A Central Point man who pointed a gun at sheriff's deputies during a chase that ended when he was bitten by a police dog has been sentenced to nearly three years in prison for his crimes.
Frank Joseph Hernandez, 21, pleaded guilty today in Jackson County Circuit Court to two counts of felon in possession of a firearm and interfering with a police officer. He also pleaded no contest to a charge of unlawful use of a weapon. Judge Kelly Ravassipour sentenced him to 32 months in prison and two years' post-prison supervision.
The sentencing stems from an April 17 incident at a White City Chevron. At about noon, Jackson County sheriff's Deputy Ian Lance pulled into the gas station, at 6779 Crater Lake Highway, looking for a wanted man who was not Hernandez. Lance saw the described car of the wanted suspect with Hernandez inside. Hernandez jumped out and took off. Lance followed in his police car and saw Hernandez drop a gun near the front of the gas station as he ran away, according to the DA's office. Hernandez then continued to run around the side of the building and dropped a second gun, the DA's release said.
This time, Hernandez stopped and picked up the weapon. He pointed it at the police car, the release said. Lance, thinking Hernandez would fire, rammed him with his car to defend himself. Hernandez then changed his mind, lowered the gun and kept running, the release said.
Lance was very close to Hernandez and tried to avoid hitting him when the weapon was dropped a second time, but ended up sideswiping him and knocking him to the ground, the DA's office said. Hernandez got back up and kept running toward a nearby field. A K-9 unit arrived on scene. Police told Hernandez to drop his gun several times, but he refused, the DA's office said. The dog was released and bit Hernandez on his hand. He was then taken into custody.