(Update: Adding video, comments from DSCO, resident)
Despite worry, resident says she’s glad to get the warning
REDMOND, Ore. (KTVZ) – About 2,000 northeast Redmond residents got an emergency alert late Wednesday night that police were searching for a fugitive who ran from a traffic stop and “who may be armed and dangerous.” Despite an extensive search, the man had not been found by Thursday afternoon, authorities said.
Shortly before 11 p.m. Wednesday, a Deschutes County sheriff’s deputy tried to pull over the driver of a 1994 Toyota Camry in the area of Northeast Fifth Street and Maple Lane in Redmond for failure to maintain his lane of travel, Sergeant Jayson Janes said.
The driver, identified as Braxton Michael Monson, 36, refused to stop, and the deputy pursued the car for a short distance before losing sight of it, Janes said.
As the deputy was driving in the area, the Camry pulled out in front of him, so the deputy again tried to stop the car, at which point Monson stopped, got out and ran, the sergeant said,
The deputy and area residents then heard what they believed to be gunshots in the area where Monson ran to, Janes said.
“At this time, we do not have any reports of injuries or damage from gunshots in that area, or have otherwise been able to confirm there were actual gunshots in that area,” the sergeant said in a news release.
An extensive search of the area, using K-9 teams and drones, was unsuccessful, Janes said.
Jessica Rasmussen lives near Fifth Street and was home watching her kids, while her husband was out of town.
“Well, being a mom of two young kids, obviously it’s a little scary,” Rasmussen said Thursday.
Redmond police sent an initial emergency text alert to 1,802 contacts in the area around 11:15 p.m., saying police were “searching the area for a male suspect who may be armed and dangerous. Please stay indoors. Do not contact any unknown individuals” and to call 911 if anything suspicious is seen.
About 2:15 a.m., the sheriff’s office sent another alert to 1,998 contacts, saying they were continuing to search in northeast Redmond for the wanted man. Another alert sent shortly after 7 a.m. Thursday said the active search had ended, with the suspect still outstanding.
“Typically, when we have somebody running from us, we don’t want extra people out in their yards or out and about where we’re searching for someone,” Janes said, “Nor do we want there to be opportunities for this person to be able to enter someone’s home.”
Janes said the sheriff’s office is seeking the public’s help in finding Monson, who last was seen wearing dark jeans and a hooded sweatshirt. He has a dark-colored flower tattoo on his neck and various tattoos on his arms. Two booking photos were released that Janes said show him with a longer beard than he has at present.
“It is possible Monson is armed, so do not attempt contact with him,” Janes wrote. “Monson is known to frequent the Prineville and Madras area. If you see Monson or know his location, please call 911 immediately.”
A resident on Fifth Street who chose not to speak on camera said they believe Monson broke their fence while fleeing Wednesday night.
For Rasmussen, it’s something she’s never experienced in her four years in Redmond.
“I mean, maybe we hear something ourselves and get paranoid, sure,” she said. “But I’ve ever been reached out to from the police department and the sheriff’s (office).”
Rasmussen said she prefers having the notifications, whether vague or not, over not getting them.
“No, I’d prefer having it, for sure,” Rasmussen said. “Because if I didn’t know about it, maybe I wouldn’t have double-checked all my locks or made sure my cameras were working.”
Rasmussen said she was glad to be informed, but has been acting with extra caution.
“I had that weird thought like, ‘What if he’s hanging around, this person, and he sees an empty vehicle that’s started — he could just hop in and take it,’” Rasmussen said. “Like, I just don’t know what exactly is going on with the guy that they’re looking for, what he did, if he is armed or not — I don’t know.”
Janes said Monson has a nationwide warrant out for probation violation.
The sheriff’s office was assisted by the Redmond Police Department and Oregon State Police.
In 2017, KTVZ reported that a federal judge sentenced the then-Redmond resident to nearly seven years in federal prison for being a felon in possession of a firearm.
He was arrested in 2014 in Redmond in possession of an AR-15-style rifle, ammunition, drugs, scales and cash, court documents said. Federal prosecutors said he had previous felony convictions for assaults and methamphetamine delivery.
In 2013, Bend police said he fled a traffic stop and led officers on a high-speed chase in northeast Bend, ditched his car and tried to run from police. He was found by a K-9 team while hiding in a home’s backyard, they said.
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