Valley officers shoot, kill Bend man after 2 armed robberies, high-speed chase

A Bend man suspected of two armed robberies and leading authorities on a high-speed chase over Santiam Pass Tuesday night was shot and killed by officers near Gates, according to the Linn County Sheriff’s Office.

The shooting happened around 11:45 p.m. on Highway 22 outside of Gates.

A deputy with the Linn County Sheriff’s Office and three Oregon State Police troopers involved in the shooting were not injured.

The wild night for authorities started in Bend around 10:15 when police responded to armed robberies at Dutch Bros. on SE 3rd street and at Domino’s on SE Yew Avenue.

Bend Police Lt. Juli McConkey said the suspect, later identified as 27-year-old Brad Masters, walked up to the Dutch Bros drive-thru window, showed a gun and demanded money before running away.

Masters then went into the Domino’s, showed the gun, demanded money and stole a car from an employee.

A Deschutes County Sheriff’s Office deputy was on the Bend Parkway nearby and saw the stolen car driving south and speeding.

The deputy tried to stop the car but lost it in the area of Romaine Village.

Mugshot from July 2020

As a perimeter was being set up in the area, another deputy watching Highway 20 just west of Tumalo spotted the stolen car pass by him going between 90 and 100 mph, McConkey said.

The deputy was able to catch up to the car and tried to pull it over, but Masters kept going west on Highway 20 where the deputy stopped the chase as he got close to Sisters.

A Black Butte Police Officer east of Sisters set up spike strips, but Masters was able to drive around them.

Once the Deschutes County Sheriff’s Deputy was west of Sisters, he resumed the chase until he reached the county line.

McConkey said the deputy was alone at the time so he decided to end the pursuit.

A short time later, deputies from Linn County and Oregon State Troopers spotted Masters on Highway 22.

Oregon State Police Troopers and a Linn County deputy took over the pursuit until the car was finally stopped with spike strips near Gates.

Once stopped, Masters got out of the car, a confrontation ensued, and three troopers and a Linn County deputy fired shots, according to Lt. Treven Upkes with the Salem Police Department

The involved law enforcement officers are Oregon State Police Troopers Caleb Yoder, Michael Iacob, and Joseph Sousa, who have been with the Oregon State Police five years and 10 months, four years and 11 months, and three years and 10 months respectively.

The Linn County Deputy Sheriff involved was Brandon Rathelegurche, who has been with Linn County Sheriff’s Office for two years and 10 months.

Each officer has been placed on administrative leave per their respective agency’s policies.

The shooting happened in Marion County and the Salem Police Department is conducting the investigation.

The Bend Police continue to work with the various agencies on the investigation.

Masters has a lengthy criminal record dating back at least to 2010 for various crimes including computer crimes, theft, identity theft, forgery, speeding, and criminal mischief.

Bend man sentenced for breaking baby’s bones

A former hospital worker was sentenced this week to three years probation after pleading guilty to abusing his infant son.

Charles P. Medley was arrested on child abuse charges in April after his 15-month-old son arrived at St. Charles with injuries that included skull and leg fractures and a brain bleed.

He said during sentencing he was stressed by the COVID-19 pandemic when hurt his son.

Medley was initially charged with first-degree aggravated assault, two counts of third-degree assault and three counts of first-degree criminal mistreatment.

He pleaded guilty this week to three counts of first-degree criminal mistreatment.

His probation includes conditions that he attend parenting and aggression control classes. Violating the conditions could result in a four-year prison sentence.

Medley had no prior criminal record, which attorneys said factored into the sentencing recommendation.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

▶️ Despite fewer cases, county COVID metrics keeping La Pine-area schools closed

By BROOKE SNAVELY
CENTRAL OREGON DAILY NEWS

Why are schools in Sunriver and La Pine closed when COVID infection rates in those communities are a fraction of what the county is dealing with?

John Ciolero wants to know why schools in Sunriver and La Pine are closed when these areas represent about 5% of COVID cases in Deschutes County.

“Why are we jeopardizing our kids and their future with a shut down to the schools?,” Ciolera asked. “We are 30 miles away from Bend and the metrics are entirely different here and have been since the onset of this crisis. Why are we staying closed?”

That’s a great question for the governor, says interim Bend-La Pine Schools Superintendent Lora Nordquist.

“As a district we don’t have any flexibility to open some of our schools and not open others,” Nordquist said. “The metrics established by the state put all of Deschutes County in one bucket, so whether you live in La Pine or Sisters or downtown Bend, we have the same metrics we have to abide by and we don’t have flexibility to open our schools right now.”

According to the Deschutes County Health Department, 7.1% of people taking COVID tests test positive.

The rate of infection is even worse per 100,000 residents, placing local schools far into the red zone that requires comprehensive distance learning to keep students and teachers safe.

