SALEM, Ore. (KOIN) — A heavily armed man who broke into the Willamette Queen Tuesday was apprehended following an hours-long manhunt, police said.
It started after 7:30 a.m. on the 2800 block of Lancaster Drive NE where a landscaper caught Michael James Stanley, 46, trying to break into his equipment trailer.
The landscaper confronted Stanley who reportedly pulled out a handgun and pointed it at him, according to Salem Police Dept. Stanley then fled in a red pickup truck, which police later learned was stolen Monday night in Marion County.
Officers quickly located the truck and a man who matched the suspect’s description in a nearby parking lot. He drove off as officers attempted to confront him, driving so dangerously that police ultimately decided to terminate the pursuit.
An hour went by before police were called to the Willamette Queen at Salem Riverfront Park. The boat’s owner said a man stole some tools and a canoe.
A security guard on the boat saw it all happen and called 911.
“I heard commotion upstairs and I [saw] him come down with our bag that we carry our electrical stuff in,” security guard Shawn Osborne told KOIN 6 News. “I was on the phone and he asked me, ‘Are you calling the cops? Please don’t call the cops.’ That’s when he got in the boat.”
Osborne then used his cellphone to record video of the suspect paddling away to nearby Minto Brown Island Park.
“He was focused on doing what he had to do and that was to get to the island,” Osborne said. “If he wanted to get away he would have kept driving.”
Armed officers and K-9s quickly responded to the island and a manhunt ensued. A nearby park was closed off and authorities blocked people from entering the water.
Officers found the stolen pickup truck nearby with a gun inside.
The search lasted several hours until K-9s found Stanley hiding in thick berry vines.
He was apprehended by police and taken to Marion County Jail on charges of third-degree criminal mischief, unlawful use of a weapon, second-degree burglary, unauthorized use of a vehicle, second-degree theft, 2 counts of second-degree criminal mischief, attempting to elude police and reckless driving.
Stanley may face more charges in relation to the Marion County burglary.