PRINEVILLE, Ore. - A Crook County man was arrested on several charges Tuesday night, accused of firing shotgun blasts at three teens he thought were poaching deer on BLM land near Prineville Reservoir, sheriff's deputies said. He's also accused of pointing the gun at some others who confronted him about the incident.
Dispatchers got a call around 8:35 a.m. from someone on Southeast Antelope Creek Drive, reporting a neighbor had shot a shotgun at her son and asking that police respond, said Undersheriff John Gautney.
Deputies dispatched to the area learned Jerry Strode, 38, had fired shots at some young men while they were on BLM land south of the road, around 8 p.m.
No one was hit, but the teens – two 18 and one 15 – said one of the shots struck a rock within inches of the 15-year-old's head as they hid behind the large rock. The teens reportedly were shooting rabbits on BLM land when the shots were fired, Gautney said.
Strode allegedly fired the shots toward the three as they were running away, then drove back to his home, the undersheriff said.
One of the teens then called his mother, who lives near Strode on Antelope Creek Drive, and told her Strode was shooting at them, Gautney said.
The teen's mother, brother and the mother's friend then went to Strode's house and confronted him, deputies said. Strode allegedly pointed the shotgun at them and threatened to shoot them if they didn't leave.
That led to a fight, and Strode was restrained by the others, who took the gun away, Gautney said. There were minor injuries to people on each side of the dispute, he said, adding that Strode and one of the young men were checked by Crook County Fire and Rescue medics and released.
Strode's shotgun was taken to the neighbor's house and held there for deputies. Gautney said.
Deputies were unsure if Strode had any other weapons at his home and waited for more officers to arrive before attempting contact. As deputies approached the home, Strode and his father were contacted outside the home and detained without incident, Gautney said.
Strode was arrested and booked into the county jail on three counts of unlawful use of a firearm, nine counts of menacing, three counts of unlawful pointing a firearm and one count of first-degree attempted assault with a firearm. He was released Wednesday afternoon after posting 10 percent of his $25,000 bail.
"Alcohol does appear to have been a factor in this incident," Gautney added.