Subscribe to get tough, fair journalism seven days a week.
Subscribe today

Day: July 11, 2012

Men accused of threatening to kill over car

By JASON COX
Of the Keizertimes

Two men were arrested in Salem late Tuesday night on charges including robbery, burglary, extortion and methamphetamine delivery after threatening to kill a Keizer man’s family in Mexico, police said.

Members of the Salem Police S.W.A.T. team along with Keizer Police officers arrested the pair at a home at 3813 45th Avenue NE after obtaining search warrants for the home and a vehicle parked outside. The two men were detained without incident.

They stand accused of threatening the family of a man on Kennedy Circle NE. The victim said his family and the two suspects are from the same village in Mexico. The victim was told his brother in Mexico would be killed unless he gave the suspects either $4,000 cash or the keys and title to his vehicle, according to Keizer Police Capt. Jeff Kuhns.

One pushed his way into the man’s residence, continuing to threaten him until the victim got outside and asked a neighbor to call police, authorities said, adding one suspect lifted his shirt to show a handgun tucked into his waistband.

At the victim’s request, officers subsequently responded to an address in the 8000 block of Portland Road NE where the victim’s mother lives. A woman at the home told officers the two men had just left her home in a mid-2000s grey Chevrolet, police said.

The woman said she saw an altercation between another woman and a suspect on Portland Road. Police were told the suspect was using abusive language toward the second woman, repeatedly threatening to have her two sons living in Mexico killed.

“(The woman) told officers that she is fearful for her sons’ safety because of the threats made to her by the suspect,” Kuhns said. “She said that they are all from the same village in Mexico and that she believes he has the will and ability to carry out this threat.”

Arrested were Salvador Gutierrez, 25, of Los Angeles, and Aquileo Tinoco-Bedolla, 34, of Salem. Charges for both included first-degree robbery and burglary, extortion, coercion, harassment, possession and delivery of methamphetamine and attempted unauthorized use of a motor vehicle. Both were lodged at the Marion County Jail.

Cop cars land in impound, spark false arrest threat

By JASON COX
Of the Keizertimes

Employees of a Salem towing company arrested after refusing to release undercover police vehicles from an impound lot are threatening legal action against Salem and Keizer police along with the Drug Enforcement Administration.

Claims could include assault, battery, abuse of process, false arrest, malicious prosecution, false imprisonment, intentional infliction of emotional distress and violating due process along with the Oregon and U.S. Constitutions, according to a May 2 letter sent by Kevin Lafky. He’s representing Bales and Brady West LLC, Bradley Kelley, Timothy Hall and Gary Dental. A tort notice is typically sent by the purportedly aggrieved party to another person, company or agency whom they intend to file a lawsuit against.

The letter states Sgt. Andrew Roberts of Salem Police along with Det. Jeff Johnson of Keizer Police, Resident Agent in Charge Tyson Hodges and SPD Det. Gerrit Roelof were conducting surveillance on an apartment at 3985 Hayesville Drive NE in Salem. They were driving vehicles registered to fictitious names, the letter says.

When serving a search warrant on or about January 27, the officers parked in a grass and gravel lot near the apartment building – a lot marked with at least one sign from Bales and Brady threatening impound to “unauthorized or improperly parked vehicles,” the letter states, and the lot’s owner was not notified.

While officers were serving the warrant, the vehicles were towed to an impound lot on Glen Creek Road in west Salem. According to the letter, Roelof and Johnson arrived and “demanded the immediate return of their vehicles.” Staff said they could not release the vehicles until the officers produced proof of ownership, Lafky wrote, but authorities said they couldn’t produce proof immediately due to the fake registration information.

Roberts then showed his badge and picture identification, saying the vehicles needed to be released right away due to an active investigation, the letter states, but two of the employees continued to insist on proof of ownership and permission to release the vehicles. Hall then contacted a supervisor for advice and was placed on hold while one of the officers threatened to arrest Hall and Kelley if the vehicles were not immediately released.

“Chill out dude, I’m calling my boss,” Hall told Roberts, according to the letter.

While still on hold, Roberts arrested Hall and Kelley for obstructing governmental administration, the letter states. Officers found the keys to the tow yard on the employees, unlocked the gate and took their vehicles. The two lot employees were taken to the Polk County Jail.

Commemorative coin marks Wallace House settlement

A new commemorative coin celebrates what is believed to be the first white settlement in the Willamette Valley. (KEIZERTIMES/Andrew Jackson)

A commemorative coin is now available celebrating what’s believed to be the oldest European settlement in the Willamette Valley.

The Wallace House, thought to have been built in 1812 on a bluff overlooking the Willamette River in what is now Keizer, is the occasion for two celebrations this year, one earlier this month and another at RIVERfair in August. The latter includes a geocaching event.

This commemorative coin, available for $10, is part of that. The coin also includes note of the city of Keizer’s 30th anniversary. Michael Hickman organized the coin’s creation to help raise funds for that event.

“We’ll have a dozen specific caches just for this that will be out only a day,” Hickman said. “At RIVERfair we’ll have a sheet with coordinates, and the first 25 people who come back with all of them done will get a coin.”

If you don’t want to wait – or test your luck trying to win one – you can purchase them at [email protected] or call 503-580-5791. It features full-color designs from Emily Solberg, a McNary High School senior. Only 100 of the coins were made. They can be bought from the Keizer Community Library booth the day of RIVERfair.

The coins can be used for geocaching, each with their own unique tracking number.

“You enter it on Geocaching.com, and when you put it in another cache, someone else picks it up,” Hickman said.