Off-duty Forest Grove officer accused of damaging family’s decorations

Washington County

FOREST GROVE, Ore. (KOIN) — An off-duty Forest Grove police officer has been accused of damaging a family’s Halloween decorations in the middle of the night.

It was a scary situation for the Castaneda family. They are still trying to figure out why anyone would pick their home and damage their decorations. Now, the District Attorney is looking into it.

It was just before 1 a.m. on Halloween morning when Mirella Castaneda heard her car alarms going off. When she looked outside, she says she saw a man hit her Black Lives Matter sign.

“He sees me, he starts coming to me, towards my door,” said Castaneda. “I slam the door and lock it.”

She said the man continued to pound and hit her door, trying to get in.

“When he really couldn’t get in, he starts breaking all our decorations that we had there. There were censored clowns, he kicked flower pots,” said Castaneda.

She called 911 and a Forest Grove police officer showed up minutes later.

“I told her I have never seen anyone behave that violently towards me—or anyone. She said, ‘if we find any information, we will let you know,’ and I said, ‘please do.'”

The Washington County Sheriff’s Office soon took over the case. But Castaneda was frustrated she couldn’t get any answers.

“I don’t care about the decorations. I don’t care about any of that—I need to know who this guy is, why he chose my house.”

A few days later, she finally got a name.

“I sure enough Google his name, and sure enough, information pops up and, sure enough, he’s a Forest Grove police officer,” said Castaneda.

The officer was cited for criminal mischief in the second degree. He was not arrested because of COVID-19 restrictions and protocols. Castaneda said after this incident, it’s shaken her and her family’s sense of security.

“If they don’t know how to behave and they don’t know how to control them, they don’t have any business being a police officer,” said Castaneda.

Castaneda requested that KOIN 6 News not use the name of the officer involved. The Washington County Sheriff’s Office said the officer appeared to be intoxicated after the incident. KOIN 6 News also learned the Forest Grove officer was reassigned to administrative duties.

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