Clark Co. Sheriff's Office
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News Releases
Sheriff's Office Investigating Homicide in Salmon Creek Area Motel - 01/28/23

On 1/27/2023 at approximately 9:06 PM, a 911 caller reported a disturbance in a room at the Sunnyside Motel located at 12200 NE Highway 99. Clark County Sheriff’s Office Deputies responded and located two males in the motel room who appeared to have been in a physical altercation. One male was detained by deputies, and the other exhibited substantial external injuries and was unconscious. Medical aid was rendered to the injured male by medics. Shortly thereafter, the male was pronounced deceased at the scene. 

The Clark County Sheriff’s Office Major Crimes Unit responded to investigate. An on-scene witness described to detectives an altercation had occurred between the two males in the motel room and began looking for help from another motel guest to call 911. 

Jonathan D. Smith (40-year-old male,) was identified as the detained male from the hotel room. Smith invoked his right to remain silent when interviewed by detectives. Search Warrants were served on the crime scene location and on Jonathan D. Smith. Based the current investigation, Smith was arrested for RCW 9A.32.050, Murder in the Second Degree and booked into the Clark County Jail.

This is an ongoing active investigation by the Clark County Sheriff’s Office Major Crimes Unit being assisted by the Washington State Patrol Crime Scene Response Team. The decedent’s name is not being released pending official identification and next of kin notification by the Clark County Medical Examiner’s Office. There are no outstanding suspects and no danger to the public as a result of this incident. 

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Clark County Sheriff's Office-Sheriff Horch's Statement Following the Release of Tyre Nichols Arrest Video - 01/27/23

"Today the Memphis Police Department released the body cam video of a police use of force incident from January 7th, which resulted in the death of Tyre Nichols. The images in this video are disturbing. The force used by these officers was excessive and difficult to understand. After an internal investigation by their department, the officers involved have been fired, arrested, and charged with second-degree murder. This incident has caused investigations by the Tennessee Bureau of Investigations, the FBI, and the Civil Rights Division of the Department of Justice.  

I hope the shameful actions of these five officers over two thousand miles away will not tarnish the image of the overwhelming majority of officers who serve their communities daily with honor. 

As your Sheriff, I am committed to working with community members, advocacy organizations, and elected officials to ensure we conduct police work with the highest ethical standards and professionalism. I am proud that our Sheriff’s Office employees are dedicated to treating all our community members professionally, respectfully, and with dignity.   

Our mission is to protect and safeguard our community. The actions of these Memphis officers are inexcusable and will not be tolerated in our profession."   

Sheriff John Horch

Vehicle in Boulder Creek
Vehicle in Boulder Creek
Four Hospitalized After Suspected Impaired Driver Crashes into Boulder Creek (Photo) - 01/26/23

On 1/25/2023 at approximately 11:41pm, Clark County Sheriff’s Deputies responded along with East County Fire Rescue and American Medical Response to a report of a serious injury motor vehicle collision along NE Boulder Creek Rd near the Jones Creek trailhead in Clark County, Washington. The initial report came from an occupant of the vehicle who was self-described as “covered in blood” and they reported at least one other person was still inside the vehicle, unconscious. 

Deputies located a gray Mitsubishi Lancer down an embankment, partially in Boulder Creek, with two passengers still inside. The deputies helped extricate the passengers who were evaluated by EMS at the scene. A preliminary investigation showed there had been four occupants in the vehicle when it was traveling west on NE Boulder Creek Rd before leaving the roadway and entering Boulder Creek. The driver was identified as Ryan Shepherd (23), of Vancouver, and he exhibited signs of impairment at the scene.

All four occupants were transported to area hospitals by ambulance with non-life-threatening injuries. A search warrant was executed for a sample of Shepherd’s blood. This case remains active pending further investigation by the Clark County Sheriff’s Office Patrol Division and Traffic Homicide Unit. 

Additional information will be released at a later date, pending further investigation. All suspects remain innocent until proven guilty in a court of law. 

1/25/23- Update: Southwest Washington Independent Investigative Response Team (SWIIRT) - Kelso Police Department OIS - 01/25/23

The Southwest Washington Independent Investigative Response Team (SWIIRT), in compliance with WAC 139-12, is issuing the fifth weekly update related to the Kelso officer-involved shooting investigation from 12/17/22. 

