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GRESHAM, Ore.-- As part of a region-wide safety blitz, Gresham Police Department's traffic division is conducting enhanced patrols throughout Gresham, now through Sept. 4. Starting on Aug. 22, officers have been specifically looking for unsafe drivers who are texting or speeding, and anyone who is improperly belted.
The focus is to educate the public about safety belt and child safety seat laws, and about the dangers of distracted driving. The officers are paying particular attention to drivers who are texting or unlawfully using a mobile communication device while driving. They also remain focused on drivers who are exceeding the posted speed limit.
The Oregon Revised Statute concerning operating a motor vehicle while using a mobile communication device (ORS 811.507) was upgraded from a Class D to a Class C violation, increasing the base fine from $110 to $160. Failure to properly maintain a vehicle's safety belt is also a Class C violation, while failing to wear a safety belt is a Class D violation.
A statewide observation survey in June 2015 found 97% of Oregon's motorists are using safety belts. Traffic studies continue to show unbelted or improperly restrained occupants are five times more likely to be ejected from a vehicle than occupants who are belted properly. Odds of surviving being ejected from a vehicle are estimated to be one in four. A complete list of car seat check-up events in Oregon can be found at http://www.oregonimpact.org/car-seat-resources.
This safety blitz is funded by the Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT) with dedicated funding from the US Department of Transportation's National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
ODOT provides the following safety belt reminders:
ADULT BELT LAW
Oregon law requires that all motor vehicle operators and passengers be properly secured with a safety belt or safety harness. Limited exemptions are allowed under ORS 811.215. Vehicle owners are required to maintain belt systems in working order.
CHILD RESTRAINT LAW
Child passengers must be restrained in approved child safety seats until they weigh 40 pounds or reach the upper weight limit for the car seat in use. Infants must ride rear-facing until they reach both one year of age and 20 pounds.
BOOSTER SEAT LAW
Children more than 40 pounds or who have reached the upper weight limit for their forward-facing car seat must use boosters until they are at least 4 feet 9 inches tall, or if they are age eight and the adult belt fits correctly.
(More information regarding seat belt safety can be found at http://www.oregon.gov/ODOT/TS/pages/index.aspx )
GRESHAM, Ore.-- On Thursday, Aug. 18, a Multnomah County grand jury indicted Russell Courtier and Colleen Hunt for the murder of Vancouver, Wash., resident Larnell Malik Bruce. Both suspects are being held without bail in a Multnomah County jail, facing the additional felony charge of failing to perform the duties of a driver.
Bruce, 19, encountered Courtier and Hunt outside a Gresham 7-Eleven just before 11:45 p.m. on Wednesday, Aug. 10. Evidence from the scene and witnesses' statements point to Bruce attempting to flee the area after having engaged in a physical altercation with Courtier.
Driving a 1991 Jeep Wrangler, Courtier chased Bruce as he ran north on N.E. 188th Ave. Courtier was able to catch up with Bruce and ran him over with the vehicle before fleeing the scene. Hunt was in the passenger seat.
Bruce was initially taken to a local hospital, in critical condition. He died on Saturday, Aug. 13, as a result of injuries sustained during the hit and run.
GRESHAM, Ore.- Thomas Walker, 69, of Sammamish, Wash., was found safe in downtown Portland on Aug. 22 and has since returned home.
GRESHAM, Ore.--Police are searching for 69 year old Thomas Walker of Sammamish, Washington. Walker arrived in the Gresham area earlier this week to compete in a swimming competition at Mt. Hood Community College. This morning at 8:00 a.m., Walker left the college and has not been heard from since. Friends and family are concerned for Walker's welfare due to a heart condition. Walker is currently without his medication and is unfamiliar with the area. Walker is described as a white male, 69 years old, 5'11", 180 pounds, with gray hair. He was last seen wearing a red t-shirt, swim trunks, and carrying a black athletic bag.
Anyone with information as to the whereabouts of Walker is encouraged to contact the Gresham Police Department.
GRESHAM, Ore. -- Police arrest a Meals on Wheels volunteer surrounding the death of a 6 year old Chihuahua.
On August 8, police were dispatched to the home of June Rigsby 70, of Gresham after she found her 6 year old Chihuahua named "Baby" deceased inside her home. June, who is disabled and was in bed at the time, heard a knock at the door and a man call out her name. That man was Gresham Resident Donald Nicoli, 68. June told investigators that she had made arrangements with Nicoli, who has been delivering Meals on Wheels food to her every Monday for several months, that she would leave the door unlocked for him enter her home.
June said when Nicoli came in and called out her name, her three dogs including Baby jumped from her bed to greet Nicoli. A few moments later, June heard a thud and only two dogs returned. After Nicoli left the house, June got out of bed to check on Baby, and that's when she found her deceased on the kitchen floor.
Detective Sergeant Jerry Harris, with the assistance of Multnomah County Animal Control, began investigating the circumstances surrounding Baby's death. Baby was sent to Oregon State University (OSU) where they assisted with determining how she died. Sergeant Harris said, "We received word from Oregon State University, that the cause of death was blunt force trauma and multiple skull fractures."
