Motel worker stabbed during confrontation

Cedar Lodge Inn employee was trying to escort loud group of people from property
Juan Robert Leach

A 30-year-old man working the graveyard shift at a Medford motel Tuesday was stabbed and kicked by a 21-year-old man and a 17-year-old boy he was escorting off the premises.

The incident occurred at 12:33 a.m. at the Cedar Lodge Inn, 518 N. Riverside Ave. Medford police said a group of men and women had been arguing on the motel property, so they were being escorted off.

"It sounded like a heated argument where voices were being raised. They were causing a disturbance to the guests at the inn," Medford police Lt. Mike Budreau said. "It sounded like it was bordering on a fight."

Police identified the 21-year-old suspect in the stabbing as Juan Robert Leach, also known as Johnny. He is 5 feet 10 inches tall and weighs about 150 pounds. Authorities are hoping the public can assist in locating him. Leach is a known Sureños gang member and is considered armed and dangerous according to a news release.

Leach also is the brother of Adan Valdez, who is in the Jackson County Jail on charges of attempted murder from a gang-related stabbing that occurred last week.

The employee came out to escort the group away from the motel, telling them they were trespassing. As they walked, Leach allegedly stabbed the employee in the chest. A 17-year-old kicked him after he sank to the ground. The group scattered, and the stabbing suspect jumped into a vehicle that sped away, police said in a news release.

Several people in the group are known associates of local gangs, police said, but this particular argument might not have been gang-related. The group included a mix of adults and teens.

"I don't know exactly how many (people), because there were several folks who fled," Budreau said.

The motel employee was transported to Asante Rogue Regional Medical Center, where he was treated and released.

Authorities arrested the 17-year-old on a third-degree assault charge. The Mail Tribune is not publishing his name because of his age. Budreau said third-degree assault applies when two people attack a victim at the same time. The teen was being held at the Jackson County Community Justice Juvenile Detention Center, officials said.

Anyone with information should contact the Medford Police Criminal Investigations Division at 541-774-2248.

Reader Reaction
We reserve the right to remove any content at any time from this Community, including without limitation if it violates the Community Rules. We ask that you report content that you in good faith believe violates the above rules by clicking the Flag link next to the offending comment or fill out this form. New comments are only accepted for two weeks from the date of publication.