mr. Emery has a distinctive tattoo on his left hand that may assist in his identification.
If you see Mr. Emery or have knowledge of his current whereabouts, please do not approach him. Instead, contact non-emergency dispatch or 911.
November 20, 2016 -- A Hillsboro man has been charged with manslaughter following a crash in late October that killed one passenger and injured three others near Banks.
On October 19, 2016, at 1:53 p.m., Washington County Sheriff's Deputies were called to Northwest Cedar Canyon Road in the community of Banks, concerning a single vehicle traffic crash.
Sheriff's Deputies arrived and found a 2000 Toyota Avalon on its side in the roadway, heavily damaged. Deputies learned the vehicle, driven by 18-year-old Jake Pruett of Hillsboro, had been occupied by four passengers, one of whom was 31-year-old Colin Fleming of Banks. Fleming was transported to the hospital via Life Flight.
Deputies learned the vehicle was traveling at a high rate of speed when Mr. Pruett failed to negotiate a corner and subsequently rolled the vehicle multiple times. Witnesses reported that Mr. Fleming had been standing up through the open sunroof when the crash occurred.
Members from the Washington County Crash Analysis Reconstruction Team (CART) responded to the crash and assisted in gathering evidence and documenting the scene.
On October 29, 2016, Mr. Fleming died at the hospital as a result of injuries sustained in the crash.
On November 17, 2016, a Washington County Grand Jury indicted Mr. Pruett for the following charges:
- Manslaughter in the Second Degree
- Assault in the Fourth Degree (three counts)
- Reckless Endangering (three counts)
- Reckless Driving
On November 19, 2016, Mr. Pruett was booked in to the Washington County Jail on the charges listed above (photo inset). His bail has been set at $257,500.
November 18, 2016 -- Washington County Sheriff's Deputies are asking for the public's help in locating the victim of a road rage incident involving a handgun.
Today at 1:11 p.m., a Washington County Sheriff's Deputy was flagged down by a driver in the area of SW Murray Boulevard and SW Farmington Road in Beaverton, concerning a road rage incident involving a handgun. The driver reported that the occupant in a passing vehicle had waved a handgun at her.
Multiple deputies converged in the area and quickly stopped the suspect vehicle. Deputies interviewed the passenger, 54-year-old Tommy Gibbons Jr., of Tigard, OR. During the investigation, deputies learned that Mr. Gibbons had displayed a handgun at the victim during a road rage incident. Inside the vehicle, deputies located a loaded semi-automatic handgun and a loaded rifle.
Mr. Gibbons was arrested for Unlawful Possession of Firearms and lodged at the Washington County Jail.
After flagging down the deputy, the victim left the area before deputies were able to identify and interview her. The Washington County Sheriff's Office is requesting the public's help locating the victim. If anyone has any information, please call 503-629-0111.
November 16, 2016 --The Washington County Sheriff's Office has received complaints from the public concerning a warrant, jury duty or unpaid fees. The scammer asks for a payoff to avoid arresting the person that supposedly has a warrant, missed jury duty or had other financial issues.
The fraudulent person would call a citizen at random, identify himself as a Washington County Sheriff's Deputy, tell the citizen they had missed jury duty and needed to pay fees. Lately, there have been reports that the person will identify themselves as Lieutenant Troy Stevens, Court Investigator from the Washington County Sheriff's Office. Some people reported if they missed the call, the person would leave a message for them to call back at a 503 area code phone number.
The person would tell the victim that they will be arrested if they did not provide debit or credit card information to provide the court on their behalf to avoid an arrest warrant being issued.
The Washington County Sheriff's Office will never call demanding money for any reason. If someone calls and attempts to convince you there is a warrant for your arrest, you missed jury duty or have unpaid fines or fees, please call the agency directly to confirm the allegation. We are advising anyone who receives a call like this to report it immediately.
Other local law enforcement agencies have received reports with similar circumstances. This scam is a variation of other incidents where scammers will call or email with the promise of something in exchange for cash, Green Dot prepaid cards, money wires, or any other form of payment. Prepaid cards are considered as good as cash. Once a person has the secret code located on the back of the card, your money is lost and very difficult to trace.
The Sheriff's Office encourages the public to never send money in any form if you did not initiate it or to someone you don't personally know. These requests are a concern for law enforcement with individuals attempting to cheat you out of your money with various methods.
Investigators are seeking the public's help regarding similar scam cases. If you have any information, or have recently received a solicitation that seemed suspicious, please call the Washington County Sheriff's Office at (503) 629-0111.
November 14, 2016 -- This week is National Traffic Incident Response Week. Local law enforcement agencies will be on the roads with an emphasis to educate drivers of the Move-Over law. This law was created to help keep emergency personnel safer while on the roadways.
The Washington County Sheriff's Office Traffic Safety Team is supporting a traffic detail to enforce the Move-Over law which directs drivers to move over or slow down when passing emergency vehicles that are stopped. Traffic incidents are the leading cause of death for both police officers and EMS/EMT responders. About one in every seven police officers and firefighters killed in the line of duty die in vehicle crashes. A number of those were drivers crashing into the parked emergency vehicle or officer while on the roadside.
Oregon Revised Statute 811.147 requires motorists to change travel lanes or slow to at least five miles per hour below the posted speed limit, if unable to change lanes, when approaching emergency personnel and their vehicles. The fine for violating this law is $260.
Washington County Sheriff's Deputies, Oregon State Police Troopers and The Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT) will be out in force on Tuesday November 15, 2016. They will be focusing on I-5, I-205, and Hwy 26 during the morning and afternoon hours.
Please remember to slow down and move over for emergency vehicles.
November 11, 2016 -- Washington County 911 dispatchers have been receiving dozens of calls in recent days regarding coyote sightings in urban areas. While a coyote sighting in your local neighborhood can be alarming, the Sheriff's Office is asking the public to refrain from calling 911 and tying up emergency resources to report a sighting.
The Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife (ODFW) website offers information regarding coyotes.
Most of the time, coyotes are considered by some to be more of a nuisance than actually a threat. They are by nature wary of humans. ODFW provides some suggestions for the public to minimize the potential for conflicts with coyotes:
Do not leave small children unattended outdoors if coyotes have been frequenting the area.
Feed pets indoors and do not leave pet food or water bowls outside
Supervise pets when they are outside
Do not leave cats or small dogs out after dark
Secure garbage and garbage cans in an area inaccessible to wild animals
Trim and clear vegetation that provides cover for coyotes or their prey
Clean barbecues regularly
If you observe coyotes in the daytime that show no fear of humans or if a coyote attacks a person, immediately contact your local law enforcement and the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife at 503-947-6000 or 800-720-ODFW (6339). Additional information can be found at the ODFW website http://www.dfw.state.or.us/wildlife/living_with/coyotes.asp.