Police Tape
GODOFREDO VASQUEZ, Gazette-Times

Crime in Benton County got off to an early start in 2017 with a man trying to drive a fire truck during a medical response just two hours into the year. But that was only the start of the weirdness local police reported through the year.

As 2018 arrives, we take a look back at the bizarre oddities that made the 2017 Police Log.

Names have been removed to protect the innocent and to give the guilty a bit of a break.

FIRE TRUCK JOYRIDE: 2 a.m., Jan. 1. EMTs reported to Corvallis police while they were assisting a person at a bar downtown in Corvallis, a man entered a fire engine, started the ignition and put the engine in reverse. The EMTs reported that the only reason the engine did not move was because the emergency brakes were applied. The man was arrested for charges of unlawful use of a motor vehicle and interfering with EMTs.

DRONE CRASH: 10:29 p.m., Jan. 9. A North Albany man reported seeing a suspicious green light in his backyard to the Sheriff’s office. He later searched the area and found the light was coming from a drone that had crashed in his backyard.

RAIDERS AT RAIDERS’ FIELD: 9:50 a.m., Jan. 20. A deputy warned a livestock owner after the owner's five alpacas and two goats got loose and ran onto Crescent Valley High School's softball field.

(UN)LUCKY DOG: 6:42 p.m., Jan. 24. A woman reported that her dog was struck by a dark colored SUV in the driveway. The woman reported that the dog had pulled away from her and was hit by the vehicle, which stopped and then backed up over the dog again. The woman reported that she yelled at the driver, who left the scene, running over the dog a third time. The woman reported that she took the dog to the veterinarian, and it had superficial injuries and it was later released.

NAKED TACKLE: 1:45 p.m., Jan. 25. Police responded to a report of a naked man who ran into the UPS Store and tackled an employee. Police concluded the man was under the influence of a controlled substance and cited him with disorderly conduct and criminal mischief.

FOUND SHOTGUN: 11:51 a.m., Jan. 26. A man reported that he found a shotgun in the bike lane on the south side of Grant Avenue near 33rd Street. An officer recovered the shotgun, which was unloaded, and returned it to the owner. The officer reported that the owner had set the shotgun on the trunk of his wife's car after returning from duck hunting and the wife left with the gun on the trunk, before it fell off at the location where it was found.

DOES THAT LINE EVER WORK?: 7:08 a.m., Feb. 7. A woman reported to Corvallis police that she woke up to voices in her yard and found two men in the backyard holding a shovel that she had left lying on her porch. The woman reported that she yelled at them and the men responded "We are the police. We are here to help" before going over the fence and leaving with the shovel. Officers arriving on scene were unable to locate the men.

SUSPICIOUS ACTIVITY: 4:53 p.m., Feb. 25. Benton County deputies were dispatched to Blodgett after receiving a call from a man who reported that he was being kidnapped by his brother. Dispatch later informed deputies that the brother called and said he was bringing the man home because he smoked too much marijuana.

FOUR FOR FOUR: 8:22 p.m., March 8. In one day, police reportedly trespassed the same homeless man from a KFC, after he took food from a trashcan, a Jimmy Johns, for trying to sleep in the restaurant, a Buffalo Wild Wings, for refusing to leave, and the Campus Villa Apartments, for trying to bathe in the pool.

ROAD RAGE: 5 p.m., March 8. Benton County deputies arrested a man after he reportedly took a bat to another person’s car following a collision.

DUII: 4 a.m., April 6. A Corvallis officer contacted a man sleeping in his car after a suspicious person complaint. The man reportedly said he was too intoxicated to drive and said he would sleep in his vehicle overnight. Five minutes later the officer reportedly saw the man driving and arrested him for driving with a blood alcohol content of 0.20 percent.

MOTORCYCLE CRASH: 6:22 p.m., April 14. A Corvallis officer arrested a man after he reportedly fled at speeds of more than 65 mph an hour from an officer trying to stop his motorcycle for not having a visible brake light. Although the officer reported not pursuing because of traffic, the man crashed a short while later and then tried to hide in the backyard of a nearby house, where officers spotted him. He was charged with reckless driving, attempt to elude by fleeing in a vehicle, second degree criminal trespass, minor in possession of marijuana and purchase or possession of liquor by a minor. Following the arrest the man tweeted: “You can’t get away every time,” and “My biggest regret? I didn’t have a GoPro on…”

WILD RIDE: 2:20 a.m., April 30. Corvallis police responded to a report of a man fleeing the Peacock Bar after he punched and knocked out a man at the bar. While the man was fleeing a third man reportedly jumped onto the hood of his car to try to stop him, causing the driver to slam on his brakes to throw the man off, which injured him. Police found the driver a short time later and arrested him for charges of reckless driving, reckless endangering and fourth degree assault.

