Hatchet-wielding man arrested after chasing juveniles with hunting knife

As of Thursday morning, the suspect remained in the Lane County jail facing more than a dozen charges.

Posted: May 28, 2020 9:44 AM
Updated: May 28, 2020 10:56 AM

SPRINGFIELD, Ore. -- A group of youths, accompanied by an adult, planned to go swimming in the McKenzie River Wednesday evening. But their plans got derailed when they stumbled upon a man reportedly spraying graffiti under a bridge along the river. 

According to the Lane County Sheriff's Office, this happened on Marcola Road and Old Mohawk Road. Investigators said Justin Rex Turner, 47, threw a hatchet at the group, almost hitting them. Then, Turner is accused of chasing them with a hunting knife. One of the victims was hurt while running from the suspect, according to LCSO. 

At some point during the foot chase, Turner got into a car to flee the scene, hitting a driver as Turner pulled out onto Marcola Road, deputies said. The other driver was taken to the hospital with injuries. That man's dog, also in the car, was not reportedly hurt. After that crash, investigators said Turner jumped from a nearby bridge into the McKenzie River.

LCSO, the Springfield Police Department, and a police dog helped track down the suspect and bring him into custody. Turner is charged with second-degree attempted assault, two counts of fourth-degree assault, six counts of menacing, two counts of unlawful use of a weapon, driving while suspended, hit-and-run, warrant for second-degree criminal mischief and interfering with a police officer, and a probation violation. 

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