Intoxicated man assaults two, kills Chihuahua

Jason Leis

An intoxicated man attacked his father and another man Friday night in Pendleton, then killed their Chihuahua.

Pendleton police Chief Stuart Roberts said Jason Allen Leis, 31, broke more laws before officers caught him Saturday morning while he was in a state of undress.

Police received an emergency call Friday at 9:49 p.m. to respond to an attack at Brooke RV Park, 5 N.E. Eighth St., Pendleton. Roberts said that is the residence of Leis’ father, Michael Leis, 61, and another man, Malcolm Papritz, 68. The younger Leis showed up there high and intoxicated, Roberts said, and a fight ensued. Jason Leis grabbed his father by the throat, threatened him with a blade and sliced the older man’s arm. Roberts said the cut was superficial. Leis then turned on Papritz, punching him over and again.

Leis next snatched up the men’s pet Chihuahua, Roberts said, and slashed the dog’s throat, killing it. Leis stole his father’s wallet and vehicle and fled.

While officers were talking to the two victims, a Pendleton man at 610 S.W. Second St. reported a stranger was on his porch and trying to get into his house. He said the man wore a jacket but no shirt and spoke with an Australian accent, according to the police activity log. The clothing description matched Jason Leis.

Roberts said the suspect took off while officers were en route, but moments later the resident called again and said the stranger kicked in his back door and was inside the home. Cops arrived, but the burglar fled out the back.

Pendleton officers spotted Jason Leis at 6:48 a.m. Saturday on the first block of Northwest 10th Street.

“He didn’t have much on in the way of clothing,” Roberts said, which is typical of people under the influence of drugs, who can feel warm and then shed clothes. Leis was cold, the chief said, and gave no resistance to officers.

“He was ready to turn himself in,” he said.

Police questioned Leis, but he remained under the influence of whatever substance he used, Roberts said. Still, Leis told police he hid his father’s wallet and other items by the caboose at Heritage Station Museum, 108 S.W. Frazer Ave., Pendleton. Officers checked, Roberts said, and found the items.

Police arrested Leis and booked him into the Umatilla County Jail, Pendleton, for the assaults, criminal mischief and second-degree theft, all misdemeanors. But killing the dog is first-degree animal abuse, a felony, Roberts said, as is stealing the vehicle. Leis also faces a felony for first-degree burglary and misdemeanors for menacing and disorderly conduct.

Leis appeared Monday in court in Pendleton via video from jail. He told the court he had been working at Keystone RV and staying with his father but could not return there. Papritz was in court for the hearing and told a deputy prosecutor the older Leis kicked out his son. The Umatilla County District Attorney’s Office charged Leis with second-degree assault, unauthorized use of a motor vehicle and aggravated animal abuse, all felonies. A court-appointed defense attorney pleaded not guilty for Leis. Umatilla County Circuit Court Judge Lynn Hampton told Leis a grand jury has yet to review the case for charges. She set Leis’ next hearing for Friday morning and set his bail at $90,000.

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