PENDLETON — A man was arrested on charges of burglary, theft, criminal mischief, escape and resisting arrest on Sunday, May 2, after a brief chase resulted in a fight with police officers that left both the man and an officer with minor injuries, according to a press release from Pendleton Police Chief Charles Byram.

Police on April 26 began investigating a reported burglary that occurred at Highly Active, a tobacco shop in downtown Pendleton on 318 South Main St. Three longboards, each priced at $160, were stolen from the business and a window was smashed, with damages estimated at approximately $1,500, the press release said.

Later, in the early hours of May 2, a police officer recognized a man he knew to be Colten Kee Nez, 31, carrying a longboard in the parking area of The Marigold Hotel on 105 Southeast Court Avenue in Pendleton. Nez fled on foot and left the longboard behind. Police lost Nez, but the longboard was confirmed as one of the three stolen from Highly Active, the press release said.

That same day, Pendleton police located Nez at the Marigold and attempted to arrest him, but Nez resisted arrest and fled, the press release said.

Three officers, two from Pendleton and one from Umatilla Tribal Police, chased Nez to the laundry room of the apartments above Virgil’s at Cimmiyotti’s at 137 South Main St. Nez, who Byram said is a large man trained in mixed martial arts, fought back as police tried to hold him down and make the arrest.

While Nez struggled, a knife fell from his waistband and injured an officer, but medical attention was not needed, the press release said.

“This could have ended badly for everyone involved,” Byram said.

Nez received medical attention and was admitted to St. Anthony Hospital due to concerns over his use of a controlled substance and complaints of pains to his side after the fight, according to Byram, who added that police hadn’t learned of any injuries to Nez.

Nez was later released from the hospital and was arrested on charges of second-degree burglary, first-degree criminal mischief, second-degree theft, two counts of second-degree escape and two counts of resisting arrest, the press release said. He was booked in the Umatilla County Jail with bail set at $55,000, according to the jail’s website.

The case will now be turned over to the Umatilla County District Attorney’s Office, the press release said.


Reporter primarily covering government and public safety in Umatilla and Morrow County.

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