This remains an active and ongoing investigation. Detectives are still working on reviewing transcripts and incident video. They are also still awaiting the medical examiner’s report.  

There is no further information to be released at this time and updates will continue each week until the case is forwarded to the Prosecuting Attorney’s office.

Chaplains from the area
Chaplains from the area
Chaplain Sworn-In by Clark County Sheriff Horch (Photo) - 01/25/23

On January 4, 2023, Chaplain Cari Arnsparger was sworn-in with an Honorary Commission by Clark County Sheriff John Horch.  Cari is the first designated Chaplain specifically assigned to assist employees, their families, and the public for the Clark County Sheriff’s Office.

 

Cari comes to CCSO through her volunteer work at County-Wide Chaplaincy and her fit with the agency.  She has been with County-Wide Chaplaincy as a police and fire Chaplain for five years. She has completed an extensive two-year training program through County-Wide Chaplaincy and the Responders Resource Program. Cari is a graduate of the Police and Fire Chaplain Academy at the Washington State Criminal Justice Training Commission in Burien, Washington.  She is also an ordained and commissioned Police Chaplain, receiving her ordination through Freedom Community Church.

 

As the CCSO Chaplain, Cari will be assigned to the Peer Support Team and will provide counseling and or emotional support to employees of the agency, their families, and members of the public.  The Honorary Commission gives no law enforcement authority but allows her to be an emotional support per the Revised Code of Washington.  CCSO has outfitted Chaplain Cari with a Class A uniform for ceremonies and Class B uniforms for patrol as well as protective gear. 

 

For the past several months, Cari has been riding along with deputies on different shifts, getting to know the deputies, and helping people on calls when she can.  Her compassion for others is already seen by many of the deputies and citizens.  She has already assisted on calls providing comfort to individuals and even performing CPR.  Cari is a veteran of the United States Coast Guard, and it is here where her passion for helping others began.

 

In her free time, Cari likes to ride horses and quads, and spending time with her family. 

Chaplains from the area
Chaplains from the area
Chaplain Sworn-In by Clark County Sheriff Horch (Photo) - 01/25/23

On January 4, 2023, Chaplain Cari Arnsparger was sworn-in with an Honorary Commission by Clark County Sheriff John Horch.  Cari is the first designated Chaplain specifically assigned to assist employees, their families, and the public for the Clark County Sheriff’s Office.

 

Cari comes to CCSO through her volunteer work at County-Wide Chaplaincy and her fit with the agency.  She has been with County-Wide Chaplaincy as a police and fire Chaplain for five years. She has completed an extensive two-year training program through County-Wide Chaplaincy and the Responders Resource Program. Cari is a graduate of the Police and Fire Chaplain Academy at the Washington State Criminal Justice Training Commission in Burien, Washington.  She is also an ordained and commissioned Police Chaplain, receiving her ordination through Freedom Community Church.

 

As the CCSO Chaplain, Cari will be assigned to the Peer Support Team and will provide counseling and or emotional support to employees of the agency, their families, and members of the public.  The Honorary Commission gives no law enforcement authority but allows her to be an emotional support per the Revised Code of Washington.  CCSO has outfitted Chaplain Cari with a Class A uniform for ceremonies and Class B uniforms for patrol as well as protective gear. 

 

For the past several months, Cari has been riding along with deputies on different shifts, getting to know the deputies, and helping people on calls when she can.  Her compassion for others is already seen by many of the deputies and citizens.  She has already assisted on calls providing comfort to individuals and even performing CPR.  Cari is a veteran of the United States Coast Guard, and it is here where her passion for helping others began.

 

In her free time, Cari likes to ride horses and quads, and spending time with her family. 

IMG_3499.jpg
IMG_3499.jpg
Stolen Vehicle Investigation Leads to Foot Pursuit Resulting in Narcotics Arrest (Photo) - 01/24/23

On 1/24/2023 at approximately 01:42am, a Clark County Sheriff’s Sergeant spotted a stolen vehicle which was occupied by a male and a female in the parking lot of the 7-Eleven located at 4500 NE St Johns Rd in Vancouver, Clark County, WA. The male occupant was seen exiting the vehicle and walking into the store. Deputies contacted the vehicle and detained the female occupant without incident. 

