Eugene, Ore. – At 7:42 a.m. on December 24, Central Lane 911 dispatched Eugene Police Patrol officers, EPD K9 Mike Casey and K9 Marco, and an EPD Drone Team officer to the Lakeridge community, 3355 N. Delta Highway. There had been multiple reports by residents of a man and woman entering a residence.
The address had recently been burglarized, and the outstanding suspect was Travis Ray Mattoon, age 27. The male suspect on December 24 matched the description of Mattoon. The EPD Drone Team was deployed to give EPD a better visual of the residence, due to previous encounters with Mattoon, who had run from police.
Prior to making entry into the home, EPD gained consent from the resident family. Once police began to enter, Mattoon fled out of the house and toward a lake located on the northside of the gated community. Officers yelled at Mattoon to stop and get on the ground, but he continued to run away from police. K9 Officer Casey and Marco followed. K9 Marco successfully caught Mattoon right before Mattoon reached the lake. However Mattoon continued on into the lake and the K9 released.
Officers told Mattoon to swim back to shore, due to the cold temperatures (about 37 degrees) and potential for hypothermia. Mattoon continued to swim away from officers towards the north bank of the lake. Mattoon swam to the north side of the lake, then got out and ran through thick blackberry bushes.
Because Mattoon had submerged himself in frigid conditions, officers quickly transitioned the call to a life-saving mission and requested Eugene Springfield Fire respond. Lane County Sheriff’s Office was called for Marine Patrol aid, but there was not a place to launch a boat. Eugene Springfield Fire arrived on scene with an inflatable raft and river boat. Fire Fighters loaded into the inflatable raft and paddled to where Mattoon was last seen. ESF also commandeered a couple of paddle boards in the area and responded to where Travis was last seen to assist the other ESF personnel.
Shortly after, K9 Officer Casey, an EPD detective and other LCSO deputies located Mattoon on land, wet, cold and lethargic, and took him into custody and to where an ambulance was staged. Mattoon was transported to a local hospital for treatment.
Mattoon was admitted for the night to the hospital and was handcuffed to a bed. During the night, he slipped his cuffs and ran off without clothing. Officers posted nearby followed him. Mattoon activated a fire alarm as he ran. He escaped the hospital and ran into the employee parking lot, where a Springfield Police K9 team located him inside an employee vehicle that had its window broken out. Mattoon was taken back into custody, to a hospital bed until he could be medically cleared.
Mattoon will be lodged at Lane County Jail on two counts of Burglary in the First Degree, Unauthorized Use of a Motor Vehicle, Elude by Vehicle, Interfering with a Police Officer, Resisting Arrest and Fugitive of Justice (warrant out of Nevada). For the hospital incident the charges will be Disorderly Conduct in the First Degree and Escape in the third Degree, as well as a Springfield Police Citation in Lieu of Custody for Unlawful Entry Motor Vehicle.
(Editor’s Note: This is not the first time this suspect has tried to escape by swimming. https://www.rgj.com/story/news/crime/2017/05/03/man-jumps-into-truckee-river-evade-police-firefighters-say/310415001/ )
(information directly from EPD, and the Reno Gazette Journal)