Local News

Wolf Creek Man Jailed for Setting Fire and Menacing Emergency Responders

A Wolf Creek man is in custody for intentionally setting a fire near Sunny Valley, firing a gunshot near responding firefighters and threatening a highway worker.

The Oregon State Police reports troopers arrested the 42-year-old male subject in the southbound lanes of Interstate 5 near milepost 64 on Thursday at 1:43 p.m..

The incident started shortly after 1 p.m. when Rural Metro Fire Department and the Oregon Department of Forestry were dispatched to a reported fire on Lower Grave Creek Road. Responding units were flagged down prior to their arrival by a man on a motorcycle who advised them law enforcement was needed due to "suspicious activity."

Rural Metro officials said the motorcyclist discharged a firearm into the ground before fleeing toward I-5. This prompted a response from OSP and the Josephine County Sheriff's Office to assist firefighters with safe access to the scene. Upon arrival, crews found two burning outbuildings and flames spreading up a hillside. The fire was fully-contained and extinguished at 1/3 of an acre. No one was there.

A short time later, OSP received a call about a man wearing a bullet-proof vest with a rifle on his back pushing a red dirt bike on the freeway shoulder. Troopers responded and investigated, discovering that it was the same man who fired a shot near firefighters in Sunny Valley. They also learned that the man pointed his rifle at an ODOT worker who showed up to assist him with his disabled dirt bike.

The suspect was placed into custody, transported to Grants Pass and lodged at the Josephine County Jail for 2nd-Degree Arson, Unlawful Use of a Weapon and Menacing. He was being held without bail. The rifle, dirt bike and other items were seized and logged into evidence.
Posted on 5/24/24 11:19AM by Sam Marsh