Friday afternoon at around 2:13 PM, Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office Sergeant Dunteman was on patrol in Depoe Bay and observed what appeared to be a disabled vehicle stopped in one of the southbound lanes of Highway 101 on the Depoe Bay bridge. The vehicle, a green Subaru Outback, had its 4-way hazards on. Sergeant Dunteman stopped to render assistance to the driver identified as 66-year-old Patricia Casterline of Keizer. Suddenly she sped off at a high rate of speed before he could contact her.
Sergeant Dunteman attempted to stop the vehicle for several observed traffic violations but Casterline failed to yield to his emergency lights and siren. Casterline continued southbound and remained at or near the respective posted speed limits and stayed within her lane. At the time, there was minimal traffic. Sergeant Dunteman pursued the vehicle and requested assistance from Oregon State Police and Newport Police Department. Casterline’s speeds increased to approximately 70-80 MPH after cresting Cape Foulweather. Casterline began to pass traffic in a no-passing zone just South of Cape Foulweather which had already yielded to the right. An Oregon State Police Sergeant successfully deployed Stop Sticks which effectively disabled one of Casterline’s tires, which slowed her vehicle down considerably.
As the pursuit entered Newport city limits, Casterlines speeds ranged from approximately 10-15 MPH. Sergeant Dunteman was able to assess the situation and determine that the driver appeared to be an older female whose body language, demeanor, and driving habits led him to believe that she was experiencing an active mental health crisis. A Newport Police Department Sergeant deployed a second set of Stop Sticks which effectively disabled another one of Casterline’s tires. Casterline slowed to a crawl and law enforcement officers boxed her in to bring the pursuit to a halt in the 6200 block of North Coast Highway in Newport. In total, the pursuit lasted approximately 9.3 miles.
Casterline’s vehicle doors were locked and windows rolled up. Officers attempted to break Casterline’s windows to take her into custody, as there was no indication that she had any intent to surrender. While doing so, Casterline procured a sheetrock saw and appeared to be actively cutting herself with it. A Taser was deployed through the broken glass to prevent Casterline from harming herself.
Officers were able to unlock the driver’s side door and take Casterline into custody without further incident or injury to herself. Newport Fire Department and Pacific West Ambulance were dispatched to evaluate Casterline on scene and determined she was uninjured. Casterline displayed signs and symptoms of being in an active manic mental health crisis.
Deputies transported Casterline to Samaritan Pacific Communities Hospital in Newport for an evaluation and jail clearance, and subsequently lodged her at the Lincoln County Jail for Fleeing/Attempting to Elude a Police Officer, Reckless Driving, and two outstanding warrants out of Marion County. The Lincoln County Mental Health Department was advised of the situation.
Jack Dunteman, Patrol Sergeant
Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office