Forest Grove cop arrested for role in BLM flag incident
Another Forest Grove police officer has been arrested in connection with an incident last October in which a family reported being terrorized in the middle of the night by an off-duty cop.
Bradley Schuetz allegedly picked up Steven Teets, the off-duty cop, and gave him a ride home after Forest Grove homeowner Mirella Castaneda told a 9-1-1 dispatcher that Teets — a stranger to her — was on her front porch, pounding on her door and challenging the residents to come out and fight.
Beaverton police were asked to investigate the Forest Grove Police Department's response. The Beaverton Police Department announced Friday afternoon, May 7, that its investigation led to Schuetz being arrested and charged with first-degree official misconduct, a Class A misdemeanor crime.
A grand jury formally indicted Schuetz on Thursday, May 6, according to Beaverton police.
Teets is charged with criminal mischief and disorderly conduct, for which he is awaiting trial.
Castaneda has also filed a lawsuit against him. She believes Teets' behavior was triggered by him seeing a "Black Lives Matter" flag above her garage.
Reached for comment on Schuetz' arrest, Castaneda said she is pleased — not by the arrest itself as much as what it represents.
"I'm glad that people are finally asking the questions that need to be asked," Castaneda said. "Hopefully this means that people care enough to know how their law enforcement departments are actually conducting business, and making sure that they're doing it the right way."
Pamplin Media Group newspapers reported on April 1 that — according to a memo from the Washington County Sheriff's Office, which also investigated the incident — Teets was so "highly intoxicated" when contacted by Schuetz and another officer, Amber Daniels, that he did not recognize them.
As Pamplin Media Group had previously reported, Schuetz gave Teets a ride home after the initial Forest Grove police officer arriving on the scene in the 1600 block of 23rd Avenue recognized Teets as a fellow officer, according to Beaverton police. Schuetz also reportedly assisted Teets in getting to his front door and unlocking it.
Moreover, a responding officer did not activate their body-worn camera, contrary to department policy, as first reported by The Oregonian/OregonLive.com.
The incident was reported to a supervisor by another Forest Grove officer on the call, prompting an investigation.
Teets was arrested on Nov. 1.
Beaverton police were originally brought on to conduct an internal review to determine whether the Forest Grove Police Department should discipline any employees over their response to Castaneda's emergency call. However, Beaverton police opted to conduct a criminal probe, a Forest Grove police spokesperson told Pamplin Media Group last month.
Schuetz was cited and released Thursday, following COVID-19 booking protocols.
Castaneda said she's yet to get all of the answers she's looking for. Because of the open investigation, she said Friday, she has gotten little from Forest Grove Police Chief Henry Reimann. She understands why that is, but she hopes that as this case moves forward, it will lead to better policy and procedure.
"Hopefully justice is served in this case, but more than anything, I hope this is a chance for the police to be more transparent in the future," Castaneda said. "Transparency and accountability is really what people want from their police department."
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