Sheriff: Wanted man knocks Coos County sergeant unconscious, steals couple’s car

Crash scene - Coos County Sheriff's Office photo

COOS BAY, Ore. – A wanted man is in custody Wednesday after officials say he knocked out a sheriff’s sergeant and stole a car before hiding in a stranger’s building.

Eric Wadkins, 40, of Coos Bay, had an open warrant for failure to appear in court on a domestic violence charge.

The sergeant was treated at the hospital and is okay.

An anonymous tipster told police Wednesday that Wadkins was hiding out at a home on SW 10th Road.

Coos County Sheriff’s Sgt. Adam Slater went out to the home and tried to take him into custody, however Wadkins temporarily knocked the sergeant unconscious. Officials said he’s also accused of trying to take Sgt. Slater’s gun out of its holster. The sergeant managed to keep his firearm from the suspect.

According to investigators, Wadkins ran off into a wooded area while Sgt. Slater called for backup.

As local law enforcement set up a perimeter, 911 dispatchers received a call from two people reporting that their car was stolen.

A North Bend Police officer was almost hit by the stolen vehicle when Wadkins crashed on 7 Devils Road just south of Charleston, officials said. He got out and ran off into the woods.

A K-9 tracked Wadkins to a building on someone’s property and he was eventually taken into custody.

Wadkins was taken to the hospital for an evaluation before he was booked into the Coos County Jail.

The Coos County Sheriff’s Office received help from the Coos Bay Police Department, North Bend Police Department, Coos County Sheriff's Office, Coquille Tribal Police Department, Bandon Police Department, Detectives from SCINT (South Coast Interagency Narcotics Team) and Oregon State Police.

From the sheriff’s office:

Sergeant Slater was also treated and released from the hospital. Sergeant Slater has been with the Coos County Sheriff's Office since 2002 with the exception of two years after the layoffs in 2007. Sergeant Slater was promoted on July 1, 2017. His is currently assigned as a patrol Sergeant and is a K-9 unit. Sergeant Slater's K-9 was not on-duty at the time of the incident.

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