Oakdale Police arrested a wanted felon in possession of a handgun after a foot pursuit on Wednesday, March 16 in what could have ended up with deadly results.
Oakdale Police Chief Lester Jenkins said officers were summoned to a residence after a caller alerted them that Russell Middleton, 42, of Oakdale, went into a house on Longmeadow Street. The caller was familiar with Middleton’s criminal past and requested a welfare check at the residence. Officers also were familiar with Middleton through prior contacts and a computer check showed he had three outstanding arrest warrants.
The chief noted that on duty officers went to the home and took positions around it. When contact was attempted at the front door, Middleton fled through a back door, hopping a back fence.
Chief Jenkins said officers gave chase and caught up with Middleton in a backyard about four houses down. When officers confronted Middleton, he had a pistol in his hand.
Officers on the scene drew their service weapons and ordered Middleton to drop the gun. Prior to complying, Middleton continued to hold onto the gun, rapidly moving his arm, throwing the gun into another yard.
Officers took Middleton into custody and recovered a Glock .40 caliber pistol loaded with 15 rounds of ammunition
Chief Jenkins was very complimentary of the personnel that handled the incident – Sgt. Ben Savage and officers Jon Burch, Daniel Taylor, and Jim Smith.
“I’m glad this turned out the way it did,” Chief Jenkins said, noting that the throwing movement by Middleton could have been justifiably taken as a drawing motion. “They could have easily shot and used deadly force considering he had a loaded gun in his hand.”
Middleton was arrested, in addition to the three warrants, for being a felon in possession of a firearm, possession of a loaded firearm, a felon in possession of ammunition, possessing a high-capacity magazine, and resisting arrest. Officers also had a parole hold placed on him when he was booked at Stanislaus County Jail.
Jenkins said the gun was registered to an individual out of Modesto, but investigators have not been able to locate him to ascertain if it had been stolen.