News and Press Releases
3 Injured in Boat Crash Near Clatskanie PDF Print E-mail
Sunday, 26 September 2010 20:23
A boating crash on the Columbia River near Clatskanie put three people in the hospital Saturday night.
Columbia County Sheriff's deputies were dispatched to the injury crash on the Columbia River near the mouth of the Clatskanie River just after 10:00 p.m. Saturday night. The operator of a boat in the area observed the crash, and advised it involved a small aluminum boat, about 16-foot. The witness advised the craft had struck a wing dam.   

As Sheriff's Office marine deputies were responding, the witness used his boat to retrieve all individuals (three males) from the crashed vessel. The citizen set the boat adrift when he  transported the subjects to shore.   All three people were then transported to to St. John Hospital in Longview via ambulance.

The individuals transported to the hospital were Bradley A. McKay, 40, Clatskanie (determined by investigators to be the boat operator), Michael E. Lindberg, 50, Portland, and Clifford R. Fetter, 39, Sandy.  Information on the condition of those involved in the crash is sketchy. St. John Hospital has refused to release information to investigators without a subpoena.
After these individuals were transported to the hospital, deputies conducted a search for the crashed vessel. The vessel was located Sunday afternoon near Sand Island, approximately two miles East of Jones Beach on the Columbia River.  

"The cause of this crash remains under investigation," said Sheriff Jeff Dickerson. "The evidence we have thus far indicates the vessel was traveling fairly fast in the dark -- and that's a recipe for trouble."

The sheriff's office is asking for anyone who might have any information regarding this incident to call the sheriff's office at (503) 366-4600.
CCSO Arrests Registered Sex Offender on New Sex Crime Charges PDF Print E-mail
Thursday, 23 September 2010 16:09
Columbia County Sheriff's Deputies today arrested a registered sex offender for new crimes that had been occurring between him and a family member for the last month at a location south of Scappoose.

In custody with charges of Coercion (4 counts), Sex Abuse First Degree (4 counts), Unlawful Sexual Penetration (4 counts) and Sex Abuse Third Degree (4 counts) is Karl Gottsberger, 45, Scappoose.

Deputies responded to the suspect's address after a neighbor called in a report saying the victim had reported to her the abuse. The suspect was not at home at the time of the report, but deputies began searching in various locations the suspect was known to frequent, and was located at the Scappoose Public Library. A sheriff's deputy took Gottsberger into custody without incident.

An interview with the victim produced evidence indicating Gottsberger had unlawfully coerced the adult victim to submit to the abuse against her will. Gottsberger is a registered sex offender. The sheriff's office's last contact with the suspect was in January, when he was arrested by the state police for failure to register as a sex offender. The sheriff's office also had the assistance of the Oregon State Police in this investigation.
CCSO Makes 5 Arrests--Serving Search Warrants at three locations PDF Print E-mail
Wednesday, 22 September 2010 09:46
Sheriff's deputies looking for a burglary suspect who was also wanted by federal authorities, located and arrested the subject Tuesday, September 21 at one of three locations for which they had obtained search warrants from the Columbia County Circuit Court. Four other Individuals were also arrested.

Deputies arrested David Clinton Housley, 29, Rainier, who, in addition to being wanted by the U.S. Marshal's Service for a probation violation, was also wanted in Columbia County in connection with Burglary, Theft, Criminal Trespass and several domestic violence charges. The federal probation charge  was stemming from a previous conviction on explosives charges.

"We assembled a task force to serve multiple warrants at the same time, in an effort to locate and arrest Mr. Housley, as well as to find evidence of burglary and theft," Sheriff Jeff Dickerson said. "We employed the use of our entire Enforcement Division and obtained the help of the U.S. Marshals  and officers from virtually every police department in the county in order to pull these raids off.  At the heart of our concern was to catch the suspect unawares at any one of three locations where he was known to stay, without tipping him off that we were looking for him. We were cautious in our approach, due to the suspect's criminal history. Thanks to the help of our partners, we pulled off the operation as it was planned."

Two of the three locations raided under authority of the warrant also yielded additional arrests. Two individuals were arrested at 23670 Shepard Rd, Rainier when deputies entered the premises at dawn in search of Mr. Housley and evidence from a burglary he had committed in the county.  Although Housley was not at the residence, Brian Jennings, 53, was taken into custody and charged with being a felon in possession of a firearm. Also arrested at the Shepard Rd. address was Willie Rae VanDergailien, 33, Rainer on a charge of possession of methamphetamine.

The fourth individual arrested was Daniel C. Housley, 32, Rainier, who was concealing his brother, David Housley inside his residence at 74866 Doan Rd #37.  Daniel Housley is charged with Hindering Prosecution.

