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Update: Grant County Assault, Burglary, Attempted Robbery Suspect Arrested
11/03/2008
Todd McKinley, Undersheriff
Grant County Sheriff's Office
Phone: (541) 575-1132

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The suspect sought by Grant County Sheriff's Office and Oregon State Police related to an investigation of a Halloween night attempted burglary and assault of an award winning medical marijuana provider in the Long Creek area was arrested Saturday night in Walla Walla, Washington.
 
According to Grant County Undersheriff Todd McKinley, BOBBY LEE RUSTON, age 31, from Pendleton, was a person of interest in the case and remained at large until he was arrested by Walla Walla Police Department the evening of November 1st. A tip led police to a private residence were he was arrested without incident.
 
RUSTON, who had outstanding warrants and was believed to be armed and dangerous, had suffered a gunshot wound to his right hand. He is currently lodged at a Walla Walla area jail.
 
On Halloween evening, October 31, 2008, a 53-year old Long Creek resident was the victim of two masked subjects who the homeowner initially believed to be pulling a Halloween prank. The situation became serious when one of the masked individuals displayed a handgun and told the victim he was willing to use it. Investigators believe the suspects' motive was to steal medical marijuana from the victim's residence.

 
A scuffle ensued between the male victim and the suspect with the firearm, resulting in the handgun discharging. Neither the victim nor any of the other persons present in the residence were struck. The victim was hit repeatedly by the second suspect before both suspects fled the scene.
 
The victim, David Verstoppen, was later treated and released from the Blue Mountain Hospital in John Day.
 
Information provided by witnesses led to a traffic stop by Oregon State Police on a vehicle of interest south of Pilot Rock. The vehicle's two occupants attempted to flee but one of the suspects, LANCE SANCHEZ, age 28, from Milton Freewater, was taken into custody nearby. Officers were unable to find RUSTON.
 
SANCHEZ was lodged in Umatilla County Jail for Assault in the Second Degree, Attempted Robbery in the First Degree, Burglary in the First Degree, and Menacing.

 
Grant County Sheriff Deputies, Oregon State Police and John Day Police Officers responded to the initial Long Creek incident.