RESIDENT FOILS BURGLARY

September 14, 2001 12:00 am
CRIME SCENE: Police were quick to respond to the 2000 block of East O Avenue Tuesday afternoon when homeowners reported a burglary in progress. (The Observer/KELLY WARD).
CRIME SCENE: Police were quick to respond to the 2000 block of East O Avenue Tuesday afternoon when homeowners reported a burglary in progress. (The Observer/KELLY WARD).

By The Observer

A La Grande homeowner, faced with a suspected burglar holding a gun Thursday afternoon, disarmed the man and called police.

Police arrested Clinton S. Melville, 21, a transient, and charged him with first-degree kidnapping, robbery, burglary and forgery. He was also charged with fourth-degree assault, menacing and being an ex-convict in possession of a firearm.

Melville broke into the home in the 2000 block of East O Avenue Thursday while the couple was out at lunch, according to La Grande Police Lt. Derick Reddington. Melville cut a back window screen and opened the window, Reddington said.

When the homeowner discovered Melville in the house, the homeowner struggled with him and took away the firearm, Reddington said. While the homeowner held Melville on the floor, his wife called police.

In addition to La Grande police, the Union County Sheriffs Department and the Oregon State Police responded to the call. They surrounded the house before going inside and arresting Melville.

No shots were fired during the encounter.

Police discovered checks allegedly written to the victims account and made out to Melville, Reddington said.

Melville is in the Union County jail with no bail set. He is also accused of a state parole violation, Reddington said.