Billy Palmer

Payette Police and the Payette County SWAT team arrested a man at the Payette Motel early Tuesday morning.

On Monday, police received a tip that Billy Palmer, 37, who was wanted on felony eluding charges out of Malheur County, along with other misdemeanor charges, might be staying at the Payette Motel.

Police Chief Mark Clark said the person who tipped off the department gave police a description of the pickup Palmer was driving. Officers kept an eye on the motel after the tip came in, and at about 10:20 p.m. Monday, a pickup matching the description pulled into the parking lot.

“We made phone calls and verified who was in the room,” Clark said. “We were told by the owners that a guy fitting that description of the guy driving the truck was in the room at the time.”

Officers set up a perimeter around the motel, Clark said, and they called the SWAT team.

“Once they came out, they came up with a plan to get him out safely,” Clark said.

The SWAT team moved cautiously; the anonymous tipper had warned police that Palmer might have a gun.

They evacuated the rooms on either side of Palmer’s; Clark estimated about six people had to leave their rooms. Then the team used spotlights and a public address system to try to call out Palmer.

He refused to come out, so the SWAT team moved in, Clark said.

“They were able to gain access through the front door,” he said. “We’d been given the key by the motel owner.

“They went in and found him hiding in the motel room. He was arrested without incident.”

The arrest took place at about 12:30 a.m. Tuesday, Clark said.

Officers found the gun Palmer had been reported as carrying in his pickup, he added.

Palmer was booked into the Payette County Jail on warrants. Payette Police are investigating whether Palmer is a convicted felon, Clark said; if he is, possessing a firearm is a felony and he will be charged.

Otherwise, Clark said, Palmer next will be extradited to Malheur County to answer the initial charges that prompted Monday night’s action.

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