The Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office was prepared with all hands on deck to deal with the increased call load the 4th of July weekend brought. Additional deputies were deployed to vehicle and foot patrols in Lincoln City and Waldport to cover the anticipated need for a higher police presence. Deputies responded to 102 calls on July 2nd, 127 calls on July 3rd, and 102 calls on July 4th. Of those, 11 arrests were made.
Animal Services Deputies worked additional hours to ensure the seemingly non-stop back-to-back missing or found and frightened animal calls were handled promptly. While Lincoln County experienced zero fireworks related emergencies, deputies assisted Benton County Sheriff’s Office, the Oregon Department of Forestry, and several area fire departments with a large brush fire that was started at approximately 5:30 PM along Highway 34 near milepost 31 on July 4th.
Deputy Cates arrived on scene to assist with traffic control and evacuations and learned that 2 males associated with a light blue sedan were seen launching a mortar-style firework in the area just before the fire started. Later that afternoon, the Lincoln County Sheriff's office received a call from a Tidewater resident who reported a similar vehicle driving West on Highway 34 throwing lit fireworks from the vehicle at passing motorists. Deputy Akin quickly located the involved vehicle driving approximately 90 MPH along Highway 34 and located fireworks in plain view during the traffic stop.
Deputy Cates just so happens to specialize in fire and arson investigations and interviewed both parties 20-year-old Tristian Forrest of Lebanon and 21-year-old Tyler Weeks of Corvallis who ultimately confessed to recklessly shooting off aerial fireworks near milepost 31, causing the fire. Benton County Sheriff’s Office responded to Waldport to take custody of both suspects who were subsequently lodged at the Benton County Jail.
Information provided by LCSO