Woman arrested for public intoxication, battery against jailer

Staff Writer Kate Wehlann

Kara Hartsfield, 32, Palmrya, was arrested and preliminarily charged with public intoxication, disorderly conduct and battery against a Washington County jailer after an incident at her place of employment, Pitt’s Package in Salem.

On Thursday, Jan. 23, around 11:30 p.m., Salem Police officers received a report of a possibly intoxicated employee at the store and arrived to see Hartsfield behind the counter, swaying erratically back and forth. Officer Tyler Gregory said in his report he was going to let her finish helping the two customers at the counter, but said Hartsfield “charged at me in an extremely aggressive manner, yelling several profanities while trying to get to the people outside.” Gregory said he could smell alcohol on Hartsfield as she charged at him.

Gregory and Salem Police Lieutenant Russell Wilcoxson escorted Hartsfield to the back of the store, where she told them customers come to the store “expecting things, but she has to work for her money.” She told the officers she has been getting her life together and her daughter was due to start school the next day and about a previous brain injury that affects her judgement. After the officers asked her how much she’d had to drink, Gregory said she began to yell profanities at Deputy Brad Naugle, who had arrived at the scene. Naugle administered a preliminary breath test, and Hartsfield blew a .16.

The officers also viewed security camera footage that showed Hartsfield moving erratically and “constantly stumbling,” along with arguing with customers and aggressively pushing her finger into a customer’s chest.

Hartsfield was taken to the Washington County Detention Center, where she remained irate and aggressive. She began to shout and scream profanities at the duty jailer, Brian Toppe. Toppe eventually had to escort Hartsfield to the ground and place her in a chair, where Hartsfield began kicking him. Toppe, Gregory and other jail staff placed her in a wrap and escorted her to another room.


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