CANYON CITY - The second of two local men arrested in connection with a reported disturbance at a residence in the 500 block of Southeast Hillcrest Road and an ensuing struggle with police pled guilty in Grant County Circuit Court on Thursday, Jan. 30.
Thomas Jonah Salvino, 19, John Day, entered a guilty plea on a charge of resisting arrest and also pled "no contest" to a charge of third-degree escape as a result of his reported confrontation with law enforcement officers from the John Day Police Department and the Grant County Sheriff's Office. "No contest" is a plea that means a defendant neither admits nor denies the charges; this plea protects against civil prosecution and requires consent of the court.
The disturbance was reported at about 1:50 a.m. on Sunday, Dec. 8, 2002. A struggle with police ensued, during which time, a handgun fell to the ground.
According to police, neighbors had complained of a loud party at the residence on Hillcrest Road. Officer Tom Hutchison and Deputy Jason Reiling were dispatched to the scene, and they reported observing two individuals, one of whom was carrying a case of beer, leaving the residence. The two were later identified as Salvino and Colton Ray Clark, 18.
Officers reported that as they approached the pair, Salvino, the one who was carrying the beer, fled; Hutchison chased him behind the Country Peddler, where a struggle ensued.
During the struggle, police said a handgun Salvino was carrying fell from his person.
At this time, according to police, Reiling arrived to assist, and the two officers attempted to take Salvino into custody; but police said they met with interference from Clark, who joined the struggle. Clark was arrested at the scene, but Salvino was able to escape, and he was taken into custody by authorities later in the afternoon.
Salvino was charged with resisting arrest, unlawful possession of a firearm, third-degree escape and minor in possession/purchasing liquor.
In Thursday's plea agreement, the charges of unlawful possession of a firearm and minor in possession/purchase of liquor were dismissed.
Also on Thursday, Salvino entered a "no contest" plea at a diversion revocation hearing on a separate charge of resisting arrest from an incident which occurred on June 5, 2002. He had been facing charges of assaulting a public safety officer and resisting arrest in this incident.
Judge William Cramer accepted Salvino's plea and dismissed the "assaulting a public safety officer" charge as part of a negotiated agreement.
On the charges of resisting arrest and third-degree escape, as derived from the Dec. 8 incident, Salvino was sentenced to serve 35 days in the Grant County Jail on each charge and ordered to pay unitary assessments totaling $130.
In addition, he was sentenced to 35 days in jail on the resisting arrest charge from June 6, and ordered to pay a unitary assessment of $65. Cramer ordered that this jail sentence run concurrently.
On Jan. 9, Clark pled guilty to charges of interfering with a peace officer and resisting arrest. He was sentenced to 18 months bench probation and fined.