POLICE: Sex abuse suspect tries to escape in sailboat
- Stover E. Harger III
- South County Spotlight - News
Keizer man arrested as he sailed along the Columbia River near Goble last week
A man suspected of sexually abusing a girl in Marion County tried to flee by sailboat on the Columbia River, police say, eventually being nabbed near Goble.
Thomas Leroy Webb, 49, from Keizer, was thought
to have traveled to Vancouver, but a tip led a Keizer Police detective to St. Helens on Oct. 28 where police say they learned that Webb had recently left the dock in a 27-foot sailboat. Oregon State Police Fish and Wildlife Division Troopers Chris Boeholt and Adam Shimer eyed the boat near Goble on a routine river patrol checking sturgeon anglers.
Webb was arrested on a felony warrant with two counts each of first-degree rape, first-degree sodomy and first-degree sex abuse.
In his over 20 years in law enforcement, Keizer Police Lt. John Troncoso has seen a lot, but nothing like this.
'I don't think we've ever had anyone flee in a sailboat,' he said Monday afternoon. 'It's probably a first for us.'
In his boat there were items that led investigators to believe Webb was planning on leaving the area for an extended time. Troncoso was unable to verify those items by press time.
Specific details of Webb's alleged crimes have not been released publically as Keizer police continue their investigation.
Webb will face his charges in the Marion County Circuit Court.