GOLD BEACH – A 24-year-old man described as heavily under the influence of intoxicants was charged with three counts of criminal mischief, resisting arrest and disorderly conduct after he damaged two patrol cars as five officers were attempting to arrest him in Harbor earlier this week.
District Attorney Everett Dial said Andrew Tyler Strong also damaged a metal drain pipe when he arrived at the county jail.
Curry County Sheriff John Bishop said the Brookings Police Department transferred a 911 call to the Sheriff’s Office about 2:16 p.m. Wednesday from a Harbor resident who reported that a man was in the process of destroying a highway sign at the corner of U.S. Highway 101 and Zimmerman Lane in Harbor and gave a description of the man.
The information was relayed to Curry County Deputy Jared Gray and Oregon State Police Trooper Paul Rushton. Both responded to the area.
Rushton and Gray arrived a few minutes later and saw the damage to the ODOT highway sign.
They then contacted Strong, a transient from the Coos Bay area, the sheriff said.
“Strong was in the area of the sign and fit the description given,” Bishop said. “Strong also had blood on his hands consistent with the damage of the highway sign and he appeared to be heavily under the influence of intoxicants.”
Bishop said Strong was very uncooperative and hostile.
“Information was obtained from the reporting witness and Strong was advised he was under arrest for Criminal Mischief and Disorderly Conduct,” Bishop said.
“Strong immediately resisted arrest and was fighting with the officers. He then had to be restrained while additional assistance was asked for from the Brookings Police Department and from Parole and Probation deputies who were nearby,” Bishop said.
“It took all five officers to get Strong under control and handcuffed,” Bishop said. “Strong continued to scream and fight the officers and tried to free himself.”
The sheriff said that once Strong was handcuffed under control, he appeared to have a medical issue so Cal-Ore Ambulance was called.
“Ambulance personnel arrived and cleared Strong from any medical issues,” Bishop said. “Strong had no injuries other than the blood on his hand which was observed on him at the time of the initial contact.”
Bishop said as officers were trying to place Strong into a patrol car, he head butted the OSP car putting a dent in the hood. Then he kicked a light out of the county vehicle.
“Strong was subdued and then transported to the Curry County jail where he also damaged property in jail,” Bishop said.
Officers took information from the man who reported the sign damage and other witnesses. After reviewing the video and audio of the incident, they charged Strong.
Strong appeared in Curry County Circuit Court on Friday, where his court-appointed attorney, John Spicer, asked for his conditional release.
“He has lived his entire life on the coast, but he’s homeless right now,” Spicer said.
Dial opposed release, although he said Strong had no criminal record.
“This was a serious event,” Dial said.
He noted Strong’s struggle with the officers, the damages to the police vehicles and the damage to the metal pipes in the jail.
“Given his violent struggle, we have concerns,” Dial said.
The judge denied conditional release but reduced security to $5,000 and set Strong’s next court appearance for May 23.