On a chilly night in February, Jessica Ojeda, 23, sat shivering in her car while police arrested her fiancé for drunken driving.
It was shortly after 1:30 a.m. and they were still a couple of miles from their Salem home. Her cellphone was dead; she didn’t have money for a taxi. Police put her fiancé, William Helle, in the back of a police car and told Ojeda they were impounding the vehicle.
“I don’t have any way to get home,” Ojeda said to the deputy. “Wait a minute, you can’t just pull me over and leave me here.”
But a Marion County police report confirms that Ojeda was, indeed, left there — alone at 2 a.m., walking along Hawthorne Avenue NE to a nearby hotel to call for a ride.
Most law enforcement agencies don’t have policies in place requiring officers to go out of their way to help people who wind up in situations like Ojeda’s.