GRANTS PASS, Ore. — A Grants Pass man wanted for an outstanding felony arrest warrant did his best to hide, distract, or otherwise resist arrest by police officers on Monday, according to the Grants Pass Department of Public Safety (GPDPS).
Officers responded to an apartment in the 900-block of SE 8th Street around 1:45 p.m. after callers reported a disturbance where "yelling and slamming of doors could be heard."
When they arrived, GPDPS said that the officers determined that 31-year-old Mario Burton was inside — a man with a felony arrest warrant due to a previous domestic violence incident.
"Communication attempts were made with Burton as he was instructed to exit the residence. Burton was non-compliant and refused to exit the residence," GPDPS said.
Around that time, the agency said that they started receiving 911 calls from inside the apartment, claiming that there was a shooting in-progress in Jackson County, plus a bomb threat at the Grants Pass Walmart.
"Both calls were determined to be fictitious and were attempts to divert law enforcement away from Burton’s known location," GPDPS.
Officers were reportedly familiar with Burton's previous arrest — in which he had "barricaded himself in a closet" and refused to come out. GPDPS said that this previous experience led them to employee a K9.
The K9 found Burton hidden behind a "false wall" inside of a linen closet, GPDPS said, but the man refused to surrender even after the K9 found him out.
"The wall was pushed back and the K9 attempted to apprehend Burton in the small area. Burton still refused to comply and a brief struggle ensued," the agency said.
Both K9 and handler were injured in the ensuing struggle, but GPDPS said that the wounds were minor and not life-threatening. Officers eventually were able to take Burton into custody, bringing him to Three Rivers Medical Center for treatment of minor injuries that he received in the struggle.
GPDPS said that Burton later "admitted to ingesting drugs to avoid criminal charges" — leading police to take him back to the hospital again for observation. He was finally cleared and jailed on charges of FTA felony warrant, Interfering with Peace Officer, Assault of a Peace Officer, Assault on a Law Enforcement Animal, Resisting Arrest, Disorderly Conduct I (x2), Probation Violation and Contempt of Court.