String of violent crimes in Junction City points to illicit drugs, police say

Police describe the suspects in all the cases as having “incredible, super-human strength.”

Posted: Dec 17, 2019 12:40 AM
Updated: Dec 17, 2019 11:10 AM

JUNCTION CITY, Ore. – A string of violent encounters in Junction City could point to a “bad batch” of drugs, police said.

The incidents happened over a three-day period in November and led to some officers being injured, one of them seriously.

Police describe the suspects in all the cases as having “incredible, super-human strength.” They said the suspects were all under the influence of methamphetamines but the intensity of the struggles was unusual.

“It goes without saying, none of these types of substances are safe for consumption, let alone that which has been laced with some type of poison or other dangerous ingredient,” police wrote in a statement.

The first incident happened at about 8 a.m. on Nov. 21. Officers responded to an emergency call for help from Oregon State Police. They said a trooper had found a domestic violence suspect and was in a violent struggle with the suspect when Junction City officers arrived.

Following an “extreme struggle,” the three officers took the suspect into custody, police said.

Then, on Nov. 22, officers responded to an incomplete 911 call at a convenience store on Highway 99 at about 1 p.m. They said the man told them he called because people were following him. He then grew violent, screaming and saying the officers weren’t real.

Police said the man ran into traffic, and when the officers attempted to get control of the situation for the man’s safety, a violent fight ensued. They used a Taser on the man twice, but the man reportedly asked officers, “Well, how did that work?”

The fight continued, with the man ripping off a Taser, body-worn camera, phone, sunglasses and tourniquet from one of the officer’s vests. Police said he also grabbed for the officer’s gun and said that he could take the gun away and beat them.

After being handcuffed, the man stood up and ran into traffic on Highway 99 once more. Both officers’ knees and arms were injured during the altercation.

In the final encounter in the early morning hours of Nov. 24, a Junction City officer responded along with the fire department to a report of an unresponsive man. Upon arrival, police said the officer was confronted by an agitated man who punched him in the head multiple times.

A violent fight ensued, and the man tried to get control of the officer’s gun, police said. The officer managed to get the man handcuffed, but it took two officers to control him until he could be sedated and taken to the hospital.

The officer in the third incident sustained blunt force trauma to his face and his head and a significant concussion. The officer remains unable to work.

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