Marion Co. Sheriff's Office
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News Release
Sheriff Kast Issues Statement Following Arrest of Salem Area Man - 08/22/19

In the last few days the Sheriff’s Office has received several questions about an incident Marion County Sheriff Joe Kast witnessed on Tuesday afternoon, August 20th, while having a coffee meeting outside the IKE Box in downtown Salem.  To help with inquiries around that incident, Sheriff Kast is issuing the following statement:

On Tuesday afternoon I was having a coffee meeting outside the IKE Box in downtown Salem when a male walking with a bicycle suddenly stopped at a nearby table.  When the male continued down the sidewalk I saw him stop, turn around, and make an obscene gesture toward the three men still sitting at the table.  When I asked the men what had happened, they told me the man with the bicycle had spat upon one of them and made a racial slur toward them.

Although in uniform, I did not have a radio with me so I called 911 to request Salem Police respond.  The oldest of the three men, a mentor to the other two, helped to keep an eye on the man pushing the bicycle while Salem Police responded and was able to ultimately take Mr. Anderson-Justis into custody.

As a veteran law enforcement officer of nearly 28 years, this was the first time I have witnessed firsthand something of this nature when working.  I was impressed with the maturity and level of restraint all three men showed after being subjected to this type of offensive behavior.  Instead of reacting with hostility or anger, these three men took the higher road in a difficult situation.  I am glad I was there to be a witness and help out in this situation, but I hope I never witness anything like this again in our community, or any community for that matter.

I would like to thank the Salem Police Department for their professionalism and timely response to this incident.  It is imperative as law enforcement we take such acts seriously and take the initiative to do our part to hold people accountable for committing such offensive acts.

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