The fifth person arrested is Timothy J. Smith, 40, Rainier. Mr. Smith was arrested at his residence located at the last of the three locations: 69402 Nicolai Cutoff Road. Mr. Smith is charged with possession of a stolen firearm. The stolen gun was recovered from the property, along with a stolen vehicle.

The Search warrants turned up evidence from the burglary in Columbia County for which David Housley is being charged.  A computer taken in that burglary was recovered from one of the locations.  Also located was jewelry and other items stolen from the known burglary.

The Sheriff's Office received the help of the U.S. Marshals Service, the St. Helens Critical Incident Response Team (including deputies and officers from the St. Helens Police Department, Scappoose Police Department and Rainier Police Department) and the Columbia 911 Dispatch Center. Columbia City and Clatskanie also lent officers to the raids. Medics from the Columbia River Fire and the Clatskanie Rural Fire Protection districts staged at the various locations during the raids.

The investigation continues, and additional charges are possible.
Columbia County Publishes Call Statistics Online PDF Print E-mail
Wednesday, 07 July 2010 09:56

The Columbia County Sheriff's Office has begun publishing monthly call information on an interactive web map available for free to the public. is a comprehensive crime-mapping service which allows law enforcement agencies to upload their information so anyone with an internet connection can view criminal activity in a specific county, city, or even neighborhood.

CCSO has chosen to make available not only actual crimes, but all calls which they service, whether major or minor. This will help provide the citizens of Columbia County a better idea of how many and what types of calls their deputies handle within a given time-frame. In addition, it allows anyone to graphically view this information in several different ways.

“It is important to me to provide as much information to the public as possible about the scope of our mission,” said Sheriff Jeff Dickerson. “It helps explain the difficulties we have in meeting the demand for services with only a few deputies to spread out  over 168 hours every week throughout the 657 square miles of our county, including the Columbia River. It also highlights the tremendous work of those deputies to triage those calls and make the biggest possible positive difference in the lives of our citizens. In short, it shows we are getting a lot done with a few resources.”

Visit the CCSO website and click on Resourceful Links under the Your Personal Safety section for more information.

Last Updated on Wednesday, 07 July 2010 09:58
Driver of Stolen Vehicle Killed in Columbia County Sheriff's Pursuit PDF Print E-mail
Monday, 05 July 2010 06:24
The driver of a stolen motor vehicle was killed Sunday night after a Columbia County Sheriff's deputy attempted to stop the car and an 18-mile pursuit ensued.  The suspect vehicle crashed in an apparent effort by the driver to avoid a spike strip on the roadway, resulting in a vehicle fire.  The deputy and an officer from the Vernonia Police Department pulled a passenger from the wrecked car, but the driver could not be rescued before the vehicle became engulfed in flames.  The crash occurred on Scappoose-Vernonia Rd, approximately three miles east of the Nehalem River Highway.
The pursuit began a little after 9:00 Sunday evening when a deputy observed the suspect vehicle operating near Brinn and Pittsburg roads. The vehicle matched  the description of a stolen vehicle reported to have eluded Scappoose police the day before.  As the deputy attempted to overtake the suspect vehicle, the driver of the stolen car sped up, and the chase was on. 
The pursuit lasted 15 minutes and traveled approximately 16 miles.  Speeds got as high as 80 miles per hour on the route beginning at Sykes Rd and West Kappler, continuing on Cater Rd before heading west on Scappoose-Vernonia Rd.  During the pursuit the suspect was observed throwing debris out the driver side window in an apparent effort to create obstacles for the pursuing deputy.  Items thrown from the vehicle included, "The Club" (anti-theft device), large fencing staples, a gasoline can, and even a pair of pants. The suspect drove the stolen car approximately 10 miles on Scappoose-Vernonia Rd. before a Vernonia Police Officer  deployed spike strips in an effort to deflate one or more of the suspect vehicle's tires.
It appeared that the driver of the stolen car attempted to avoid the spike strip, lost control of the vehicle and left the roadway, where it burst into flames.  The pursuing deputy and the Vernonia Police officer responded quickly to the burning vehicle and were able to pull the passenger from the flames.  The car quickly became engulfed, making further rescue attempts impossible.
The passenger was taken by Lifeflight Helicopter to Emanuel Hospital with life-threatening injuries.  The driver was declared dead at the scene.  Currently we do not have positive identification of either the passenger or the driver.
The vehicle, a 1989 Nissan 240SX was reported stolen to Portland Police on June 26.
The Columbia County Sheriff's Office requested the assistance of an Oregon State Police crash reconstructionist.  The state police will be handling the investigation of the crash.
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