When the male exited the store, deputies attempted to contact him and he fled on foot. The male, who was later identified as John McKenner (40) of Vancouver, WA, was apprehended after a brief foot pursuit. During the arrest, McKenner was observed reaching for multiple knives which were on his person. 

A search of McKenner’s person, incident to arrest, yielded the following:

Approximately 300+ blue pills which were suspected to contain Fentanyl.

Multiple baggies containing a white crystalline substance which was suspected to be Methamphetamine.

A baggy of brown powdered substance which yielded positive presumptive results for the presence of Heroin.

A baggy containing suspected psilocybin mushrooms.

A baggy containing an unidentified substance. 

Two spring-bladed knives.

Multiple credit cards bearing the names of other persons.

A Washington State Identification Card bearing the likeness and identity of another person. 

Over $3,200 in cash, consisting of various denominations of US currency. 

McKenner was evaluated by EMS at the scene prior to being transported to the Clark County Jail where he was booked for Possession of a Stolen Motor Vehicle, Obstructing a Law Enforcement Officer, Resisting Arrest, Possession of a Controlled Substance with Intent to Deliver (3 counts), Possession of Stolen Property in the second degree (3 counts), Identity Theft in the second degree, and an outstanding arrest warrant. The female was released from the scene at the conclusion of the investigation. 

There were no injuries reported as a result of this incident other than minor scrapes.  

Attached Media Files: IMG_3499.jpg , Evidence
Five Corner's resident arrested after threatening to kill neighbors - 01/19/23

On 1/19/2023 at approximately 1105 Sheriff deputies responded to a 911 call of a disturbance at 9113 NE 68th Street.  It was reported that 51 year old John Jamison threatened to retrieve a firearm and kill two of his neighbors.  Clark County Sheriff's Deputies responded and formed probable cause to arrest Jamison for two counts of felony harassment.  Upon being advised he was under arrest, Jamison refused to exit his residence and threatened to kill police if they approached his yard.  At approximately 1350 a search warrant was granted to enter Jamison's residence in order to take him into custody.  Due to the threats of violence and possibility of firearms, the Southwest Washington Regional SWAT Team responded and subsequently arrested Jamison in his front yard after deploying a taser.  Jamison was transported to PeaceHealth Southwest Medical Center before being booked at the Clark County Jail.

Clark County Sheriff's Office Phone Scam Continues - 01/17/23

The Clark County Sheriff's Office has published previous media releases on a current scam which has been victimizing Clark County residents. The caller(s) claim to be a Sergeant, Detective, or Deputy from the Clark County Sheriff's Office. They use actual names of CCSO Employees and their correct assigned PSN (badge number) and they inform the victim there is a warrant for their arrest which will be served if the victim does not immediately pay outstanding fines. The callers then arrange for payment from the victim of the phone scam.

As previously published, the Clark County Sheriff's Office will NEVER contact a resident to demand payment of fines or to quash a warrant, nor will the Sheriff's Office accept any such payment directly. If you receive a call of this nature, please DO NOT provide any form of payment or agree to meet with the caller. Hang up and call 9-1-1 immediately. 

In a recent incident, which occurred in the evening of 17 January 2023, the victim reportedly spent over 5 hours on the phone with a person claiming to be a CCSO Detective Sergeant before ultimately sending the caller over $9,000.00 through various electronic funds transfers. During the course of the call, the victim reported to having expressed skepticism of the caller's legitimacy. The caller then instructed the victim to visit the Clark County Sheriff's Office website and note the Sheriff's Office primary telephone number: (564) 397-2211. The caller then hung-up and called the victim using that phone number which also included the title “Clark County Corrections”. 

Note: It is possible to “clone” a telephone number through a prepaid, internet-based service provider. 

The Sheriff's Office is aware of numerous similar reports and this case is being actively investigated. 

Once again, the Clark County Sheriff's Office will NEVER request direct payment from any citizen. If you receive such a call, please hang up and call 9-1-1 immediately. 

