Burglary suspect fights homeowner, escapes police before landing in jail

A suspected burglar tussled with an armed homeowner, then slipped out of police handcuffs Wednesday night and spent about three hours on the lam before finally landing in jail.

Nathan Charles Wallace, 22, no address given, remains lodged in the Jackson County Jail today on multiple charges, including first-degree burglary, third-degree robbery, second- and third-degree theft, unlawful entry into a vehicle, resisting arrest, third-degree escape, criminal mischief and possession of heroin and methamphetamine. Bail is set at $177,000.

In a news release today, Medford police said a couple who live in the 300 block of Mary Street had left their home for about 45 minutes and returned just before 6:30 p.m. Wednesday to see a bike outside their home. Once inside, they saw that someone had broken in. The man armed himself with a handgun while his wife went outside to call 911. She also alerted a neighbor, who armed himself and came to assist, police said.

The homeowner found Wallace hiding in a closet, police said. He refused to come out and a fight ensued. The homeowner and neighbor put Wallace in a choke hold and held him until he was semiconscious.

Officers came to make an arrest and found property Wallace had taken from the home, police said. Investigators suspect he broke in through a window.

Wallace is also alleged to have taken a purse from a vehicle parked on the street, but the purse wasn't found. Police said he also possessed methamphetamine, heroin, and a knife, which he did not use during the fight.

Police took Wallace to Providence Medford Medical Center to be checked so they could then take him to jail. Wallace, however, escaped by slipping out of his handcuffs. The officer attempted to stop him with a stun gun, but he escaped, police said. The officer gave chase until losing sight of Wallace on Woodrow Lane.

Officers and a dog searched, but didn't find him.

At 12:30 this morning, three hours after Wallace escaped, a 911 caller reported a suspicious person near an apartment complex in the 1000 block of Spring Street. Police responded and found Wallace hiding in a car. He resisted during an arrest attempt, which necessitated four officers to remove him from the car and detain him. Police allege he broke into the car they found him in and stole some clothing from a nearby home.

— Ryan Pfeil


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