Multiple law enforcement agencies responded to Idaho Avenue near the I-84 interchange on East Idaho Avenue on Thursday morning to arrest two burglary suspects.
According to an email from Ontario Police Chief Steven Romero, police received a tip about the two men being at the Ontario Pilot Travel Center, where they had been previously trespassed.
“They are both drug-addicted transients who are constantly stealing and trespassing at Pilot,” Romero said in a follow-up phone interview.
One of the men, Steve Mauldin, 26, “has actually been the reason for a formal complaint lodged with me from the Pilot owner,” according to the chief.
When officers arrived at the travel center, Mauldin was taken into custody without incident.
The other man, Ryan Dennis Peck, 28, fled on foot. He headed east along West Idaho Avenue and once he was over the interchange, Romero said Peck went through business parking lots along the south side all the way down to East Lane, which is where officers eventually surrounded him.
Officers repeatedly tried to get Peck to stop, and eventually he “produced a large knife and threatened officers that were attempting to arrest him,” Romero said.
“After some non-lethal force deployment, the second suspect was taken into custody,” the chief said said.
While no shots were fired, the chief said the “public probably perceived less lethal shotgun round as shots fired.” This is likely due to the fact that Peck was surrounded by multiple officers who had their weapons drawn when the shotgun was used.
Romero says the impact is equivalent to a Taser. He says the shotgun deploys rubber bullet bean bags which are “used as a compliance tool, to overcome resistance, not to cause injury or death.”
As the men went to the Pilot with the intent to steal, both men will face burglary charges, and due to the extent of their previous crimes, both were lodged in the Malheur County Jail.
Mauldin faces charges of burglary and trespassing, Romero said, adding that his prior case history will apply.
Peck, who was also wanted for probation violation, faces burglary, menacing, interfering and “maybe even attempt murder of police officer,” Romero said.
“You don’t pull a knife on a police officer,” he said.
The burglary charges are possible, he said, because in Oregon, if you enter a business with the intent to steal, that’s burglary.
Peck had to go to the hospital before being lodged in jail.
Ontario Police Department received assistance from Oregon State Police and Malheur County Sheriff’s Office. Romero said he was unsure if anyone came over from Fruitland Police Department, but added that “we do appreciate” the assistance.
East Lane was closed for about 15 to 20 minutes while police surrounded Peck and subsequently cleared the scene.
No officers were hurt during the incident, Romero said.