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DailyTidings.com
  • SWAT raid in Talent nets suspected racist

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  • Photos by Julie MunafoThis dog defended Dale Amstutz-Dunn from a canine officer as he tried to escape from Talent and Medford police.
    A Portland man with alleged ties to a white supremacist gang was caught by a police dog as Medford Police SWAT team surrounded a house in Talent on Sunday morning.
    Dale Amstutz-Dunn, 25, tried to escape out of a back window as the SWAT team announced their arrival at 145 Taylor Street at about 7 a.m.
    Talent and Medford Police officers had already surrounded the house.
    Amstutz-Dunn, who was arrested for being a felon in possession of a firearm, was caught by Tiko, the Medford Police dog.
    Amstutz-Dunn's pit bill then entered the fray.
    "His dog came out the window as we were trying to arrest him," Lt. Tim George, of Medford Police, said. "There was a bit of a struggle between the two dogs. Our officers and the K-9 unit dealt with that."
    Police separated the dogs before they could hurt each other. Amstutz-Dunn was not so fortunate. The man was bit in the right arm and taken to Rogue Valley Medical Center before being taken to jail.
    Police found two guns inside the house, a shotgun and a .38 caliber revolver, discovered near the window Amstutz-Dunn jumped out of. Police believe the man might have been ready to use the weapon to defend himself against the arresting officers.
    A state and federal gang task force from the Portland area had informed Medford police that Amstutz-Dunn and another man, Shane Allen Waltner, were in the area.
    The pair were involved in a series of thefts and burglaries involving firearms in the Portland area, police believe. They are also suspected of being involved with a white supremacist gang, that operates in and outside of prison, called the Organized Aryan Crime Syndicate, George said.
    "They're what we refer to in the trade as 'real live bad guys,'" George said. "We don't normally use the SWAT team for search warrants unless there is a high risk. This wasn't an average search warrant."
    Police continue to search for Allen Waltner, 26. He is 5-feet 11-inches, 240 pounds, with brown hair and blue eyes. Police thought he would be at the residence during the SWAT raid. They are not sure if he is still in the area.
    "I don't know if he has gotten wind of what happened or not," George said.
    Eighteen police officers from Medford and Talent, with the help of two armored vehicles, secured the area early Sunday morning. Prior to their arrival, they evacuated four nearby residences from the vicinity in case the situation became violent, George said.
    Police arrested two others during the raid. &
    Aja Michelle Benefiel, 25 of Medford, and Robin Sophia Kigel, 21, who lives at the Taylor Street house &
    on separate parole violations. Benefiel was "crashing there," George said.
    Police reports said Methamphetamine was also found at the house on Sunday morning.
    "More than likely there will be some drug charges," George said. "There were people coming and going that use meth."
    The activity caused quite a stir on Taylor Street as neighbors, who were kept off the street, watched from the corner of Taylor Street and Talent Avenue.
    "It was kind of exciting," said Ken Baxter, who lives on Taylor Street.
    Fred Saunders, who used a pair of binoculars to keep tabs on the action, said the megaphone police used to make contact with the suspects woke him up.
    Staff writer can be reached at 482-3456 x. 226 or
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