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Woman who tried to kidnap baby referred to mental health court

A woman who attempted to kidnap a baby from a Medford hospital and is accused of committing a string of other crimes has been referred to the Jackson County Mental Health Court.

Celeste Kathleen Patton of Central Point was arrested March 8 after she posed as a Department of Human Services worker and foster parent at Providence Medford Medical Center. According to court documents, she claimed to be taking an infant into protective custody but fled the scene when hospital staff questioned her further.

In the past year, Patton has had a string of cases involving law enforcement.

On March 3, Patton was arrested on charges of improper use of 911 after she demanded to speak with Sheriff Corey Falls.

In May and June, she was charged with three misdemeanor counts of telephonic harassment after sending "very lengthy," rambling text messages to a Medford police officer.

In July she was arrested on a charge of soliciting another to assault a public safety officer.

Patton was arrested on felony charges March 5 for eluding police in a vehicle. According to court documents, Medford and Central Point police attempted to stop her while she was driving about 40 mph near Merriman and Mace roads, and she ignored emergency lights for a mile until the tires on her 1999 Ford truck were spiked by Central Point police. She attempted to flee on foot before she was arrested.

Jackson County Mental Health Court can set up a process in which defendants are required to seek mental health treatment when serious and persistent mental illness is the primary factor in a suspect's crime.

A psychological evaluation from the Oregon State Hospital was submitted to the court Aug. 17. A plea change hearing on her charges is planned for Nov. 24.

According to Mail Tribune archives, Patton was arrested in February 2013 following an impaired driving incident at the North Medford Fred Meyer store. Police said Patton parked her Hummer sports utility vehicle on the sidewalk before entering the store, where she purchased a bottle of wine and began drinking as she drove off. The SUV swerved through traffic on Poplar Drive, and as Patton turned onto McAndrews Road, the vehicle veered onto a sidewalk, sheared off a light pole and knocked a wheel off the Hummer. 

Reach reporter Nick Morgan at 541-776-4471 or nmorgan@mailtribune.com.

Woman who tried to kidnap baby referred to mental health court