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Man arrested after Plaza vandalism

Second suspect eludes police
 Posted: 2:00 AM October 19, 2012

A Gold Hill man led Ashland police on a foot chase through downtown early Wednesday before being arrested on charges he vandalized City Hall and businesses in the area, authorities said.

Branny James Getz, 28, and another male who outran police allegedly smashed a window at City Hall, broke planter boxes near Martino's Bar and Macaroni's Ristorante, and tipped over several garbage cans around the Plaza and along lower East Main Street, said Ashland police Sgt. Jim Alderman.

The pair also allegedly shattered a glass table outside Munchies Restaurant and Bakery, knocked a window out of the information kiosk on the Plaza and broke a few decorative lights, Alderman said.

"There was no rhyme or reason for why they were breaking what they were breaking," he said.

Police responded to reports of vandalism in the downtown area at about 12:30 a.m., Alderman said.

Officers located Getz and another male on the Calle Guanajuato pedestrian walkway behind Munchies shortly after.

They chased Getz across Ashland Creek and beneath the Lithia Way overpass before tackling him on Water Street, Alderman said. The other male was nowhere to be found, he said.

Getz was lodged in the Jackson County Jail on charges of third-degree criminal mischief, second-degree disorderly conduct, interfering with a police officer and three counts of second-degree criminal mischief, police records show.

Getz posted $10,000 bail, court records show.

The damage is estimated to cost less than $1,000 to repair, Alderman said, with $600 of that going to replace the large pane at City Hall that police said was shattered with garbage can lids.

Getz pleaded not guilty to all charges Wednesday during an arraignment in Jackson County Circuit Court, records show. A pre-trial is scheduled for Oct. 29.

In February, Getz was arrested on charges he broke into the Gold Hill sewer treatment plant, stole a vehicle and vandalized multiple Gold Hill businesses. An Oregon State Police trooper arrested Getz after stopping him on Interstate 5 near Cottage Grove while he was driving a Gold Hill public works vehicle. OSP contacted Jackson County after learning the vehicle had been stolen.

In that case, Getz pleaded not guilty to unauthorized use of a motor vehicle and four counts of first-degree criminal mischief, court records show. A jury trial is scheduled for Nov. 6 in Jackson County Circuit Court.

Reach reporter Sam Wheeler at 541-499-1470 or email swheeler@dailytidings.com.


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