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Hermiston man smashes police department window

East Oregonian

Published on January 10, 2018 12:01AM

Last changed on January 10, 2018 10:10PM

Photo courtesy Hermiston Police Department
A man with mental health issues was arrested for breaking the glass in front of the Hermiston Police Department Wednesday.

Photo courtesy Hermiston Police Department A man with mental health issues was arrested for breaking the glass in front of the Hermiston Police Department Wednesday.


A Hermiston man broke the glass window in front of the Hermiston Police Department Wednesday night then demanded to be arrested.

Hermiston police obliged and arrested Peyton F. Hobbs, 24, of Hermiston for criminal mischief.

According to a press release from Hermiston police, at about 5:45 p.m. Capt. Scott Clark heard the loud crashing sound of the window being smashed. He walked outside and encountered Hobbs, who has a history of mental illness and is well known to the police and the Hermiston community.

In his press release, Edmiston expressed his displeasure that Hobbs’ problems have not been addressed.

“I am not a politician as I am appointed in my position and I often walk a fine line of trying to ensure I am not projecting any of my personal beliefs into messages that disseminate from this agency,” he wrote. “However, Mr. Hobbs is very well known to this department, other police departments, and many city departments within Hermiston. He has an extensive history of creating disturbances triggering certain procedures to take place with our city hall and library staff should he arrive at their locations. He is a person who has severe issues that are not being addressed.”

Edmiston noted that he “can say with 100 percent absolute certainty this crime could have been prevented if we had adequate mental health services in Umatilla County.”

Edmiston said that Hobbs has disrupted multiple city council meetings, and “makes outrageous claims about having associations with people in the music industry and most recently professed the landmark Butte of Hermiston was actually a living person waiting to arise to fend off alien invaders.”

Edmiston wrote that he is not targeting Hobbs or the family, but he is “incredibly frustrated with the lack of accountability on display with certain social services. The family member I spoke with was very receptive, sad, and just as frustrated with the “system” as well because they know how kind and respectful Peyton is when on the medication he so desperately needs.”

Edmiston said he has looked to other organizations for help with Hobbs, but “there comes a point where a person must say enough is enough. I instructed our officers to request a mental health provider respond to our station to assess Peyton tonight. Instead, we were told he would be evaluated tomorrow at the jail.”

Edmiston said he spoke with Umatilla County Sheriff Terry Rowan, who said he agreed Hobbs does not belong in jail. But Rowan said that Hobbs needed to be taken there for an evaluation scheduled for Thursday.

According to the release, the specialty glass will cost between $1,000-$2,000 to replace. In the meantime, the window has been boarded up.

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Here is the entirety of Edmiston’s statement, posted to the Hermiston Police Department Facebook page:

Disclaimer: This press release written by Chief Jason Edmiston may come across unlike any other kind of information release from this agency. This is due in part to the passion the women and men of the Hermiston Police Department have for the community they are blessed to serve; in part due to the compassion that should be provided to any member of society who clearly needs treated medically for manic episodes versus being another statistic of a person going to jail; and lastly for the absolute lack of the system as a whole, where services people in crisis should be receiving, are not receiving.

On the 10th of January 2018, at approximately 5:45 PM, Captain Scott Clark of the Hermiston Police Department was sitting in his office (adjacent to the police department lobby) when he was startled by a loud crashing sound. Captain Clark exited his office and found one of our large 4-foot-wide by 9-foot-tall windows smashed out. Captain Clark walked outside and was confronted by Peyton F. Hobbs, 24 years of age of Hermiston. Mr. Hobbs ordered Captain Clark to arrest him for what he had done. Hobbs was processed at the police department before being lodged at the Umatilla County Jail in Pendleton on (1) count of Criminal Mischief in the First Degree.

Hermiston Glass responded at our request, boarded the missing window up, and advised us that particular style of glass (this building was built in the early 1970’s) would likely need to be ordered out of Canada. It is estimated the total cost to repair the window will be between $1000 and $2000.

Statement from Chief Edmiston:

I am not a politician as I am appointed in my position and I often walk a fine line of trying to ensure I am not projecting any of my personal beliefs into messages that disseminate from this agency. However, Mr. Hobbs is very well known to this department, other police departments, and many city departments within Hermiston. He has an extensive history of creating disturbances triggering certain procedures to take place with our City Hall and Library staff should he arrive at their location(s). He is a person who has severe issues that are not being addressed and like tonight, instead finds himself on the way to the Umatilla County Jail in Pendleton.

When any significant crime takes place in Hermiston, I am constantly asking myself, our supervisors, and our staff if there was something we knew or could have done to prevent the bad act. This happens on major crimes such as murders and even on more minor livability crimes such as graffiti.

I can say with 100% absolute certainty this crime could have been prevented if we had adequate mental health services in Umatilla County. The phenomena of inadequate mental health services however are not just localized to Umatilla County as it has been shown to be a trend across the nation. The solution often amongst politicians and providers is to ‘train the police better on how to deal with the person’ instead of providing the obvious assistance and resources that are needed.

Law enforcement resources too are very limited and many agencies like ours, try to ensure we are as efficient and effective as possible to maintain order, provide exceptional customer service, and positively impact the livability of our citizens who put tremendous faith and authority in us to do this job.

Mr. Hobbs is on record appearing at (2) city council meetings that I know of, where during the 5-minute period where any person is allowed to talk, he makes outrageous claims about having associations with people in the music industry and most recently professed the landmark Butte of Hermiston was actually a living person waiting to arise to fend off alien invaders. This information was documented (I believe a local paper may have even mentioned it in a story) and passed on to those who are contracted to provide services.

Tonight when I came back to work, I had what I believe was a very heartfelt conversation with a family member of Mr. Hobbs when I called to explain what transpired. My intent was to let the family know in writing this; I am not targeting Peyton or the family, rather I am incredibly frustrated with the lack of accountability on display with certain social services. The family member I spoke with was very receptive, sad, and just as frustrated with the “system” as well because they know how kind and respectful Peyton is when on the medication he so desperately needs.

As the agency head, I never want to embarrass our department, our city leaders, my family, etc. but there comes a point where a person must say enough is enough. I instructed our officers to request a mental health provider respond to our station to assess Peyton tonight. Instead, we were told he would be evaluated tomorrow at the jail.

I engaged in dialogue with Umatilla County Sheriff Terry Rowan who told me though he completely agrees Mr. Hobbs does not belong in his facility, he would do everything he could (the sheriff and his staff have state laws, rules, mandates, etc. they must follow to ensure Constitutional Rights are not being violated) to ensure Peyton would be in the facility for evaluation tomorrow.



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