News and Press Releases
Deputy Receives Medal of Valor; 4 Graduate from Academy PDF Print E-mail
Tuesday, 23 November 2010 10:58

Columbia County Sheriff's Deputy Ryan Dews received the Oregon Peace Officers Association's (OPOA) Medal of Valor last week in a ceremony held in Newport November 19.


Deputy Dews received his medal after risking his life to save a man who was the passenger in a stolen vehicle involved in a pursuit on Scappoose-Vernonia Road July 4.


The crash occurred when the driver of the stolen car attempted to avoid a spike strip, lost control of the vehicle and left the roadway, where it burst into flames. Deputy Dews and Vernonia Police officer Shawn Carnahan reacted quickly to the burning vehicle and were able to pull Robert Regan, St. Helens, from the flames. The car quickly became engulfed, making further rescue attempts impossible, and the driver of the stolen vehicle--Brooks Anderson of St. Helens--died at the scene. Though the passenger later died from his injuries, the two officers were awarded the Medal of Valor for the risks they took to rescue him.


"Ryan will tell you he was just doing his duty the night he and Officer Carnahan risked their own personal safety to pull Mr. Regan from the flames," said Sheriff Jeff Dickerson, "but this award recognizes the effort demonstrating such a high level of devotion to duty. I join the OPOA in recognizing the exemplary efforts of both Deputy Dews and Officer Carnahan."


Also on November 19, the Sheriff's Office celebrated the graduation of its four newest members from the Oregon Public Safety Academy, when Deputies Carolyn Townsend, Ivan Johnson, Brandon Yon and Sean Moore finished their course of study. The four deputies fill vacancies in the Corrections Division and will bring relief to shifts in the jail once they complete their field training program. Deputies Yon and Moore were recognized by their class as the Class Leaders and received special recognition from the academy for that standing.


Deputy Yon was also named the top shooter for his class.


"We are so pleased with this current group of corrections deputies," the Sheriff said. "They are bright, multi-faceted and dedicated to the mission of the sheriff to conserve the peace by providing excellence in ensuring the safety and security of our jail. Once they are cleared for solo patrol on the floor, we hope to reduce the overtime and stress on our current staff."

 
Shooting Suspect charged with Assault PDF Print E-mail
Monday, 18 October 2010 18:35
Investigators have arrested the 25-year-old domestic partner of the shooting victim in Columbia County and charged her with Assault First Degree.  

Alisha R. VanDolah, 25, St. Helens, is in custody in the Columbia County Jail after violence erupted in the trailer she inhabits at 35710 Hods Lane near St. Helens. Daniel H. McMillen, 34 was hospitalized with gunshot wounds from a shotgun fired at close range earlier today.

Columbia 911 Dispatch notified the Sheriff's Office of the shooting at 10:04 a.m.  Responding deputies found McMillen with gunshot wounds to his shoulder, face and neck and surrounded the trailer he shares with VanDolah.

With the Assistance of the St. Helens and Oregon State Police departments, deputies took VanDolah into custody without further incident. Columbia River Fire and Rescue medics transported the victim to Emanuel Hospital in Portland, and thus far McMillen has survived the assault.

In conducting this investigation, the Sheriff's Office has received assistance from the Columbia County Major Crimes Team, including assistance from the Oregon State Police Crime Lab and an OSP reconstruction expert. Deputies later served a search warrant at the residence where the shots were fired. VanDolah had been detained for questioning following the incident and was lodged in jail on Assault I and Unlawful Use of a Weapon charges this evening.  Additional charges might be filed following review by the Columbia County District Attorney's Office.
Last Updated on Tuesday, 19 October 2010 08:46
 
Sheriff's Office Investigating Domestic Violence-Related Shooting PDF Print E-mail
Monday, 18 October 2010 12:47
Columbia County Sheriff's deputies responded  to a shots fired call on Monday, October 18, 2010. Deputies responded to a domestic disturbance near St. Helens and took one female suspect into custody. A male victim was transported to Emanuel Hospital with gunshot wounds.

Columbia 911 Dispatch notified the Sheriff's Office of the shooting at 10:04 a.m.  Responding deputies found Daniel H. McMillen, 34, with gunshot wounds to his shoulder, face and neck and surrounded the trailer he shares with Alisha R. VanDolah 28, at 35710 Hods Lane near St. Helens.

With the Assistance of the St. Helens and Oregon State Police departments, deputies took VanDolah into custody without further incident.

The motive behind the shooting remains under investigation. Sheriff's Office has activated the Columbia County Major Crimes Team to assist with the investigation.  The condition of the shooting victim is not known at this time.

35710 Hods Lane has been the location of numerous law enforcement responses through the years.  Criminal complaints at this location have  included, narcotics offenses, Assaults, Domestic violence calls, Criminal Trespass, noise complaints, warrant services and others.

 
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.
 
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