On Tuesday night at 9:00p.m., Newport Police Officers contacted a male and female who were reported involved in a possible domestic disturbance in the area of NW 25th ST and NW Oceanview Drive. Both the man and woman were uncooperative with law enforcement and provided conflicting statements. It was determined there was no crime at the time. The two subjects left the area on foot.
Officers later identified an unoccupied vehicle that the subjects were associated with. As it turned out it was reported stolen from the Portland area. The vehicle was seized and towed to a storage facility.
At midnight, a Newport Officer attempted to stop a motorhome for a traffic violation in the area of NW Oceanview St. at NW 25th St. The motorhome driver failed to pull over and sped off.
The driver drove erratically, swerving across the lanes of travel. The vehicle drove to 101 and traveled north. Officers continued to pursue the motorhome north on 101 with lights and sirens. The driver continued to drive erratically at speeds from 30mph to 60mph. Fortunately, traffic was very light.
A Lincoln County Sheriff’s Deputy successfully deployed “spike strips” at 101 near Fogarty Creek Park. When the Deputy prepared the “spike strips”, the driver of the motorhome purposefully swerved toward the Deputy, narrowly missing him.
The motorhome traveled a short distance further and came to rest on a side street in Lincoln Beach about 14 miles from where the pursuit began.
The man and woman inside fled the motorhome, and took off running through the yards of nearby homes. Officers chased the fleeing subjects on foot and caught one of them, identified as Aurora Alexandra MATTA, 32 of Portland. She was detained in handcuffs. MATTA was confirmed as the female contacted by Newport officers earlier in the evening.
The other subject was not immediately located. Officers from the Newport Police Department, Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office and Oregon State Police established a perimeter of the last known area of the driver. Lincoln County Sheriff’s K9 Deputy Akin and his K9 partner Ghost responded to assist. After a short search K9 Ghost found the subject hiding in a back yard a short distance away from the motorhome. The male was identified as Vernon Brock HEAPS, age 31 of Portland. HEAPS was confirmed as the male subject with MATTA by Newport officers who dealt with them earlier in the evening. NPD Officers confirmed the two suspects had been riding in the stolen motorhome. And investigating officers confirmed HEAPS and MATTA were driving the earlier recovered stolen vehicle from the Portland area.
HEAPS was arrested for Reckless Endangering, Eluding a Police Officer, Reckless driving, Possession of a Stolen vehicle, giving False information and Criminal Mischief. He was lodged at the Lincoln County Jail. MATTA’s involvement in the stolen vehicle case is under continued investigation.
Newport Police Officers were assisted by Lincoln County Sheriff’s Deputies and Oregon State Police.
The Newport Police Department would like to remind our citizens to continue to report suspicious activities. The Newport Police Tip Line is available at 541-574-5455, or Text-a-Tip at 541-270-1856 or firstname.lastname@example.org. If you have any information regarding this case, contact Officer Smith of the Newport Police Department at 541-574-3348.