1/17/23- Update: Southwest Washington Independent Investigative Response Team (SWIIRT) - Kelso Police Department OIS - 01/17/23

The Southwest Washington Independent Investigative Response Team (SWIIRT), in compliance with WAC 139-12, is issuing the fourth weekly update related to the Kelso officer involved shooting investigation from 12/17/22. 

This remains an active and ongoing investigation. Detectives are working on reviewing transcripts and computer-aided dispatch (CAD) records. They are also awaiting the medical examiner’s report.  

There is no further information to be released at this time and updates will continue each week until the case is forwarded to the Prosecuting Attorney’s office.

Phone scam claiming to be from the Clark County Sheriff's Office - 01/13/23

We have received multiple reports from citizens of Clark County claiming they have been contacted by someone conducting an ongoing phone scam. In this scam, the caller is claiming to be a Sergeant with the Clark County Sheriff’s Office, stating that the person receiving the call has unpaid fines and they are requesting large sums of money to settle the debt. The caller threatens the person by saying they will be subject to arrest if the fines are not paid immediately.

The Clark County Sheriff’s Office will never call members of the public requesting any form of payment. If you receive a call as part of this scam, please do not give them any money, and hang up the phone. There is no need to contact the Clark County Sheriff’s Office unless you have provided them money or feel you are the victim of a crime. 

Clark County Sheriff's Office Response to Clark County Prosecuting Attorneys Decision in Officer Involved Shooting from January 29, 2022 - 01/12/23

This afternoon we received a letter from Clark County Prosecuting Attorney Tony Golik related to the officer-involved shooting involving Clark County Sheriff’s Office (CCSO) Deputy Sheriff Jon Feller on January 29, 2022. 

In the letter, Mr. Golik explained that his office, after a complete review of the case, has made the decision that Deputy Feller will not be criminally charged in this matter. We have and will continue to provide support to Deputy Feller.

As Mr. Golik has stated, there is pending criminal prosecution involving another party in this matter and this prohibits him from commenting on the specifics of the case any further. CCSO likewise will not make further comment on this incident until after the prosecution has concluded in this case, other than to say again that our thoughts, prayers, and support remain with the friends and family of Vancouver Police Officer Donald Sahota and the Vancouver Police Department. 

1/10/23- Update: Southwest Washington Independent Investigative Response Team (SWIIRT) - Kelso Police Department OIS - 01/10/23

The Southwest Washington Independent Investigative Response Team (SWIIRT), in compliance with WAC 139-12, is issuing the third weekly update related to the Kelso officer involved shooting investigation from 12/17/22. 

This remains an active and ongoing investigation. Detectives are working on reviewing transcripts and are awaiting both laboratory results and the medical examiner’s report.  

There is no further information to be released at this time and updates will continue each week until the case is forwarded to the Prosecuting Attorney’s office.

Deputies Respond to Disturbance Near Columbia River High School - 01/08/23

On 01/08/2023 just before 3:00 PM Clark County Sheriff’s Deputies responded to a disturbance call in the area of Columbia River High School.  It was determined to be a mental health related issue however a gunshot was reportedly fired by the person in crisis.  Deputies closed the area and brought armored vehicles and deployed an Unmanned Aerial System (drone).  In the meantime, mental health professionals were able to establish phone contact with the person in crisis.  The person in crisis stated they were not wanting to hurt themselves or others and were given resources and options.  Due to legislative changes and the low-level crime existing at the moment, deputies left the scene.

If you, a friend, or a loved one is experiencing a mental health crisis help is available.  There are numerous online resources as well as local calls and text services.  In Clark County you can call 911 or 311, or the Clark County Crisis Line itself at 800.626.8137 or text 988.

Fatal Crash-NE HDA/99th St
Fatal Crash-NE HDA/99th St
Fatal Motorcycle Crash on NE Hazel Dell Avenue in Vancouver (Photo) - 01/06/23

Added photo.


On January 6, 2023, at approximately 13:45 hours, Clark County Sheriff’s Office, Clark County Fire District 6 and American Medical Response (AMR) personnel responded to just north of the intersection of NE 99th Street and NE Hazel Dell Avenue to a report of motorcycle versus car collision where the motorcyclist was down and unresponsive. Callers to 911 stated bystanders came to the scene and began attempting cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR). 