Investigators spoke with Nicoli who admitted to kicking the dog but could not remember specific details leading up to that day's events.
Nicoli was booked into Multnomah County Detention Center on one count of Aggravated Animal Abuse.
Gresham police want the public to know that Animal abuse is not taken lightly and it will be investigated to the fullest.
Citizens can report animal abuse 24 hours a days 7 days a week by contacting Multnomah County Animal Services at (503) 988-7387 or online to www.multcopets.org
GRESHAM, Ore. -- Police locate numerous firearms and a destructive device, during the service of a search warrant at a residence located in the 16600 block of N.E. Wasco Street, Gresham.
At 3:30am, Gresham Police executed a search warrant with the assistance of the East Metro SWAT, Southwest Washington SWAT, Washington County SWAT, Portland Police EDU, and Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms (ATF), at the residence of suspect Christopher Norwood Young, 27, of Gresham. Young was located inside the residence and was taken into custody without incident.
In May, 2016, Gresham Police Detectives began investigating a large scale theft ring that was targeting heavy equipment from area construction sites. Detectives say Young traveled to local construction sites to identify potential heavy equipment to steal. Young would take photographs of the equipment and post ads on Craigslist listing the items for sale. Once a buyer was interested, Young would meet the buyer at the construction site on the weekends when he knew workers would not be present. After the inspection of the equipment, Young would set up a delivery date which would allow him time to steal and transport the equipment to an offsite location. Gresham Police Detective Cobb said "Young would target items such as front loaders and skid steer tractors. These stolen tractors would be sold to unsuspecting buyers for as little as $9,000 and as much as $30,000."
Gresham police served a search warrant on Young's address in June, 2016, looking for evidence of heavy equipment thefts. What investigators didn't expect to find was an arsenal of weapons, two (2) training grenades and one (1) live grenade. Gathering and combing through the evidence obtained in that search warrant lead investigators to believe that Young was in possession of a fully automatic AR-15 rifle and numerous other firearms in which he was firing both inside his residence into a 50 gallon drum style barrel and in the backyard. Young also had manufactured several homemade suppressors in which he used to muffle the sounds of the guns firing.
Further evidence revealed that Young had conversations with an individual about doing a school shooting. The statements were vague with no direct threats to any specific school. Police take any school threat seriously and detectives are continuing to investigate the legitimacy of those threats.
This morning's search warrant uncovered nine (9) handguns, seven (7) rifles which includes an AR-15 and an AK47 assault rifle, thousands of rounds of ammunition, two (2) homemade suppressors, and a destructive device (pipe bomb) and the components to construct other devices.
Young was booked into Multnomah County Detention Center on the following charges;
1ct) Possession of a machine gun
1ct) Possession of a destructive device
1ct) Manufacturing a destructive device
1ct) Attempted manufacturing a destructive device
3cts) Identity theft
1ct) Unlawful use of a weapon
2cts) Possession of a silencer
8cts) Unlawful discharge a firearm (Gresham City Ordinance)
2cts) Theft in the first degree
7ct) Unlawful use of a motor vehicle
7ct) Possession of a stolen vehicle
4cts) Aggravated theft in the first degree
Detectives are asking for the public's assistance to locate a second suspect Fabian Peniche. They are urging anyone with information about Fabian Peniche, this ongoing investigation or Christopher Young, to contact the Gresham Police tip line at 503-618-2719.
GRESHAM, Ore.-- Gresham police will conduct a pedestrian safety operation on Aug. 18 at the intersection of West Powell Blvd. and West Powell Loop. The department is hoping to raise pedestrian safety awareness for drivers and pedestrians through a two-pronged approach: education and enforcement of pedestrian right-of-way laws.
Focused patrols will happen at and near the intersection between 9:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m., with warning signs posted prior to entering the pedestrian safety operation zone. Pedestrian safety education is vital to keeping our roads safe.
Motorists must stop and yield to pedestrians who are waiting to cross, or who are already crossing the roadway. Motorists are also required to stop at all crosswalks when there is a vehicle already stopped in a lane next to the lane they are traveling in. Refer to Oregon Revised Statute (ORS) 811.028, failure to stop and remain stopped for a pedestrian, for specifics on the law regarding drivers. Refer to ORS Chapter 814 for laws pertaining to pedestrians.
Funding for this pedestrian safety operation is made possible through a grant from Oregon Impact and Oregon's Department of Transportation. An additional enforcement blitz that will focus on seatbelt safety, speeding, and distracted driving will happen throughout Gresham from Aug. 22 to Sept. 4.
Gresham, Ore.-Larnell Malik Bruce, the 19-year-old Washington man who was run over on Wednesday night after fleeing an altercation outside 7-Eleven at 18735 E. Burnside, died as a result of his injuries on Saturday. The family is maintaining their request for privacy.
The suspected driver and passenger of the 1991 Jeep Wrangler that ran over Bruce are Russell Courtier, 38, and Colleen Hunt, 35. They remain in a Multnomah County detention facility on numerous charges with bail set at more than $500,000. The Multnomah County District Attorney's Office has been notified of the development and will be considering additional charges.
