By Paul Daquilante • Staff Writer • 

Sheridan man arrested after twice firing weapon

He allegedly fired a shot on New Year’s Eve as well, after causing a series of disturbances downtown and getting into an argument with neighbors. No one was hit by either of the rounds.

Capt. Tim Svenson of the Yamhill County Sheriff’s Office identified him as James Ellsworth Maley II, 42, of 235 N.E. Hill St.

Maley was charged with one count each of second-degree disorderly conduct, menacing, pointing a firearm at another person, recklessly endangering another person and unlawful use of a weapon in connection with the New Year’s Eve incident. He was charged with one count each of second-degree disorderly conduct and carrying a concealed weapon without a permit in connection with the New Year’s Day incident.

The weapon charge is a Class C felony. The other charges are a combination of Class A and B misdemeanors.

He was lodged in the county jail on $60,000 bail. During his Wednesday arraignment in circuit court, Judge John Collins appointed Portland attorney Steve Lindsey to represent him.

Svenson gave this account of the New Year’s Eve incident:

The sheriff’s office received a report that Maley had been seen leaving a local bar in an “agitated, mad and upset” state. Witnesses said they saw him punching vehicles in a store parking lot.

“Later, while he was walking toward Hill Street, on his way home, he came across some people who were in the front yard of a residence,” Svenson said. “They were celebrating. He got into an argument with them and caused a disturbance there.”

One of them followed Maley home. As he approched the residence, he saw Maley standing on the front porch with what he believed was a rifle.

Svenson said Maley told the man who had followed him, “You might want to leave the area. There’s going to be a shootout with the cops.”

The man returned home to call the sheriff’s office about the events, and deputies arrived to talk to him and other witnesses.

“While they were talking to those people, they heard a single gunshot,” Svenson said. “They took cover, assuming this guy was shooting at them.”

They surrounded the residence and assessed the situation.

Svenson responded, and after being briefed, he requested an Oregon State Police SWAT unit. However, OSP did not think it had sufficient justification to send a unit from Salem.

“He had fired just the single round,” Svenson said. “He had closed the blinds, so we knew that he had not harmed himself. He was by himself.

“We made the decision that there was no reason to further antagonize him over some misdemeanor crimes. We cleared out shortly after midnight and left the area.”

However, one deputy remained to monitor the situation.

Svenson gave this account of the New Year’s Day incident:

Deputies were informed about noon that Maley’s mother had arrived.

“She contacted him to see about getting him some help,” Svenson said. “He’s been dealing with some drug and mental health issues.

“He’s recently divorced, he’s not working, he’s got a lot of problems he’s dealing with. She just wanted to get him some help.”

Maley got into an argument with his mother, ordered her out, went into a bedroom and fired a round from a weapon, prompting her to call 911.

“I called the SWAT commander,” Svenson said. “They said they would not respond.

“We weighed our options. There had been no imminent threat to anyone’s life. He did not fire the weapon at anyone else or at any other residences. He had just fired a round.”

Deputies decided it was not worth storming the residence, and that decision paid off about 30 to 40 minutes later, when Maley emerged unarmed and started walking down the street. He was taken into custody without further incident.

Twice in recent weeks, Maley has been transported to the Willamette Valley Medical Center for a mental health evaluation. Svenson said it could not be conducted either time because he had drugs in his system.

“A mental health evaluation will not be done under those circumstances,” Svenson said.

“We’ve talked to Silas,” he said, referring to Silas Halloran-Steiner, director of health and human services for the county. “He admits the system isn’t perfect. They do what they can.

“My hope is to get mental health on board and get him whatever help he needs. He’s going to jail tonight because we need to make sure the community of Sheridan is safe at this time.”

The captain said he didn’t want to transport Maley back to the hospital because there was a good chance he was under the influence of drugs again, so would be turned away.

Svenson praised deputies for the way they handled the situation. He said they kept neighbors informed about the activity and gave them an opportunity to evacuate if they wished.

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