News and Press Releases
Man Drowns Rescuing Son from Cold Columbia River PDF Print E-mail
Saturday, 14 April 2012 22:51

Recovery divers pulled the body of a Clatskanie man out of the Wallace Slough on the Columbia River northwest of Clatskanie today after the man had dived into the water from a fishing vessel to rescue his son who had fallen in.

Brant Hicks, 35, Clatskanie was pronounced dead at the scene after his body was recovered from the water six hours after witnesses said he dove in to rescue his 2-year-old son, who had fallen in.  Hicks was able to rescue the boy and get him back into the boat, but subsequently failed to stay above the water.  He was not wearing a personal floatation device, but the boy was.

The young child was transported to St. John Hospital showing signs of hypothermia. He was later released and reported to be okay.  The water temperature at the time was between 46 and 47 degrees farenheit.

The Columbia County Sheriff's Office responded by boat at 11:15 a.m. to the Wallace Island area on the Columbia River after receiving a call through Dispatch of a man overboard.  The caller, Larry Hurula of Clatskane, was aboard the boat from which Hicks dove in to rescue his son. Hurula is Hicks' father-in-law.  Also on the boat were Hicks' niece and nephew -- a 9-year-old boy and a 10-year-old girl.

The Sheriff's office received additional help from the U.S. Coast Guard, the Oregon State Police, and the Clatskanie Police and Fire departments.  The Multnomah County Sheriff's Office dive team arrived at 4 p.m. and searched the water for approximately 90 minutes before locating the body in 16 feet of water. Hicks' body was found approximately 30 feet down river from where he had last been seen.

"Our hearts go out to this family in their loss," said Sheriff Jeff Dickerson. "We are grateful for the help of our partners, especially the Multnomah County Sheriff's dive team, for all their assistance in bringing some closure to this  tragic event."

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

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.
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