Shots fired during La Pine dispute; suspect punches K-9 before arrest

A La Pine man was arrested late Thursday night after a dispute with neighbors led to shots fired and the suspect punching a K-9 unit, according to the Deschutes County Sheriff’s Office.

Deputies responded to a report of multiple shots fired in the area of Jacinto Road and Solar Road south of Spring River Road around 9:00 p.m.

Lt. Mike Sundberg said residents in the area called 911 and said the gunshots were proceeded by a loud argument between a man and a woman.

Deputies along with Bend Police Department and Oregon State Police Troopers arrived in the area soon afterward including on-duty SWAT personnel.

Armored vehicles from the Sheriff’s Office and Bend Police Department responded due to the serious nature of the call and concerns that someone may have been injured by the roughly 10 shots reported to have been fired during the dispute, Sundberg said.

After officers arrived on the scene, dispatch continued to receive reports of a physical and verbal dispute happening near the shots fired location. Law Enforcement on scene established a containment perimeter near the location to protect nearby residents, Sundberg said.

The suspect, 39-year-old Jonathan Floyd Taft was spotted in the driveway of 17325 Jacinto Rd which was determined to be the location of the initial dispute and where he allegedly tried to assault a man and woman on the scene.

Taft was challenging deputies and refused to follow officers’ instructions, Sundberg said.

Deputies tried to negotiate with Taft, who continued to display combative and threatening behavior towards the deputies and police, Sundberg said.

Concerned that Taft was possibly armed and was threatening to assault law enforcement, Sheriff’s Office Patrol K-9 Ezel was deployed in order to get Taft into custody.

Sundberg said Taft resisted arrest, and in doing so punched K-9 Ezel multiple times. K-9 Ezel overpowered Taft who was then taken into custody.

It was determined the initial argument began as a disagreement when Taft trespassed in order to retrieve his property, Sundberg said.

During the dispute, Taft allegedly tried to assault a man and woman on the scene.

This resulted in the woman using her firearm for her own protection. This woman fired several warning shots to prevent the assault, Sundberg said.

A neighbor heard the argument and gunshots and perceived a threat to him and his family’s safety.

Believing the assault had moved to his property, the neighbor also fired several warning shots in the air. No injuries were sustained from the warning shots being fired, Sundberg said.

Sgt. Shawn Heierman said Friday Taft was drunk at the time of the incident.

“He stated he was there to get tire rims out of the garage, however, Taft had no vehicle around and he apparently arrived there on foot,” Heierman said.

Deputies weren’t able to confirm the tire rims component, but did say he didn’t have a vehicle in the area to pick up any rims.

Heierman said the two victims were living on the property in an RV, watching the property.

“It sounds like the property owner has been having problems with squatters and the victims were there to prevent further trespass issues,” Heierman said.

Taft was evaluated on scene by La Pine Fire Department medics. He was later taken to St. Charles in Bend for further evaluation due to minor injuries sustained from K-9 Ezel.

Sundberg said Taft was then taken to the Deschutes County Jail, booked on charges of second-degree criminal trespass, menacing, disorderly conduct, assault on a law enforcement animal and fourth-degree attempted assault.

 

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