Public Safety & Health

Manhunt for stabbing suspect put city on high alert

Jamie Oldfield

CRESWELL – It was a typical Monday evening … until it wasn’t.
By 7 p.m., about 30 local and state police officers and their canines blanketed the city in search of a man who allegedly stabbed someone on the 31500 block of Lynx Hollow Road and fled on Oct. 15.
Jamie Oldfield, 42, of Creswell, allegedly stabbed another man – believed by police to be a relative – in the chest and abdomen around 5:15 p.m. at the family’s house on Lynx Hollow Road.
Between Lane County Sheriff’s Office and the Oregon State Police, about eight vehicles responded to the Lynx Hollow scene. By the time police arrived, Oldfield had fled in a silver Toyota Corolla and was headed toward Creswell.
The injured man was transported to the hospital for treatment, though his condition was unknown by presstime Tuesday. Police would not release the victim’s name.
While police were entering the scene of the crime, Oldfield was sighted at the Dari Mart on South Front Street. He had ditched the silver car in the store’s back parking lot and ”that’s when we knew he had taken off by foot,” Sgt. Scott Denham said.
From there, the police presence swelled.
With over 30 officers, the police ”response was a large one since we believed the suspect to be armed and dangerous,” Denham said.
Police searched greenways, parks, church lots and gas stations. They spoke with local residents and transients, but came up short.
”Our main problem was we had no direction where he had fled from the Dari Mart,” Denham said. ”We were starting from scratch.”
After a while, ”We were ready to give up. The track went cold. The canines circled all around the city. We were ready to try another avenue” to locate the suspect, Denham said.

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Deborah Gallagher, who lives on C Street, knew of the commotion unfolding in town – the online clamor and whispers in the neighborhood of a stabbing and now a sighting of Oldfield at the Dari Mart – but did not fear for her safety, she said.
”I didn’t think he was out to hurt anyone else,” she said. ”It sounded like it was something that had happened in the heat of the moment between family.”
As a standard precaution, Gallagher alerted her elderly neighbors about the Dari Mart sighting and went along with her business.
Sometime after 7:40 p.m., Gallagher had taken the trash out to the curb and came back inside. Moments later, the motion sensor on Gallagher’s doorbell signaled.
She peered out into the darkness but saw nothing unusual.
”I closed the door and about 30 seconds later, I saw flashes of light outside my house,” Gallagher said, estimating at least six police vehicles outside. ”I went out there and (police) were telling the guy to get on the ground.”
The conclusion came just as police were considering a different approach for locating the suspect. A group of men driving down Oregon Avenue, however, spotted Oldfield coming out of a portable toilet on 5th Street near a garage under construction at nearby home.
The men driving by had seen the sheriff’s post online with a photo and a description of Oldfield, Denham said. Once they recognized Oldfield, the men called 911 and ”kept an eye on him” until police arrived and moved in on the suspect.
Denham said that Oldfield did not resist arrest. ”He laid down on the ground and did what he was told,” Denham said. Oldfield was not armed at the time of his arrest, Denham said.
The incident itself was ”horrible and it changes lives for a lot of people,” Gallagher said. ”I just felt that seeing him on the ground there; I just felt bad for him, sad for him and his family because, somehow, it got that far.”
Despite the commotion around town and on social media, Gallagher said she doesn’t care to speculate or pass judgement on what unfolded Monday evening on Lynx Hollow Road.
”Except for the people involved, no one knows what happened that night,” she said. ”We don’t know what is going on inside of their heads or the intimate details of the relationship of these people. I am not excusing it by any means, but people should have more understanding and compassion.”
Oldfield is being held at the Lane County Jail and is expected to be arraigned sometime this week. Information on criminal charges will be forthcoming.



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