Crime & Law

Crime, Law & Justice

Eugene 4J

South Eugene High School and Roosevelt Middle School were placed on lockdown Wednesday morning for about 45 minutes.

A Eugene Police SWAT team member was dropping his child off at the YMCA Wednesday morning. He was wearing his camouflage uniform. A school district delivery driver contacted police saying that there was an armed man near South Eugene High School. Eugene 4j Spokeswoman Kerry Delf says even though it's stressful for a school to go into lockdown, everyone did what they should.

columbiariverreview.com

President Barack Obama has signed the USA Freedom Act into law, just hours after Congress sent it to his desk. Oregon's U.S. Senator Ron Wyden praised passage of the Freedom Act, which changes how the government can conduct surveillance and gather data, which was put in place under the Patriot Act.

On Tuesday, Sen. Wyden said it is not an exaggeration to say passage of the Freedom Act is the most significant victory for Americans' privacy rights in more than a decade. The Democrat said Americans do not need to sacrifice their liberty to have security.

Benton County

Benton County plans to ask voters to pay for a new, larger jail. The funding measure will be on the November ballot.

The current Benton County Jail was built in 1976. It's in downtown Corvallis, adjacent to the historic courthouse. The jail can house up to 40 inmates. Benton County Sheriff Scott Jackson says the county rents up to 40 beds from other jails and has to turn away more than 100 inmates a year. He wants voters to see for themselves that the jail needs replacing. The Sheriff is offering tours every Saturday.

Noah Dewitt's family

A body recovered from Eugene's sewage system has been identified as 24-year-old Noah Dewitt.
Eugene police spokeswoman Melinda McLaughlin said Sunday that Dewitt was last seen in mid-February, when he was reported missing by a friend who said he had left a home in distress in the early morning hours.
Dewitt's body was found Thursday in a concrete underground well at a pump station that collects waste from south and west Eugene. Police say a crew found the body while doing twice-a-year maintenance.

Updated May 15th, 2015 6:53 AM

Kaitlyne Wirth is in custody and is no longer sought by law enforcement.
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An AMBER Alert was activated in Oregon following a request from the Tillamook City Police Department Thursday evening in an attempt to locate a female child and a female suspect. The vehicle and child were located near Cottage Grove on HWY 99. The AMBER Alert was canceled shortly after.

Lane County Jail

A British man is being held on $1.5-million bail at the Lane County Jail for allegedly raping a 10-year-old girl in Eugene after meeting her online.

22-year-old Gareth Hall of Wales was arrested May 2nd at Chicago O'Hare International Airport when he tried to reenter the United States. A warrant had been issued for his arrest after Eugene Police investigated a trip the man made to Eugene in mid-April.

Eugene Police detective Jed McGuire said Hall had been communicating with a 10-year-old girl in Eugene for several months online before travelling to Oregon to meet her.

Senator Floyd Prozanski

The Oregon legislature may extend its statute of limitations for rape and sexual assault to 12 years. That bill is expected to get a public hearing in the next 2 weeks in Salem.

Last month, the state house voted to double the statute of limitations for people to report sexual assault. The bill is now in the Senate Judiciary committee, which is chaired by Democratic Senator Floyd Prozanksi. He says the statute of limitations is currently at 6 years.

Rachael McDonald

As the weather warms up in the Pacific Northwest, more people are riding their bicycles. But in bike-friendly college towns like Eugene and Corvallis, bike theft also increases during the spring and summer.

It's a story many people who commute by bicycle know well. Eugene resident Aaron Brussat had locked his bike outside of Falling Sky Home Fermentation Supply Shop, where he worked.

Unpacking Videos of Police Shootings

May 6, 2015
Rowan Moore Gerety

Over the past year, a string of police killings of unarmed Black men has prompted a national conversation around use of force and racial bias in policing. It’s a conversation often shaped by viral videos documenting those incidents.

Family's GoFundMe site

The Lane County District Attorney announced Monday that no criminal charges will be filed against the driver who struck and killed three children in Springfield in February.

DA Says Eugene Police Officer Justified In Shooting

May 1, 2015
Facebook/BrianBabb

Lane County District Attorney Alex Gardner announced Friday Eugene Police officer Will Stutesman was justified in firing his weapon at Brian Babb.

On March 30th, the Army Veteran who served in Afghanistan was fatally shot after he pointed a scoped high powered rifle at two EPD officers, who were trying to negotiate with him.

The rifle was not loaded at the time. In the District Attorney's report, it states:

City of Florence

Tom Turner will leave his job as Lane County Sheriff at the end of April. He'll take the job of Florence Police Chief May 1st. KLCC's Rachael McDonald asked him why he made the change.

Rachael McDonald

The Lane County Board of Commissioners today [Wednesday] chose Byron Trapp to be the next Sheriff. The Chief Deputy will replace Tom Turner when he leaves to be Florence Chief of Police at the end of the month.

Karen Richards

Federal Judge Michael McShane is “on the fence” whether to stay a lawsuit brought by the Newport Fishermen’s Wives against the Coast Guard, or dismiss it. The suit is over the agency’s threatened closure of the rescue helicopter station.

The Mayor of Newport along with several city and county officials attended the hearing at the Federal Courthouse in Eugene. Attorney Sean Duffy represents the Coast Guard. He asked the judge to dismiss the case for lack of jurisdiction. The plaintiff’s lawyer Mike Haglund was upbeat after the hearing:

Eugene Police

The shooting of an unarmed African American man by a police officer in South Carolina this week has people talking about the videotaping of police. KLCC's Rachael McDonald spoke with Eugene Police Chief Pete Kerns.

