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Police Chief John Schmerber uses incident to remind public to slow down, watch out for people walking across all intersections

In Gladstone Municipal Court this week, Arturo Mandrigal Alejo pleaded guilty to failure to yield to a pedestrian.

John SchmerberDuring the Feb. 25 hearing, Alejo, 25, also admitted that he had no valid driver's license and couldn't provide the officer proof of insurance after he had hit a pedestrian in a crosswalk at 8:30 a.m. on Jan. 29 at the intersection of Portland Avenue and Fairfield Street. Police said that the man whom Alejo hit suffered minor injuries, but was transported to OHSU as a precaution.

Alejo told Municipal Judge Linda Beloof during the hearing that he found out his license had been suspended on the same day he hit the pedestrian. As for the insurance paperwork, Alejo said, "It was somewhere in the vehicle; I just didn't know where."

According to court records, Alejo was in 2015 charged with failing to perform the duties of a driver after hitting a woman's car in Clackamas County and leaving the crash scene before giving her his insurance and registration information. He ended up settling the case by paying the victim $500, in addition to his insurance company paying for the damage.

Alejo, who is a Gladstone resident, told Beloof that he has failed to pay previous fines and therefore lost his driving privileges. Telling him to know where his insurance documentation is "from now on," Beloof agreed to reduce the fine for Alejo's failure to carry proper paperwork from a $440 to $265 fine if he came back to court in two months with a valid license.

Beloof called the failure-to-yield charge a "big deal" while asking Alejo to immediately set up a payment plan with the court for a $265 fine for hitting the pedestrian in a crosswalk.

"That's really dangerous... You could have been charged with reckless driving, which is a criminal charge," Beloof told Alejo.

In light of the case, Gladstone police reminded all drivers to slow down. Police Chief John Schmerber noted that the Fairfield/Portland intersection, like many in Gladstone, doesn't have painted lines for pedestrians, but that doesn't matter under Oregon law.

"Whether intersections are marked or unmarked, they're still crosswalks," Schmerber said.

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