Jayson Jacoby
The Baker City Herald

District Attorney said woman Mack is accused of assaulting allegedly fired two shots from handgun

By Jayson Jacoby


A Baker City man is charged with several crimes after a domestic assault Thursday morning that prompted police to call in a SWAT team and close a section of North Cedar Street for several hours.

Dale Mack, 38, of 3660 Cedar St., who was arrested behind his home about 10 a.m. Thursday, was scheduled to be arraigned at 1:15 p.m. today in Baker County Circuit Court on six misdemeanor counts.

His bail was set at $52,500.

The Northeastern Oregon SWAT team, which is based in La Grande and includes members from Baker and Union counties, was summoned after it was reported that shots were fired during the incident.

District Attorney Matt Shirtcliff said there is no evidence that Mack fired the gun.

Rather, it appears that the woman Mack is accused of assaulting at his home grabbed a handgun and fired two shots, neither of which hit anyone, Shirtcliff said.

Mack had earlier pointed that same gun at the woman, Shirtcliff said.

Mack is charged with pointing a firearm at another person, fourth-degree assault (domestic), strangulation, menacing, harassment, and contempt of court.

The latter charge is related to a separate incident earlier, in which Mack is accused of violating his restraining order by having contact with a different woman than the one he's accused of assaulting.

Baker City Police were called to Mack's house at 1:06 a.m. Thursday on a report of a "suspicious situation."

Baker City Police Sgt. Kirk McCormick said the woman Mack is accused of assaulting had, after firing two shots, left the house and traveled to her brother's home in Baker City.

The brother called police, and the woman admitted firing the gun, McCormick said.

When police arrived at Mack's house at 1:06 a.m., he was not there, McCormick said.

Nor did they find the gun the woman said she had fired.

Because it appeared that Mack might he hiding somewhere, and because it was possible he had the gun, McCormick said he decided to call in the SWAT team.

He said Baker City Police Sgt. Michael Regan, who is a member of the SWAT team, agreed that calling in the team was appropriate given the circumstances.

Not long after the SWAT team arrived police secured a search warrant allowing them to search not only Mack's home, but the rest of the property, which covers about a half-acre east of Cedar Street, McCormick said.

The team eventually determined that Mack was in a travel trailer east of the home.

Patsy Blair, who was watching from the back yard of her home at 1105 Idlewood, just north of Mack's home, said SWAT team members fired "flashbangs," grenade-like devices that emit a brilliant light and loud noise designed to temporarily stun a person, onto the roof of the travel trailer.

Mack then emerged from the trailer and he was arrested without incident, McCormick said.

"He was totally cooperative," McCormick said.

Cedar Street was closed between Hughes Lane and H Street for several hours.

He said the incident was "a great example of the willingness of local agencies to work together."

Shirtcliff said that although the woman admitted firing two shots from the handgun, he is reviewing police reports to determine whether, as is possible, that she acted in self-defense.