No further information is available at this time.
GRESHAM, Ore.-- With Labor Day a few weeks away, it is time to prepare for a fun and safe weekend. Not driving while intoxicated and making sure kids are safely belted are two ways to help turn weekend plans into fun-filled reality.
During the Labor Day weekend, Gresham Police Department will deploy extra patrols to stop and arrest alcohol and drug-impaired drivers in the department's ongoing traffic safety campaign. The goal of this campaign is to save lives by removing impaired drivers from the streets.
Motorists can expect to see enhanced DUII enforcements to continue during other special events throughout the year. People who drink and drive risk serious injury or death to themselves or someone else. Impaired driving is not an accident, it is a deliberate action taken by an individual that puts many at risk.
Ways to prevent impaired driving:
?,? Stop alcohol service long before the event is over.
?,? Prepare for guests to stay the night, if necessary, and call cabs for others.
?,? Choose a responsible designated driver.
?,? Serve plenty of food to lessen the effects of alcohol.
?,? Offer a wide range of non-alcoholic beverages
?,? Report drunk drivers by calling 911
Officers will also emphasis appropriate safety belt usage. Children who are riding unrestrained or in the wrong type of safety restraint are often injured or killed in traffic accidents. Safety belts save lives and data shows that as children get older they are less likely to buckle up. Over the past five years, more than 1,500 kids between the ages of eight and 14 died in vehicle crashes across the nation. Of those who died, almost half were unbelted. During the past seven months, Gresham officers issued 230 citations for safety belt and child restraint offenses. You can find more information about child restraint fitting stations at the following websites: http://www.nhtsa.gov/apps/cps/index.htm or at http://oregonimpact.org/car-seat-resources
Enhanced DUII and safety belt patrols are made possible by partnerships with Oregon Department of Transportation and Oregon Impact, and funding through the US Department of Transportation's National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
GRESHAM, Ore.-- Gresham traffic officers conducted two pedestrian safety missions, 31 days apart, resulting in a total of 85 citations. The first mission was on July 1 at the intersection of NW Division St. and NW Overlook Ave. The second mission took place on Aug. 1 at the intersection of W Powell Blvd. & SW Duniway Ave.
The goal of the two four-hour missions was to raise safety awareness for drivers and pedestrians regarding pedestrian right-of-way laws. This was accomplished through handing out educational brochures and citations. Safety education is vital to the reduction of vehicle-pedestrian collisions.
During the two evening missions, officers issued 46 citations for crosswalk infractions, 39 citations for other driving offenses, and three warnings. Other offenses that occurred near the safety missions included illegal cell phone usage, failure to use a seat belt, driving without an operator's license or with a suspended license, failure to obey traffic control device, expired registration, not providing proof of insurance, and speeding.
Funding for these pedestrian safety missions was made possible through a grant from Oregon Impact and Oregon Department of Transportation. Additional missions will be scheduled during the month of September, as the new school year begins.
GRESHAM, Ore.-- The man who was run over on Wednesday night after fleeing an altercation outside 7-Eleven, 18735 E. Burnside, has been identified as 19-year-old Washington resident Larnell Malik Bruce.
Bruce remains in critical condition at an area hospital and his family is requesting privacy.
The suspected driver and passenger of the 1991 Jeep Wrangler that ran over Bruce are Russell Courtier, 38, and Colleen Hunt, 35. Both suspects are lodged at a Multnomah County detention facility with more than $500,000 bail. Courtier and Hunt are facing charges of attempt murder, assault in the first degree, and unlawful use of a weapon.
No further information is available at this time.
Gresham, Ore.-- An unidentified man was critically injured near the intersection of E. Burnside St. and N.E. 188th Ave., run over late last night by a 1991 Jeep Wrangler. While detectives try to identify the victim, a man and a woman are in custody for what appears to be an intentional assault.
Officers responded to a 911 call from the 7-Eleven, 18735 E. Burnside, just after 11:45 p.m. on Wednesday for the report of a disturbance. At the time of the call, two men were physically fighting outside store.
Arriving within two minutes, officers diverted to the east side of 188th, north of the store, were a black man lay critically injured. It appears the victim was run over while on the sidewalk, by the suspect he had been fighting with.
Quickly gathering information, officers broadcast the suspects' descriptions and vehicle information. An alert officer spotted the red Jeep about seven minutes later near N.E. 185th Dr. and N.E. Sandy Blvd. Officers were able to safely get the car stopped and took the suspects into custody.
Gresham residents Russell Courtier, 38, and Colleen Hunt, 35, are under arrest and facing charges of attempt murder, assault in the first degree, and unlawful use of a weapon. Courtier is identified as the driver of the Jeep and Hunt as the passenger.
It does not appear the victim knew the suspects prior to last night's altercation. Detectives are working to learn more about what led to the initial fight and trying to understand why Courtier and Hunt chose to chase after the man and run him over.
No further information is available at this time.