Police surround Clay Street Park in search of robbery suspect

Ashland police surrounded Clay Street Park on Friday afternoon after a man with a felony warrant for a robbery evaded arrest in the area.

After bringing in a Jackson County Sheriff's Office dog to track the suspect, police found and arrested Ashland resident Nicholas Elliott, 19. He was charged with resisting arrest and escaping police custody, and lodged at the Jackson County Jail.

Officers were called to Normal Avenue at about 2:45 p.m. after a resident requested a police presence during an interaction with Elliot, said Sgt. Hector Meletich with the Ashland Police Department.

"Apparently the subject had some sort of problem with another individual and the other individual wanted police to be standing by," he said.

When police arrived, they realized that Elliott had a felony warrant out for his arrest for a robbery and another warrant for being in possession of cocaine and tampering with police evidence, said Officer Phil Gray.

Both warrants were out of Multnomah County and appeared to be several years old, he said. More details on the warrants were not immediately available.

When officers attempted to arrest Elliot, he fled on foot, Meletich said.

Police surrounded the area near Clay Street and Faith Avenue, but were at first unable to find the suspect.

"We set up a perimeter, and he must have broken the perimeter and got away from us," Meletich said.

Police then saw Elliot as he was about to leave in a car. Officers again moved to arrest him, but he fled, running to the area near Clay Street Park.

Police brought in the Sheriff's canine unit to narrow the search area, and eventually found Elliot at The Stratford Garden Apartments on Clay Street at 5:07 p.m.

Because Elliot was wearing only a T-shirt and shorts when officers first tried to arrest him, they weren't concerned that he was armed or dangerous, Meletich said.

But during the search, officers did tell residents at the apartment complex, which borders Clay Street Park, to keep an eye out for the suspect and to call 911 if they believed they saw him.

"They asked us if we saw anybody running," said Cindy Shroy, who was standing outside her apartment with her 20-year-old daughter, Amber.

"But we've just seen the cops running," Amber said.

Meletich said the officers got such a work out during the chase that they were considering bringing a third charge before Elliot: "making old police officers out of breath."

Contact staff writer Hannah Guzik at 482-3456 ext. 226 or hguzik@dailytidings.com.

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