News and Press Releases
Monday, 21 June 2010 09:31

The Columbia County Sheriff’s Office is pleased to offer a women's self-defense class to the public every other Saturday in July and August this summer. The classes will be held in the Sheriff’s Office Training/Conference Room at 901 Port Avenue, in St. Helens.  The classes will begin at 9:00 A.M. and will conclude at approximately 3:00 P.M.  The class will be offered free of charge to Columbia County residents and a light lunch will be provided at no charge.

Classes are offered on the following Saturday dates this summer:  July 17, July 31, August 14 and August 28.  The classes will run from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. with a light lunch provided at no cost. Although the classes are free, a sign-up process is involved.  Class space is limited, so early registration is encouraged.

The course will be taught by certified defensive tactics instructors who received their certification through the Oregon Department of Public Safety Standards and Training (DPSST) and American Council on Criminal Justice Training (ACCJT).  The course is designed to teach participants skills to protect themselves in situations that could result in serious assault or death.  The course will be taught in “hands on” format.  Topics will include personal safety strategies for the workplace and travel.

All participants are asked to bring a bottle of water and to wear comfortable clothing, socks and tennis shoes.  Participants under the age of 18 are required to have a parent present and sign a release form in order to participate in the class.  If you plan to send your child with another adult, please contact the Sheriff’s Office prior to the class to ensure the accommodation can be made.  Due to the mature nature of the information presented, this class is not appropriate for children 15 years and younger. 

Class space is limited and individuals interested in participating must pre-register to attend.  Registration forms are available at the Columbia County Sheriff’s Office or by going on line to the sheriff's web pages at Questions can also be directed to Timmi Sue at the Sheriff's Office at (503) 366-4651.

Download the Women's Self Defense Class Flyer

Download the Women's Self Defense Class Application

Last Updated on Monday, 21 June 2010 09:38
Sunday, 25 April 2010 13:21
Columbia County Sheriff's Deputies today added charges of attempted murder to the list of offenses they have against the man taken into custody early Saturday morning after firing several shots from a semi-automatic pistol late Friday night.

A Circuit Court Judge set the Security Release amount at $150,000 for Peter Schwert, 38, after deputies arrested the Scappoose-area man earlier Saturday morning.

Charges of 2 counts of Attempted Murder were added to the booking report, after investigators determined some of the shots fired from Schwert's handgun were aimed at two individuals, one a minor.

No one was injured in the late-night dispute that began when Schwert -- a regular customer at Mark's On the Water (in the Columbia Channel) -- was cut off from drinks in the bar at the restaurant.  A verbal dispute ensued,and Schwert was escorted off the property.  The suspect, however, returned a short time later and reportedly began firing rounds from his hand gun.

Investigators believe Schwert was intoxicated at the time he returned to the restaurant armed with a silver, semi-automatic pistol.  Schwert reportedly confronted employees of the restaurant as they were leaving for the night, after the restaurant had closed. He pointed the gun at one of the employees and fired at least two shots at the employee and his son (a 14-year-old boy who also works at the restaurant), as the two drove away from the scene.

Additional rounds were also fired.  Investigators believe at least 8 rounds were fired from the gun.   Deputies are continuing to investigate the incident.

Schwert is lodged in the Columbia County Jail on two counts of Attempted Murder, two counts of Menacing, two counts of Pointing a Firearm at Another, four counts of Unlawful Use of a Weapon, four counts of Recklessly Endangering Another, and one count of Unlawful Possession of a Firearm.
Last Updated on Monday, 26 April 2010 10:50
Sunday, 25 April 2010 13:16

A gunman who opened fire in the parking lot of a floating restaurant in the Multnomah Channel is in custody today.

Columbia County Sheriff's deputies arrested Peter Miller Schwert, 38, Scappoose after he reportedly fired six rounds from a semi-automatic pistol during a dispute at the "Mark's on the Channel" restaurant located in McCuddy's Marina in the Multnomah Channel south of Scappoose.

"We responded to Mark's on the Channel Friday night at 11:38 p.m. when we received a call that someone with a gun was firing shots as he walked across the parking lot," Sheriff Jeff Dickerson said. "Oregon State Police and Scappoose Police responded initially, but we were able also to respond with deputies on the water and in the field adjacent to the restaurant.  The Saint Helens Police Critical Incident Response Team (CIRT) also responded and helped flush out the suspect."

Schwert was taken into custody at 2:34 a.m. after CIRT began searching an area north of where the shooting occurred. Two deputies on the perimeter of the search area located the suspect and took him into custody without further incident. 

Additional resources from the Portland Police Bureau and Multnomah County Sheriff's Office were also summoned as  officers and deputies combed the tall grass in the area for the suspect. Multnomah County Sheriff's Office posted a deputy on Sauvie Island across the channel from the restaurant, and the Police Bureau was scrambling air support with infrared viewing capabilities about the time the suspect was taken into custody. Rainier, Scappoose, St. Helens and Oregon State Police officers all assisted with the search and containment of the suspect. Columbia 911 Dispatch also committed a tactical dispatcher to the scene.

The incident remains under investigation, and updates will be published as they become available.

Schwert was lodged in the Columbia County Jail on two counts of Menacing, two counts of Pointing a Firearm at Another, two counts of Unlawful Use of a Weapon, two counts of Recklessly Endangering Another, and one count of Unlawful Possession of a Firearm.


Peter Schwert










Last Updated on Sunday, 25 April 2010 13:20
Are you a recent theft victim? PDF Print E-mail
Thursday, 08 April 2010 10:18

The Columbia County Sheriff's Office, along with several city jurisdictions, continues to receive reports of thefts from the Highway 30 corridor between Rainier and St. Helens.  The majority of thefts occurred between March 15 and March 23. 

It is not too late to report a theft of your property.  Please contact us via a special report link on our contact page so the investigator managing the case can contact your for additional information.  It is important that we hear from you!

Sheriff's Office Determines Injury to 2-year-old to be Accidental PDF Print E-mail
Tuesday, 30 March 2010 18:27
When a mother drove her vehicle over her two-year-old daughter in their driveway at their home near Rainier Friday night, it was an unfortunate accident, a Columbia County Sheriff's Office investigation has determined.
A deputy responded to Emanuel Hospital in Portland last Friday evening after learning the child had been flown there by Lifeflight from St. John Hospital in Longview. The child had been taken to the hospital after CPR attempts by family members had revived the child.
The sheriff's office investigation indicated that the mother, Julie Jo Biddix, 27, of Rainier had placed her daughter, Cordelia Biddix, 2, in the vehicle and believed her daughter was in her car seat when she began to back out of the driveway.  Somehow, the child had made her way outside the vehicle by the time she began to back up, and she ran over the child in the family driveway.  A family member picked up the child (who had stopped breathing) and administered CPR.  After the child began breathing again, she was transported by the family to St. John Hospital.
The incident occurred around 8 p.m. on Friday, March 26.
After the child was taken to the hospital in Longview, she was flown by Lifeflight to Emanual Hospital, where she was treated for face and shoulder injuries.
Last Updated on Tuesday, 30 March 2010 18:28
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