In the community

Woman goes on rampage, damages 7 Ontario police vehicles

UPDATE Monday 8:15 a.m.: This story has been updated with additional information about the patrol fleet and plans for fencing.

A woman smashed windshields on seven Ontario Police Department vehicles on Sunday, Aug. 27, with concrete landscaping borders and then called dispatchers to report herself, according to an agency press release.

The agency has 12 patrol vehicles in its fleet.

Theresa M. West, 38, listed as a transient, was booked on seven counts of first-degree criminal mischief. She was charged Monday in Malheur County Circuit Court with seven felony counts of first-degree criminal mischief for causing at least $1,000 in damage to six patrol cars and an Ontario business. She also was charged with one count of obstructing governmental administration by “intentionally damaging the majority of police vehicles available for patrols and responses to calls,” according to the criminal information. The charge is a misdemeanor.

Ontario police said the episode happened just before noon in the agency’s open parking lot behind Ontario City Hall. The press release said she also damaged a nearby business, B&B Printing at 212 SW 4th Ave. by throwing rocks.

She did about $15,000 in damage.

VIDEO: Witness records attack (LaRAE GRACE FINDLING video)

A woman damages patrol cars in the Ontario Police

The agency said West was arrested after a short foot chase and initially taken for medical care.

“Her behavior was erratic, she was sweating profusely, and she was screaming about bugs both being on her and biting her; she admitted to recent Psilocybin mushroom ingestion,” the release said.

“If you know a friend or loved one suffering from substance use disorder, please refer them to one of our community partners such as Lifeways, Ontario at 800-995-9169 or Altruistic Recovery, Ontario at 541-216-6068,” the agency said.

Police Chief Michael Iwai said windshield repairs were expected to start Monday and be completed later in the week. Until this, the remaining patrol cars would be in continuous service to maintain patrols, he said. Repairing the body damage will take longer, he said.

Iwai said he has raised the issue of fencing the police parking lot, which is now open.

“Secure parking mitigates some risk – it helps by protecting city staff and equipment. It’s not fool proof, but it helps,” Iwai said in an email Monday.

City Manager Dan Cummings said by email Monday that he was “in the process of developing a security fencing plan and will be putting costs together to discuss this issue at the next council meeting.”

A woman shattered windshields on seven patrol vehicles parked at the Ontario Police Department on Sunday, Aug. 27. (ONTARIO POLICE DEPARTMENT photo)

NEWS TIP? Send an email to [email protected].

SUPPORT OUR WORK – The Malheur Enterprise delivers quality local journalism – fair and accurate. You can read it any hour, any day with a digital subscription. Read it on your phone, your Tablet, your home computer. Click subscribe – $7.50 a month.