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Suicidal Woman Arrested After Attempt to Elude anc Crash in John Day
06/06/2011
Lieutenant Gregg Hastings
Public Information Officer
Office: (503) 731-3020 ext. 247

Photograph links valid 30 days - Source: Oregon State Police
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A suicidal woman was arrested by Oregon State Police (OSP), with the assistance of Grant County Sheriff's Office and John Day police, after her attempt to elude officers Sunday afternoon ended in a traffic crash in John Day. The woman was treated for self-inflicted wounds at a local hospital after a deputy deployed a taser allowing the trooper to remove her from the car before she tried to harm herself further.
 
According to OSP Sergeant Gordon Larson, on June 5, 2011 at approximately 12:15 p.m. Trooper Erich Timko responded with a John Day police office to a report of a suicidal female cutting herself with a knife at a John Day area hardware store. As officers arrived, the despondent 22-year old woman was leaving in her 2003 Suzuki sedan after reportedly being terminated from her job and purchasing a knife with which she used to injure herself at the store.
 
Timko, followed by the John Day officer, attempted to stop the woman but she drove east on Highway 26 at speeds never exceeding 40 mph. The woman made several u-turns, eventually traveling back into a residential area in John Day where a relative unsuccessfully attempted to intervene by passing the trooper and driving in front of the woman's car.
 
Grant County Sheriff Glen Palmer was off duty at home and overheard the emergency sirens. Sheriff Palmer got into his marked sport utility vehicle patrol vehicle to assist, and as he moved into position his vehicle was struck by the woman's car before it continued driving through the residential area at slow speed. Sheriff Palmer was not injured.
 
Near Charolais Heights Road and NW Boulder Street, the woman attempted another u-turn where a second Grant County deputy collided into the Suzuki's passenger side door. Timko immediately pinned in the rear of the Suzuki to prevent her from backing up and fleeing.
 
As the officers approached the woman's car, she displayed the knife. The deputy deployed a taser on her, allowing Timko to remove her from the driver's seat as she applied the gas pedal of the pinned vehicle. Timko received several cuts from broken window glass while removing the woman for which he was later treated at the hospital for cuts and abrasions.
 
REBECCA T. COOMBS, age 22, was taken to Blue Mountain Hospital by ambulance for treatment of minor injuries, most of which were self-inflicted. After her release, she was lodged at the Grant County Jail on the following charges:
  • Felony Attempt to Elude in a Vehicle
  • Reckless Driving
  • Recklessly Endangering Another Person (4 counts)
  • Hit & Run
  • Menacing
 
She was also cited of Unlawful Possession of less than an Ounce of Marijuana.