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Posted on: May 3, 2021

Man Arrested for DUII/Unlawful Possession of a Firearm

EPD Patrol Vehicle

On May 2 at 5:12 a.m., a Eugene Police received report of a man passed out with his vehicle running in the far right lane on Franklin Boulevard at E. 11th Avenue. 


Officers pinned the vehicle in to avoid the man possibly driving once awakened and because they spotted a semi-automatic rifle behind the passenger seat within reaching distance and the man had a large sheath on his left hip, with what appeared to be a large knife or machete style blade on the passenger seat. Officers attempted several times to rouse the man, later identified as Romaldo Luis Vela, Jr. Age 22. Vela awoke and refused to obey commands and started reaching around the passenger compartment of his vehicle. Officers continued to give commands for Vela to stop reaching and put his hands on the steering wheel. Vela put his vehicle in drive, and accelerated into the patrol vehicle parked in front of him and continued to hold down the accelerator. He then put the vehicle in reverse and attempted to back away from the patrol vehicle. An officer had to reposition the patrol vehicle to prevent further movement.

Vela continued to attempt to drive his vehicle and reach around the passenger compartment, with a sergeant staying close by and giving commands to Vela. Vela refused to comply and officers called in additional units for emergency help. 

 

Due to Vela`s behavior and access to several deadly weapons officers ended up extracting him from the vehicle through the driver’s side window. Officers continued commands and Vela refused to comply and he again started reaching around the interior of the vehicle. OC spray was deployed to subdue Vela so he could be safely taken into custody. Once Vela was in custody officers found he had a concealed firearm on his belt as well as extra magazines in a pouch and a large knife. Vela did not have a valid license to carry a concealed weapon in Oregon. Vela was lodged at the Lane County Jail for DUII-Alcohol and Unlawful Possession of a Firearm.
 

Multiple other knives and a second semi-automatic rifle were located in the vehicle.

Case 21-06657Photo of Romaldo Luis Vela Jr

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