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Man who fought police has punctured lung

A man was hospitalized Friday with a punctured lung after a fight with Medford police, but agency officials said they aren't sure whether the injury came from the scuffle with police or during a fight they were called to investigate.

John Columbus Slater, 44, described by police as a transient, was cited on charges of assaulting a public safety officer, resisting arrest, interfering with police and disorderly conduct. He remained Monday at Providence Medford Medical Center. His condition was not immediately available.

The incident happened just before 7 p.m. Oct. 17, when Medford police were dispatched to a Dairy Queen parking lot near the 1100 block of Morrow Road for a fight between a man and a woman. The first officer on scene spoke with Slater, whom witnesses said was involved in the altercation. In a news release, police said Slater was uncooperative and that the officer tried to detain him.

Police reported that Slater fought back with punches and kicks. When a second officer arrived on scene, Slater was arrested and taken to Providence by ambulance with a punctured lung.

The woman who allegedly fought with Slater, Mary Bailey, 32, was arrested Saturday near the intersection of Jackson and Holly streets. She was booked into the Jackson County Jail on charges of fourth-degree assault, disorderly conduct and harassment, and her bail was set at $10,000. She was no longer listed in the jail Monday.

Police said it's still not known whether the punctured lung came during the fight with police or during the fight with Bailey before they showed up.

Medford police Lt. Mike Budreau said the incident will go before a review board, which will decide whether the officers' use of force was justified and appropriate during Slater's arrest. Police declined to disclose specifics of the fight between Bailey and Slater, other than to say they were romantically involved.

Reach reporter Ryan Pfeil at 541-776-4468 or rpfeil@mailtribune.com. Follow him at www.twitter.com/ryanpfeil.