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Trooper Shoots Pit Bull Attacking Him During Arrest near La Grande
08/06/2010
Sergeant Larry Graves
Oregon State Police - La Grande
(541) 963-7175

An Oregon State Police (OSP) trooper shot and killed a pit bull Wednesday night after he was bit while trying to arrest the dog's owner during a traffic contact west of La Grande. The trooper was treated and released at a local hospital after the incident.
 
On August 4, 2010 at approximately 8:28 p.m. Trooper Robert Routt II stopped to help a disabled motorist eastbound on Interstate 84 near milepost 254. Routt called for a tow truck and upon re-contacting the driver he felt the driver wasn't being truthful about his identity and was trying to arrest him. The driver refused to comply and fled on foot into the traffic lanes, jumped the guardrail and hid in nearby bushes.
 
Routt found the man and ordered him to come out of the bushes. As Routt was taking him into custody the driver's 40 lb. female pit bull came out of the vehicle and attacked Routt, biting him in his right calf.
 
Routt drew his handgun and shot at the pit bull as it continued to bite his leg. The pit bull let go and moved a few feet away when Routt shot and killed it.
 
The driver, RICKY JO HELTON, age 20, from La Grande, was taken into custody without further incident. He was lodged in the Union County Jail for Misdemeanor Attempt to Elude on Foot, Furnishing False Information to a Police Officer, Failure to Carry and Present a Driver License, Disorderly Conduct, and Maintaining a Dangerous Dog.
 
The deceased pit bull is to be tested for rabies.