Prineville man arrested with air rifle near businesses, elementary school

A Prineville man hiding in bushes above some businesses and a school with what looked like a hunting rifle surrendered to police Friday morning and was charged with disorderly conduct.

The situation started around 10:30 a.m. when someone reported seeing a man with a rifle walking around in bushes behind businesses in the area of NE Laughlin Road between Ochoco Plaza Drive and Combs Flat Road.

The unimproved area was next to Ray’s Food Place, the Crook County School District Offices, Crook County DHS and Barnes Butte Elementary, Sgt. James Peterson said.

When Prineville Police, Crook County Sheriff’s Office deputies and Oregon State Police troopers arrived, they found 40-year-old Joey Wayne Smith crouched down in the bushes on a hillside raised up above the surrounding businesses.

About four minutes later, Smith came out and surrendered. He was then taken to the Crook County Jail.

The school and the Crook County DHS offices nearby were put on lockout during the event and NE Laughlin Road was blocked for about 90 minutes.

Peterson said they found the air-powered rifle in the bushes where Smith surrendered; the air rifle closely resembled a hunting rifle and had a hunting scope attached.

Police said Smith’s truck was parked nearby and officers found a .22-caliber rifle and several rounds of ammunition inside.

Peterson said a small amount of illegal drugs and drug paraphernalia was also found in the truck.

Smith has a lengthy record of numerous misdemeanors.

Nobody else was involved in the incident and nobody was injured.

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