WHEN YOU GOTTA GO: 3:55 a.m., May 12. A man reported to Corvallis police that he woke up to a college-aged man urinating in his bathroom. The resident asked the other man what he was doing and the man left immediately, leaving behind his wallet, shoes, socks, and pants. The resident declined to press charges and only wanted the man's property returned.

FRAT PRANK: 6 p.m., May 29. A man reported four teenage boys stole two garden gnomes from his front porch and drove away. A police officer located the teenage boys near Northwest 12th Street and Northwest Beca Avenue. They reportedly told the officer they were fraternity brothers and were on a scavenger hunt, which required them to collect garden gnomes, among other items. The gnomes were returned to their owner.

ACCIDENTAL GUNSHOT WOUND: 6:35 p.m., June 13. Corvallis police responded to the emergency room at Good Samaritan Regional Medical Center, where a man was seeking treatment for a gunshot wound. The man reported he tucked his .32 caliber handgun into his waistband and believed the trigger may have caught on a rivet in his jeans, discharging and striking him in the left upper thigh. Physical evidence appeared consistent with the man’s account, police said.

THE OTHER SHOE DROPS: 12:09 a.m., June 15. Corvallis police responded to a trespassing complaint from a resident who said an intoxicated woman was refusing to leave her home and had thrown a shoe at her. The officer escorted the unwelcome guest from the premises. The resident did not want to press charges. However, the officer discovered that the suspect was the subject of outstanding arrest warrants from Linn County, Sweet Home and Lebanon and arrested her.

DISCHARGE WEAPON: 8:27 p.m., June 21. Corvallis police investigated a report from an employee of an apartment complex that found a gunshot hole in one of the units. The police cited the resident of the unit for unlawful discharge of a weapon. The resident reportedly told police he was practicing his shooting stance in his bathroom about three months ago and accidentally discharged his shotgun.

TEXTING AND RIDING: 1:44 a.m., July 22. An officer responding to a reported bicycle and car collision and determined the bicyclist hit the car while reading text messages as he rode.

FRAUD: 11:02 a.m., July 24. An Oregon State University employee reported to state police that an international student had been the victim of fraud. Officers determined the student had responded to a mass email job offer last year. The student was sent a large check and asked to forward money via Western Union to another person in Nigeria. The suspect continued to defraud the student by promising to return all the money if the student forwarded more money. In total, the student sent $18,000 to the suspect.

HARASSMENT: 12:12 a.m., Aug. 3. A woman reported to police she had been receiving pizzas she did not order. She said someone had been ordering pizzas online and having them delivered to her apartment in order to harass her.

THEFT: 2:09 p.m., Sept. 11. A man reported he received a call from a man with an Indian accent claiming to be the federal police. The scammer told his victim that he filled out his admission paperwork to the University of Oregon incorrectly and had to either pay a fine or go to jail. The man agreed to pay the fine and was directed to purchase iTunes gift cards from Safeway and relay the relevant information over the phone. The man provided the scammer with $400 worth of iTunes gift cards. Police informed the man he had been scammed.

WELFARE CHECK: 5:41 a.m., Oct. 4. Corvallis police responded to a report of a man yelling for help from a garbage truck, after being dumped into the truck while sleeping in a dumpster. The man was able to climb out of the truck and declined medical attention.

MAN JUMPS OUT OF MOVING CAR: 1:03 a.m., Oct. 8. Police responded for a pedestrian versus car crash but determined an intoxicated man had been riding in a car when he got frustrated and jumped out of the vehicle. He had abrasions and was taken to Good Samaritan Regional Medical Center.

A LIKELY STORY: 3:25 p.m., Nov. 8. Corvallis police responded to Safeway for a report of a man cutting the fence near the loading dock with a hacksaw. The man, who allegedly had a hacksaw and bolt cutters in his possession, reportedly told officers he wanted to fix the fence because he believed it was a hazard. Police arrested him for a charge first-degree criminal mischief.

FAILURE TO MAINTAIN LANE: 6:55 a.m., Dec. 9. Corvallis police responded to a crash and found an electronic pedestrian cross walk signal sheared off at the ground and lying in the road. The driver reportedly told police she had been driving and could only see through a six-to-eight inch defrosted section of her front windshield and struck the crosswalk signal not having realized she was driving into the turn lane. Police cited her for a charge of failure to maintain lane.

CAR PROWL: 4:21 a.m., Dec. 24. Employees at the McDonald's called to report seeing a woman break into a Dodge truck and officers arrived to reportedly arrived to find a Portland woman in the cab. She reportedly said she was waiting for the Greyhound to Portland and planned to stay in the vehicle until it arrived. She was arrested on an outstanding warrant and charges of unlawful entry into a motor vehicle, criminal mischief in the third degree and theft in the third degree.

Compiled by Anthony Rimel, who covers education and can be reached at anthony.rimel@lee.net, 541-758-9526, or via Twitter @anthonyrimel.

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