PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — A man police suspect of burglarizing a home in Eugene tried to escape custody twice on Christmas Eve — first, leaping into a frigid lake, and later, by slipping out of handcuffs chained to his hospital bed, police said.
According to the Eugene Police Department, officers responded to a report of a man and woman breaking into a home at 7:42 p.m. at the Lakeridge community. Police said the same address had been burglarized recently.
EPD said the man matched a description of the suspect who previously burglarized the same home, 27-year-old Travis Ray Mattoon. Officers sent out a drone to surveil the home and Mattoon, who, EPD said, had run from the police before.
When the officers went inside, Mattoon took off running out of the house and toward a nearby lake, Eugene police said. He ignored police commands to stop, EPD said, and officers sent a K9 to catch him.
The police dog, named Marco, caught Mattoon but let him go and Mattoon continued into the lake, according to EPD. It is not clear whether he was injured from the K9.
Mattoon kept swimming, EPD said, and then he ran out of the lake and through thick blackberry bushes. Citing the risk for hypothermia, authorities called for help from Eugene Springfield Fire because Mattoon had submerged himself in icy water, EPD said. Police eventually found him on land — wet, cold and lethargic — and he was taken to the hospital in an ambulance.
Mattoon’s escape efforts did not end there, according to EPD, as he slipped out of handcuffs chained to a hospital bed during the night. EPD said nearby officers followed him as he ran off without clothes and pulled a fire alarm.
Eugene police said he escaped the hospital and ran into the parking lot where he then hid in an employee’s car. A Springfield Police Department K9 team found him there, EPD said.
The 27-year-old was taken back to the hospital until he’s medically cleared, police said, but he will be booked into Lane County Jail on the following charges:
- Burglary in the First Degree (2 counts)
- Unauthorized Use of a Motor Vehicle
- Elude by Vehicle
- Interfering with a Police Officer
- Resisting Arrest
- Disorderly Conduct in the First Degree
- Escape in the Third Degree
Mattoon also faces a citation from Springfield police for unlawful entry of a motor vehicle and an outstanding fugitive warrant from the state of Nevada.