Portland woman breaks into another apartment and raises mental health help concerns
By now, residents of Portland, Oregon, know of Terri Zinzer, who has been arrested multiple times in recent months.
In every incident, it was clear that Zinzer needed mental health care, but the situation in the city made it difficult to do so.
A few weeks ago, Terri Zinzer is said to have walked into a house and laid down on a bed.
Last week, she was caught again in another break-in, and Zinzer missed a court hearing on Monday.
The latest incident
Zinzer’s break-in occurred at around 4:30 PM at an apartment on Northeast 17th Avenue near Northeast Broadway.
According to Drew Doety, his mother came home from work and found a stranger on her bed.
“She unlocks the door to find a person sleeping in her bedroom under her blanket,” Doety explained.
“At first, she thought it was my sister, but then discovered that it was a random person, random woman in her bed.”
“She yelled at them to get out, then realized that it was just better to leave the apartment and call the police.”
Doety said his mother went back in to check the situation and found the woman hiding in a closet with her clothes on.
When the police arrived at the property, Zinzer barricaded himself in the bathroom.
Doety said police had to break down the door and take her away in handcuffs.
“I would say it was a pretty distressing situation for everybody involved,” he said.
“And definitely not the kind of thing that you expect to come home to, but in Portland, it is seeming more and more commonplace.”
Drew Doety’s sentiments rang true, especially in the case of Zinzer, whose actions shed some light on the flaws in the justice system for not getting her help.
Although the prosecutor said she needed mental health care, Zinzer refused.
As a result, she has had more confrontations with the police in recent months.
Terri Zinzer’s first confrontation with the police began in July when she was caught stealing in Gresham.
However, the district attorney’s office did not charge her anything.
A few weeks later, police caught her committing trespass, but the district attorney’s office has not yet filed a lawsuit against her.
On September 12, Zinzer broke into Kelsey Smith’s home, with the break-in captured on security video.
Initially, the prosecutor’s office said they would not charge him, but claimed Zinzer needed psychiatric care, not prison.
Instead, they chose to file a complaint.
Terri Zinzer was indicted last week.
An arrest warrant was later issued on September 19 after missing a hearing in Clackamas County.
During that hearing, it was going to be determined if she was mentally capable of handling another theft case.
On September 27, Zinzer was arrested for theft, disorderly behavior, and false information.
Since the district attorney’s office had not filed a complaint, she was released from prison.
On September 30, Zinzer broke into Doety’s apartment.
After the break-in
Drew Doety and his family were shocked by the event and are currently waiting for the police before taking any action.
“Definitely violating to have somebody come into your home and to find somebody in your bed,” he said.
“So we spent the night basically sanitizing the entire apartment, and now it’s a matter of calling the police and insurance and hoping everything can get solved.”
According to Doety, they plan to file a complaint.
Zinzer was supposed to appear in court on Monday, but was instead held in solitary confinement.
According to court documents, she yells and swears at officials, knocks on the cell door, and spits on the windows.
Prior to the current situation, Terri Zinzer was charged with 16 offenses in 2018.
Even then, she didn’t seem to get the help she needed.
Justice system appears unable to provide necessary mental health help for Terri Zinzer