However, the schools–including La Pine and Sunriver–are providing some limited in-person instruction to about 10 percent of their students.

“That allows us to bring in small groups of students, cohorts no larger than 20. They can’t be there longer than 2 hours at a time,” Nordquist said. “We identify students who are in the most need academically or socially or maybe really need that adult support to help do work or have someone to talk to.”

Ciorelo says La Pine area students are suffering due to the school closures.

“They’ve always suffered by being in a more rural environment. To jeopardize them even further by shutting down our schools when it’s not warranted by the numbers, seems unfair.”

So why, then, are school buses still rolling?

“If you see a bus with a few students on it, they are being delivered to a school from that limited in-person instruction. We are providing transportation for that,” Nordquist said.

School buses that appear empty, except for the driver, are probably delivering meals, another service schools continue providing.

2nd Bend man involved in 2019 courthouse bomb threat hoax sentenced to federal prison

A Bend man was sentenced to federal prison Tuesday for his role in a bomb threat hoax at the Deschutes County Courthouse last year.

Kellie Kent Cameron, 32, was sentenced to 21 months and three years’ supervised release for crafting the hoax bomb and phoning in the threat to blow up the building, said US Attorney Billy J. Williams.

As part of his sentence, Cameron was also ordered to pay $43,620.18 in restitution to the Deschutes County Circuit Court, Deschutes County District Attorney’s Office, First Interstate Bank in Bend, and Bend Fire & Rescue.

“Constructing a hoax bomb and threatening to blow up a courthouse to interfere with a judicial proceeding, is beyond reprehensible” Williams said in a statement. “Courthouses are the very symbol of justice, safety and fairness in a functioning society, and this unconscionable act not only caused fear, panic and disruption in this community, it jeopardized their sense of safety.”

In September, 24-year-old Jonathan Tyler Allen was sentenced to 18 months in federal prison for his role in the hoax.

“Hoax devices cause real-world damage. They cost money for first responders and businesses, and they create fear for those who live and work in the area,” said Renn Cannon, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI in Oregon. “The device that Cameron built – and the 911 calls he made – did both. If you become aware of a potential threat, we encourage you to contact the FBI or local law enforcement right away,”

According to court documents, on or about July 28 to July 29, 2019, Cameron and Allen conspired with one another to shut down the courthouse by planting a fake bomb and calling in a bomb threat.

Around the same time, Cameron constructed a realistic-looking fake bomb using batteries, wiring, a circuit board, and a fuel filter, among other materials, Williams said.

On July 29, 2019, the pair drove to the courthouse and placed the hoax device on a ramp near the building.

Around 7:18 a.m. the same day, Cameron, who was with Allen, used a cell phone to call 911.

He told the operator, “I just want to let you know that there are two bombs, one’s in the courthouse and good luck finding the other one,” Williams said.

Less than an hour later, Cameron called 911 and repeated his threat using more urgent and profanity-laden language.

The threat shut down and forced the evacuation of the Deschutes County Courthouse, the Deschutes County District Attorney’s office, a bank, and other nearby businesses while first responders rushed to the scene and investigated the threat.

When the device was discovered, a bomb squad, used disabling techniques to prevent an explosion. The device was later dismantled and found to be a hoax.

Allen later threw one of the phones used into a canal to avoid being caught, Williams said.

On August 7, 2019, Cameron and Allen were charged with conspiring to make a threat to damage property and conveying false information and hoaxes.

Cameron pleaded guilty in federal court on August 21 to using a telephone to make a threat to damage a building by means of an explosive.

Deschutes Co. DA: No mask-related charges following ‘We Will Not Comply’ rally

Deschutes County DA John Hummel announced Tuesday he won’t file any charges against a group of non-mask-wearers involved in a “We Will Not Comply” rally last month.

More than 100 people gathered in downtown Bend Nov. 21 to protest the governor’s mask mandate and two-week freeze that closed some Oregon businesses and reduced capacity at others while asking families to limit gathering sizes for Thanksgiving in an effort to slow the spread of COVID-19.

Hummel said four people called the police to report the group, saying they weren’t wearing masks, apparently in violation of the governor’s order.

Tommy Szymanski, the event organizer, told police he thought the mask mandate was unconstitutional and said it was an individual choice whether to wear the mask, Hummel said.

Police didn’t issue any citations at the event but did refer the matter to Hummel’s office.

Hummel said the event organizer was incorrect in saying the mask mandate was unconstitutional.

But enforcing the mandate when a group “gathers to exercise a constitutional right (in this case, to assemble to redress their government), it would create a conflict between the lawful mask law and the constitutional right that is being exercised.”

