Washington Co. Sheriff's Office
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News Releases
Man Brings Bird to Court Appearance (Photo) - 12/01/16

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."

Attached Media Files: PDF Press Release , Bird , Bird Photo
Man First to be Prosecuted Under New Oregon Law (Photo) - 12/01/16


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.

Attached Media Files: Barber.jpg
Sheriff's Response to 2014 Tragic Death in the Washington County Jail - 11/30/16

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."

Arrest Warrant Telephone Scam Continues in the Community (Photo) - 11/26/16

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.

Video Resource:

Attached Media Files: scam.png
Aaron Emery hand tattoo
Aaron Emery hand tattoo
Public's Help Needed in Locating Wanted Man (Photo) - 11/21/16

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.

Pruett, Jake
Pruett, Jake
Hillsboro Man Charged with Manslaughter Following October Crash That Kills Passenger (Photo) - 11/20/16

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.


Attached Media Files: Press Release (PDF) , Pruett, Jake , Crash Photo
Sheriff's Deputies Seek Victim of Road Rage Incident (Photo) - 11/18/16

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.

Attached Media Files: PDF , Mugshot
Sheriff's Deputies Warn of Law Enforcement Scam - 11/16/16

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.

Attached Media Files: PDF Flyer
Move-Over Graphic
Move-Over Graphic
Move-Over Enforcement Traffic Detail (Photo) - 11/14/16

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.

Local Dispatch Center Receives Dozens of Calls Regarding Coyotes (Photo) - 11/11/16

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.

Attached Media Files: PDF with Photo , Photo
Cornelius Community Sponsors Third Annual Community Dinner - 11/10/16

The City of Cornelius, in partnership with Centro Cultural of Washington County and the Washington County Sheriff's Office will provide a holiday dinner for members of the community in need during the Third Annual Cornelius Community Dinner. This hot meal will be offered at no cost and is expected to feed 500-600 people.

The dinner is made possible through generous donations and volunteer hours provided by community partners in Cornelius, including:

?,? City of Cornelius
?,? Cornelius Police Department
?,? Washington County Sheriff's Office
?,? Washington County Police Officer's Association (WCPOA)
?,? Cornelius Fire Department
?,? Centro Cultural of Washington County
?,? Cornelius Fred Meyer
?,? Cornelius Walmart
?,? St. Alexander's Catholic Church
?,? Real Life Christian Church
?,? Sonrise Cornelius Church
?,? Cornelius Grade School
?,? Oroweat
?,? Reser's Fine Foods
?,? Starbucks

The holiday dinner will be held on Saturday November 19, 2016 from 5:00--8:00 p.m. at Cornelius Grade School (200 N 14th Ave., Cornelius, OR 97113). No reservations are required. The menu for the evening will include a traditional Thanksgiving dinner.

Cornelius Police Chief Al Roque says about the event, "This is a great opportunity for those who live in our community to build relationships during a time that can sometimes be stressful for families."

For additional information or to find out how you can help, please contact the City of Cornelius, 503-357-9112 or Centro Cultural of Washington County, 503-359-0446.

Attached Media Files: PDF Release , Flier (English & Spanish)
Business Photo
Business Photo
Investigation Leads to Arrest of Commercial Burglars (Photo) - 11/08/16

November 8, 2016 -- Deputies were responding to check the welfare of two men. During the check, it was determined that the men had been involved in two commercial burglaries.

On November 7, 2016, Travis Hendon, 30 and Sanchindra Nath, 36 both from Portland, were arraigned in Washington County court on multiple counts of Aggravated Theft, Burglary, Criminal Mischief and Identity Theft. Both men pleaded not guilty.

On November 4, 2016 at 11:24 am, Sheriff's deputies were called to a business in Aloha that had reported a burglary. The owner of "The Green Signs" told deputies that when he went to his business to open it that morning, it had been burglarized. Deputies further investigated to learn that the burglars had also broken through a wall into a neighboring business by cutting the sheetrock (inset photo).

At that same time, deputies had also been called to check on two men in a 2001 Ford Expedition that had not moved for several days. Upon contacting the individuals, it was determined that they matched the description of the commercial burglars that were seen on surveillance footage.

Deputies obtained a search warrant for the Expedition and found tools commonly used to gain entry in a burglary and property stolen from the two businesses located inside. These items included dozens of team jerseys, electronics, coin collections and musical instruments.

Travis Hendon is charged with:
* Three counts of 1st Degree Theft
* Three counts of 2nd Degree Burglary
* Two counts of Unlawful Entry into a Motor Vehicle
* Two counts of 1st Degree Forgery
* Two counts of Identity Theft
* One count of 2nd Degree Criminal Mischief

Bail is set at $10,000.

Sanchindra Nath is charged with:
* Three counts of 1st Degree Theft
* Two counts of 2nd Degree Burglary
* A Multnomah County Warrant for Probation Violation

Bail is set at $20,000.

Both men are in custody and scheduled to appear in
court on November 15, 2016. Several additional charges
are pending for both men.

PCC Photo
PCC Photo
Bomb Threat Closes PCC Rock Creek Campus (Photo) - 11/07/16

November 07, 2016 - A bomb threat at Portland Community College (PCC) Rock Creek Campus forced the closure while Sheriff's Deputies investigated. No bomb was found and the investigation is continuing.

On Monday, November 7, at 7:54 am, Sheriff's Deputies responded to a 911 call from a payphone located near the PCC Rock Creek campus. The caller stated that there were 3 devices set to detonate within a short period of time. Sheriff's Deputies quickly arrived on the scene and closed down roads in and around the campus to assist with the evacuation of several thousand students.

Sheriff's deputies worked directly with PCC security to assist with the evacuation and securing the scene. All students and campus staff were evacuated swiftly as law enforcement began a building by building search for suspicious devices. They did not locate anything suspicious and the campus was reopened at 11:36 am. PCC administration canceled all day and evening classes today as a result of this event.

PCC Rock Creek Campus President Sandra Fowler-Hill said, "As soon as we were notified of the call, we took immediate action to evacuate; working with the Washington County Sheriff's Office to ensure the campus is safe to enter."

The Sheriff's Office would like to thank the Hillsboro Police Department, Beaverton Police Department, Portland Police Bureau and Port of Portland Police who assisted with the incident.

Attached Media Files: PDF with Photo , PCC Photo
Deli Photo
Deli Photo
Sheriff's Deputies Search for "Lucky Dog Deli" Robbery Suspect (Photo) - 11/06/16

November 6, 2016--Washington County Sheriff's Deputies are searching for a man after he robbed a local business.

On November 5, 2016 at 6:45 p.m., Sheriff's Deputies were called to the Lucky Dog Deli at 4714 SW Scholls Ferry Road in the community of Raleigh Hills, concerning a robbery. Upon arrival, Sheriff's Deputies were told there was a man that robbed the 26 year-old male clerk at gunpoint.

Sheriff's Deputies were told the robbery suspect came into the business and walked quickly towards the clerk who was behind the counter. The clerk told Sheriff's Deputies the man had a handgun and demanded the cash in the register. The employee gave the man a small amount of cash and the man fled on foot. The employee was not harmed.

Sheriff's Deputies searched the area with the assistance of a Sheriff's Office K9 with no success in locating the suspect. There is the possibility a vehicle was used to flee the area. Investigators are reviewing surveillance video and other evidence.

The man was described as a Latino male, in his late 20s with a medium build. He was reported to have a purple bandana over his face. He was reportedly wearing a black hoody sweatshirt and black sweatpants.

Sheriff's 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) 846-2700.

Attached Media Files: PDF With Photo , Deli Photo