Responding personnel found the motorcyclist had separated from the motorcycle and was partially underneath a white Volkswagen sedan. The sedan appeared to have been turning southbound onto NE Hazel Dell venue from a parking lot. The motorcycle operator appeared to be seriously injured and was pronounced deceased on scene by paramedics.

The operator of the motorcycle was identified as Ivan Nikitin, 39, of Vancouver, WA.

The driver of the Volkswagen was uninjured and remained on scene. 

Investigators learned that Ivan had recently purchased the Suzuki DRZ motorcycle and had taken it out on a test ride today. Based on information obtained at the scene, it appears the speed of the motorcycle may have been a factor in the collision.

The Clark County Sheriff’s Office Traffic Unit is investigating this collision.

Attached Media Files: Fatal Crash-NE HDA/99th St
Clark County Sheriff's Office Response to Washington Association of Prosecuting Attorneys Review of Officer Involved Shooting from January 29, 2022 - 01/04/23

Last year, Clark County Prosecuting Attorney Tony Golik requested the Washington Association of Prosecuting Attorneys (WAPA) review an officer involved shooting which took place on January 29, 2022. The incident involved Clark County Sheriff’s Office (CCSO) Deputy Jon Feller in a tragic event in which off-duty Vancouver Police Department Officer Donald Sahota was killed. 

Today CCSO received a copy of the WAPA review from the Clark County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office. This review was part of the use of force investigation process selected by Prosecuting Attorney Golik and further action in this case now rest with his office.

This was a tragic event and our thoughts and support remain with the friends and family of Officer Donald Sahota and the Vancouver Police Department family. 

We continue to provide support to Deputy Feller through this review process. Since July 2022, Deputy Feller has been returned to administrative duty.

No further comments will be made until after the Prosecutor’s Office has reviewed the case.

1/3/23- Update: Southwest Washington Independent Investigative Response Team (SWIIRT) - Kelso Police Department OIS - 01/03/23

The Southwest Washington Independent Investigative Response Team (SWIIRT), in compliance with WAC 139-12, is issuing the second weekly update related to the Kelso officer involved shooting investigation from 12/17/22. 

This remains an active and ongoing investigation. Detectives are working on search warrant returns, reviewing and documenting incident video, and are awaiting both laboratory results and the medical examiner’s report.  

There is no further information to be released at this time and updates will continue each week until the case is forwarded to the Prosecuting Attorney’s office.

Hazel Dell Bar Owner Arrested For 7th Time in 2 Months - 01/03/23

On January 3rd, 2023, shortly after 2:00am, Clark County Sheriff's Deputies were dispatched to a report of a pickup truck and travel trailer which had rolled down the street and come to rest on a property near the 6200 block of NE 11th Ave, in Hazel Dell. The deputies arrived to find the involved flatbed trailer was registered to Johnny Forsyth (44) of Vancouver. 

Forsyth is well-known to Clark County law enforcement. He has been arrested 6 previous times since October 29th, 2022, for crimes including Felony Harassment (death threats), numerous Domestic Violence No-Contact Order violations, Attempt to Elude a Police Vehicle, Unlawful Possession of a Firearm, and Stalking. One of his recent previous arrests resulted in Forsyth being required to wear a GPS ankle monitor as a condition of his release. In Forsyth's most recent prior arrest, which occurred on December 17th, 2022, he fled from deputies in his Tesla after an attempted traffic stop which was being conducted due to the ankle monitor showing he had violated the protection order numerous times earlier that day. Forsyth abandoned his vehicle in a dead-end and fled on foot after cutting off his ankle monitor. He was located a short distance away and a subsequent search of his vehicle pursuant to a search warrant yielded an AR-15 pistol. 

After the trailer was located, the Sheriff's Office used the ankle monitor system to find Forsyth was located about a block away from it. Review of the ankle monitor's data showed Forsyth had violated a protection order yet again the previous morning by entering an exclusion zone. He was arrested without incident and booked into the Clark County Jail on a new count of Domestic Violence Stalking (Class B Felony). 

This is Forsyth's 7th arrest in just over 2 months. He is a co-owner of 3 Monkeys Tavern and Cliff's Tavern, both are located in Hazel Dell.