“As long as people who gather to exercise a constitutional right are not violent or destructive when doing so, I generally defer to protecting their constitutional rights over the enforcement of any statutory violations they may commit while exercising their rights,” he said in a statement. “My philosophy is content-neutral, meaning, it applies to people who gather for “liberal” causes and to people who gather for “conservative” causes.”

Hummel’s statement concludes by encouraging everyone to wear masks and keep your distance from others “so we can save lives, save businesses and save parent’s sanity by getting kids back to school.”

▶️ Hundreds of surgeries delayed as COVID hospitalizations spike at St. Charles

By STEELE HAUGEN
CENTRAL OREGON DAILY NEWS

COVID-19 cases keep rising in Deschutes County and St. Charles hospital in Bend has limited beds.

“We are filling up and we are in the process of reducing surgeries in an effort to create capacity to take care of patients that are sick,” said St. Charles Chief Physician Executive, Dr. Jeff Absalon.

There are 29 patients currently hospitalized with COVID-19. 

It’s the highest number they’ve had so far, roughly twice as many as the previous week.

“We’ve seen the numbers in our area increase significantly in the last several weeks,” Absalon said. “It takes a few weeks after we see the community numbers go up for us to see the numbers go up in the hospital and that is exactly what has happened here.”

Deschutes County last week reported 459 new COVID cases – nearly 200 more than the week before.

Lisa Goodman, a spokeswoman for St. Charles said 20 of the hospital’s 30 ICU beds were full.

And across the region’s four hospital campuses, 82% of the beds were occupied as of Monday.

Hundreds of elective surgeries are being delayed, that’s 25 to 40% of all surgeries performed at the hospital.

“Elective surgeries include things such as heart surgery, including such things as cancer surgery. So there are a lot of very important surgeries included in that bucket,” Absalon said.

He adds, everyone is feeling the pressure and stress on the health system at this time.

“We just don’t know if this is the peak or not,” he said. “What we do know is, the measures that have been used previously are effective. If people wear a mask, if they keep their physical distance, if they stay home when they are ill if they wash their hands. We know we can bend the curve and that is exactly what needs to happen.”

Absalon also added, there is a risk the hospital reaches capacity, given the variety of other patients typically admitted this time of year.

The Great Outdoors: Setting Up Duck Nesting Tubes Along the Deschutes

The Deschutes River in downtown Bend is safer for ducks thanks to volunteers who spent the President’s Day holiday installing nesting tubes. On this week’s Great Outdoors, Brooke Snavely takes us along on Bend Ducks Unlimited’s mallard nesting tube project with help from Mountain View High School students.

A special thanks to our Great Outdoors sponsor, Parr Lumber, for giving us the time and resources to explore the lakes, rivers and mountains across our beautiful state every Wednesday night on Central Oregon Daily.

Source on the Scene: Get Your Fall on at Smith Rock Ranch

Central Oregon Daily’s Meghan Glova has a festive start to fall at Smith Rock Ranch.

Smith Rock Ranch is open every Friday through Sunday for the rest of October. If you want to beat the ticket line ahead of time, go to smithrockranch.com.

Thanks to our Source on the Scene sponsor, Indian Head Casino, for giving us the time and resources to show you some of the best events and entertainment that our region has to offer every Friday night on Central Oregon Daily.

 

Origin Story: Austin Brown

In this week’s Origin Story, Samantha O’Connor introduces us to people who have turned their passion into a profession and on this edition, you’ll meet Austin Brown, a local singer song-writer that was initially too nervous to take the stage but now never wants to leave it.

You can find Austin’s music on Spotify, iTunes, or wherever you listen to music just search “Austn” A-U-S-T-N without the I. He promises new music very soon.

Thanks to BendBroadband Business for sponsoring Origin Stories where we introduce you to people turning their passion into a profession every Friday night on Central Oregon Daily.

Authorities ID Body Found Near Sunriver

The Deschutes County Sheriff’s Office has identified the human remains found over the weekend near Sunriver as 48-year-old Curtis Frederick Pagel.

According to Lt. Chad Davis, Pagel had no known recent address, but had lived in Oregon for many years. The cause of death is still being determined by the Oregon State Medical Examiner’s Office.

Curtis Frederick Pagel

A camper on Sunday reported finding a possible decomposed body alongside a forest service road near Wake Butte. Upon arrival, deputies confirmed it was human remains. Deschutes County Sheriff’s Sgt. William Bailey told Central Oregon Daily the body was badly decomposed and had been there for “months” and detectives determined foul play was involved in the death.

The Deschutes County Sheriff’s Office is asking the public for assistance with any information they may have about Pagel, including past work history, past residences or any recent contact they might have had with him.

The public is asked to contact the Sheriff’s Office through non-emergency dispatch at 541-693-6911.