News and Press Releases


Deputies Arrest Child Rape Suspect PDF Print E-mail
Thursday, 05 April 2012 10:22
A two-month investigation culminated in the arrest of a man accused of 11 counts of sexual crimes against children yesterday afternoon at the State Department of Human Services office in St. Helens.

Paulino Garza, 50, Scappoose was also charged with resisting arrest after he scuffled with deputies as they were taking him into custody.

The arrest occurred following a Department of Human Services hearing in which the suspect was in attendance. DHS and CCSO investigators have been looking into accusations of child abuse against the suspect against his own children, culminating in the arrest yesterday.

Garza was booked into the Columbia County Jail on seven counts of Sexual Abuse First Degree, one count of Sodomy Second Degree, one count of Rape Second Degree and two counts Unlawful Sexual Penetration Second Degree, as well as one count of Resisting Arrest.

"We believe these crimes have been only against family members," said Sheriff Jeff Dickerson. "At this time, there is no indication of abuse outside of the family circle."
 
Sheriff's Office Releases 2011 Annual Report PDF Print E-mail
Wednesday, 22 February 2012 20:22

The Columbia County Sheriff's Office has released its Annual Report for 2011.  Chock full of statistics, news notes, and results documentation, the report highlights the work product of the deputies and staff who set records for output in the previous year.

"This report shows that, despite the challenges we have faced with budget reductions and position losses, we continue to build an exciting, innovative sheriff’s office, dedicated to keeping our community safe and livable," said Sheriff Jeff Dickerson.

The report is available in printed format at the Sheriff's Office.  It is also available through a downloadable  pdf file on the Columbia County Sheriff's Office website at www.co.columbia.or.us/sheriff.

 
Neighbors Thwart Daytime Burglary near Scappoose PDF Print E-mail
Wednesday, 28 December 2011 16:19
Deputies responding to a burglary in progress call yesterday found the suspect laid out on the ground underneath the brother and neighbor of the victim.
 
Timothy Owen Viles, 24, Scappoose is in custody today in the Columbia County Jail on one count of Burglary First Degree and is also being held on a Probation Violation.
 
The Sheriff's Office responded to 32713 APPLE VALLEY RD at 1:49 p.m. after a caller advised dispatch she had just seen someone enter the house at that address.  The caller, Janice Yauney and her husband, Fred Yauney live nearby and had been watching the house for Fred Yauney's brother, William Yauney.
 
As deputies were en route, the Yauneys saw Viles leaving the house. Fred Yauney chased the suspect down, threw him to the ground and sat on him until Deputies arrived.
 
After Viles was in custody, a subsequent investigation showed signs of forced entry into the home.
Last Updated on Monday, 30 January 2012 10:42
 
CCSO requests public assistance in identifying robbery suspect PDF Print E-mail
Monday, 19 December 2011 17:51
Columbia County Sheriff's deputies are requesting assistance from the public in identifying a masked man who robbed a country store of an undisclosed amount of money over the weekend. Two in-store videos of the robbery have been released to the public to aid in determining the identity of the suspect.

On Saturday Deputies responded to the Alston Country Store and Video, 25239 Alston Rd., Rainier just before 7 p.m. after the store clerk reported that an unknown male robbed the store. The suspect told the clerk that he had a gun, but one was never seen. He was described as being in his late teens to early 20's, wearing a dark colored hooded sweatshirt, black knit mask, black shoes, and dark blue pants.
 
The suspect is thin, between 5'-10" - 6'00", white, male.
 
The suspect was last seen walking in the direction of Highway 30, toward the Alston Church.
 
A Portland Police K9 responded over an hour after the incident, but was not able to locate a suspect. The sheriff's office also obtained assistance from the Rainier, Clatskanie and State Police departments. Deputies and assisting officers cleared the scene at 1:17 AM.

"We are releasing the videos from the in-store cameras in hopes someone will recognize the dress and mannerisms of the suspect," said Sheriff Jeff Dickerson.  Anyone with information regarding the suspect in this robbery is encouraged to call the sheriff's office citizen call line at (503) 369-4698 and leave as much detail as possible.  

The investigation is ongoing.
 
CCSO Search and Rescue Locates Body of Missing Teen PDF Print E-mail
Saturday, 17 December 2011 17:47

Columbia County Search and Rescue members located the body of a 19-year-old Rainier woman inside the vehicle she was last known to be driving.  Nichole Sherman appears to have suffered fatal injuries due to a motor vehicle crash. The crash appears to have occurred when Sherman’s vehicle left the roadway along her assumed route to a friend’s house.  Next of kin has been notified.


Ms . Sherman was last seen in the late afternoon hours on November 13.  She was reported missing to the Sheriff’s Office on November 14.


Deputies, sheriff’s volunteers, family members and others have devoted hundreds of hours to finding out what happened.  Today, thanks to conditions at the time of the search and observant search and rescue members, deputies were able to recover Ms. Sherman’s body, which was still seat-belted into the red, 2001 Chevrolet Cavalier she was reported to have been driving.  The vehicle appears to have been involved in a high-velocity crash just off the roadway, where it subsequently came to rest in a creek bed that is surrounded by trees.


“Deputies had driven this route on multiple occasions, searching for indications of an off-road crash,” said Sheriff Jeff Dickerson. “We also employed the use of private aircraft flying over the area, but were unsuccessful in our efforts until today. Aided by clear weather and the angle of lighting at the time of this search, members of our search and rescue team were alerted to what turned out to be a tree that appears to have been struck by the Sherman vehicle.”


Searchers examined the tree and saw in the gully a red car with extensive damage to the passenger side.  Deputies went into the gully and made positive identification of Ms. Sherman.


An Oregon State Police crash reconstructionist is assisting the Sheriff’s Office in determining the cause of the crash.


“Our hearts go out to the family members and fiancé of Ms. Sherman,” the sheriff said. “We express our condolences to them for the loss of their loved one, and we also want to thank our search and rescue volunteers for helping close this chapter of the investigation.”


The case will remain open pending official cause of death determination by the Oregon State Medical Examiner.


In addition to OSP's assistance, Columbia River Fire and Rescue personnel were also assisting on scene. Assistance was also rendered by Columbia 9-1-1 dispatchers.

 
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