A man wanted on warrants in Multnomah and Jackson counties led Medford police on a chase into Bear Creek Wednesday night.
After getting a tip on the whereabouts of Joshua Brian Greene, 23, of Medford, it took 13 Medford officers, a police dog and help from Oregon State Police to take him into custody.
Officers received information that Greene was staying at the Cedar Lodge Inn at 518 N. Riverside Ave., and had a firearm. Greene had an outstanding arrest warrant from Multnomah County for a heroin possession charge and a warrant for failure to appear in Jackson County on a theft charge, police said.
Greene was outside the motel when he saw police arrive at about 9:45 p.m., Medford police Lt. Mike Budreau said. Budreau said Greene started running toward Bear Creek, down the embankment and into the shrubbery.
Police established a large perimeter with the assistance of Oregon State Police troopers who were on Interstate 5 and ready if the chase continued onto the freeway. Officers found Greene with the help of Medford police dog Kelso.
At one point Greene attempted to cross the rushing creek, but officers were waiting for him on the other side, and he was losing his footing in the high and frigid water, Budreau said. Five officers had to enter the creek to arrest Greene.
"It's not an ideal situation." Budreau said. "There is always a danger of officers being swept away. There was a lot of water rushing down Bear Creek at the time."
No one was injured. No gun was found during the arrest, police said.
"He was in the thick shrubbery and could have stashed it easily," Budreau said.
No additional charges were filed against Greene. He was lodged in Jackson County Jail with no bail.
"Because of the current situation with jail overcrowding, we are dealing with people on outstanding warrants more than we ever have," Budreau said. "We have people going through a brief stint in the jail and then they don't appear for their court date."
Arrest warrants in Jackson County are up 48 percent from last year, with 3,559 warrants issued January through November this year compared with 2,404 arrest warrants issued from January through November of 2011.
"That represents what we're seeing with the overcrowded jail and crime on the rise," Budreau said.
Mandy Valencia is a reporter for the Mail Tribune. Reach her a firstname.lastname@example.org or 541-776-4486.