Eugene Police

Gang activity is a concern of law enforcement in Eugene and Springfield. Community members can attend a forum Wednesday to get more information on the issue.

The forum is part of a new program in response to concerns and phone calls from residents. Captain Sherri Meisel with the Eugene Police Department says they’ll present photos and tips for people on things like graffiti:

Lane County Sheriff's Office

Social media is credited with identifying a burglary suspect in Eugene. Police posted a home surveillance video on YouTube Tuesday. It showed a man entering a room at the top of a flight of stairs, armed with a large knife. The suspect takes what appears to be a computer. Police say the burglary was captured on video after a person house sitting for the owner set up a camera to watch the cats while the owners were away.

Albany Police

Albany police arrested a 28-year old man who they say is responsible for a fire that destroyed a high school cafeteria Wednesday.

Facebook/BrianBabb

The man fatally shot by a Eugene Police officer Monday was an Army veteran who served in Afghanistan in 2006. The Chief of Police spoke publicly about the incident Wednesday.

Eugene Police were called to the home of 49-year-old Brian Babb by his therapist who said the veteran was in emotional distress and suicidal. He had fired a shot inside the home. Nobody was injured. His roommate safely got out after police arrived in an armored vehicle. Police Chief Pete Kerns says while assessing the situation with a crisis negotiator, Babb allegedly came to the front door with a rifle.

uoregon.edu

The University of Oregon filed an amended response yesterday (Thursday) to a student’s lawsuit claiming she was raped by three former basketball players.

In the revised response, the U of O removed language seeking reimbursement of legal costs. Interim president Scott Coltrane says they never intended to ask for fees or damages from the claimant:

Coltrane: “We felt it was important to do this now, because the attention was going toward the misperception that we were suing our student, which was not the truth.”

Erin's Law

Every 90 seconds a child is sexually assaulted in America.  That’s according to the National Center for Victims of Crime.  90% know the perpetrator in some way. Childhood sexual abuse is an insidious crime, shrouded in secrecy. As KLCC’s Tiffany Eckert reports, adult survivors are asking Oregon lawmakers to break the silence with Erin's Law, an education bill bent toward prevention. 

When Carolee Horning was 13 she was an altar girl at a Catholic church in Reedsport. She remembers when the new priest, Father Edward Altstock, arrived.

www.opb.org

Law enforcement agencies across Oregon will be on the road looking for drunk drivers this Super Bowl Sunday. Benton County, Deschutes County Sheriff's, and the Eugene Police Department are among the agencies participating in DUII saturation patrols.

Also, EPD spokeswoman Melinda McLaughlin says if your party gets out of control, don't be afraid to call the police.

The long-lasting claim linking domestic violence and Super Bowl Sunday doesn't hold true for Lane County.

Peggy Whalen from Womenspace in Eugene says in her 25 years of work in the field, she has never once seen rates spike because of the game.

"There definitely isn't a correlation between Super Bowl Sunday and domestic violence. I do, however, think that this is a really important thing to be discussing, especially this year."

Visitor7

Two unnamed University of Oregon employees have been put on leave after 22,000 pages of electronic records were released from the president's office. Interim President Scott Coltrane claims the release was unlawful.

The information was requested by an unidentified professor and released without being inspected to meet state and federal privacy laws.  

The documents include confidential information and correspondence between the university's last four presidents and parents, students and faculty.

Tobin Klinger is a UO spokesman:

John Moore / Getty Images

Since last summer, national attention has shifted away from the plight of Central American youth coming to the United States to escape violence. The U-S Government says the situation at the border has improved. But the violence in Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador has not abated. Some kids from Central America have ended up in the northwest, including Lane County.

KLCC

A University of Oregon student who alleges she was raped by three basketball players last March has filed a lawsuit against the University and basketball coach Dana Altman. The civil complaint was filed in Eugene Thursday.

In the lawsuit the victim is labeled as Jane Doe. She is still a student at the UO. The suit claims that Coach Altman knew player Brandon Austin had been accused of sexual misconduct at his former college, and could be a risk to female students at the UO. Interim President Scott Coltrane denies that.

Eugene 4J School District

The Eugene 4J School District is suing the Register-Guard newspaper to avoid releasing emails about the superintendent. 

wikipedia.org

If you’re planning to celebrate the New Year with fireworks, remember Eugene has new restrictions on their use. Now, there are two windows for legal fireworks to be set off: December 31st through January 1st and around the 4th of July.

Fireworks are no longer legal year round in Eugene. The city approved the changes due to frequent use and a concern for fires and the wellbeing of community members.

Scott Fellman a lieutenant with the Eugene Police department says he wants to remind people that they are only allowed to buy fireworks at licensed stands.

Eugene Police Officer Offers Holiday Safety Tips

Dec 30, 2014
www.eugene.or-gov

If you plan to celebrate the New Year, remember to enjoy the holiday safely. The Eugene Police Department advises people to plan ahead by always having a designated driver.

Lieutenant Scott Fellman says people shouldn’t take any chances by driving under the influence on New Year’s.

Fellman: “New Year’s Eve we’ll definitely have extra officers out doing enforcement because that’s always a holiday we watch out for that type of behavior with a little bit of extra attention and we want to encourage people to plan ahead.”

Eric Evans / goducks.com

The combination of Thanksgiving travel and the Civil War football Game has Oregon police and sheriffs on alert for impaired drivers through the weekend.

The Oregon Ducks and Oregon State Beavers face off in the 118th Civil War game at Reser Stadium in Corvallis Saturday.

Undersheriff Greg Ridler is with the Benton County Sheriff's Office. He says police will be on DUII Saturation patrol looking for impaired drivers who are traveling to and from the Civil War Game. He says more folks will be on the road for Thanksgiving festivities as well.

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