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Day: July 31, 2012

Officer injured in stolen vehicle pursuit

Officer Eric Jefferson, who operates a police motorcycle, was injured during the pursuit of a stolen vehicle Tuesday, July 31. Jefferson was forced to lay down his bike to avoid being hit. (KEIZERTIMES/Jason Cox)

A Keizer Police motorcycle officer was hurt during the pursuit of a stolen vehicle at about 4 p.m. Tuesday, July 31, near Keizer Station.

Keizer Police received a report of a stolen car in the area of Keizer Station at 3:53 p.m.  Officer David Babcock, operating a marked patrol unit, responded to the area, followed by Officer Eric Jefferson, who is assigned to the Traffic Unit and operates a police motorcycle.  Officers Babcock and Jefferson located a green Honda Accord believed to be stolen on the cloverleaf of Ulali Drive in a line of stopped vehicles that were waiting to turn eastbound onto Chemawa Road and towards the I-5 interchange.

Babcock drove up next to the stolen vehicle with Jefferson following behind. The driver of the vehicle immediately redirected the stolen vehicle out of his lane of travel, ramming Babcock’s patrol car and heading directly toward Jefferson, police officials said.

To avoid getting rammed head-on by the stolen vehicle, Jefferson turned suddenly and laid the police motorcycle down in an attempt to get out of Honda’s path. The stolen vehicle then fled the area and was pursued by other responding officers before being stopped on Indian School Road just south of Chemawa Road.

Jefferson was transported to Salem Hospital where he was treated for non-life threatening injuries and released. Babcock was uninjured. The patrol vehicle sustained moderate damage and the police motorcycle sustained minor damage.

The driver of the stolen vehicle was taken into custody and identified as Sean Cody Bennett, 28, of Keizer.

Bennett is being held without bail because of a parole violation warrant. He is also being charged with unauthorized use of a motor vehicle, attempt to elude, reckless endangering, two counts of unlawful use of a weapon for using the vehicle as a weapon, and assault.  Bennett is lodged at the Marion County Correctional Facility.

City pays back taxes on Keizer Station property


Of the Keizertimes

The City of Keizer paid nearly $70,000 in back property taxes on privately-owned land, which served as collateral on city-backed bonds, to avoid its foreclosure by Marion County, receipts show.

The city of Keizer is using urban renewal dollars to pay delinquent local improvement bond debt assessed to several Keizer Station property owners. Four of the five parcels in question also had delinquent back property taxes going back to the 2008 tax year.

The Keizer City Council voted last year to start a process that would lead the city to foreclose upon the properties, then sell them at a later date to recover monies lost paying back the bond debt. Had the county foreclosed, the city could have lost its stake in the property entirely, said City Manager Chris Eppley.

“The county is required to foreclose by statute on any properties over a certain [past due] time frame,” Eppley said. “The action we took actually preserved our investment and security in that property.”

Back taxes on more recent years are still owed on the properties in addition to local improvement district debt owed to the city, which in turn must repay bondholders. Eppley said he expected all along that paying the county’s back taxes would be a prerequisite to selling them.

“It’s really either now or later,” Eppley said.

The anticipated expense was budgeted for this year from the Keizer Urban Renewal District budget, said Finance Director Susan Gahlsdorf.

Both judicial and nonjudicial means of foreclosure are on the table, said City Attorney Shannon Johnson.