Just after midnight on Monday, Jan. 27, 13th & Olive residents placed calls to the Eugene Police Department about multiple attempted break-ins at the apartment complex on Willamette Street.
According to Melinda McLaughlin, spokesperson for the Eugene Police Department, the suspect was identified as Waylon Anthony Welch, 43. One call placed to EPD came after Welch entered the common living space of a shared apartment. The residents of the apartment allegedly barricaded themselves inside their bedroom to avoid conflict.
Welch was booked at Lane County Jail on charges of criminal trespass and criminal mischief.
“Officers arrived and found that Welch had locked the apartment he entered and refused to engage officers in conversation or come to the door,” McLaughlin said in an emailed statement. “Officers were able to breach the front door and made announcements for Welch, who was ultimately taken into custody without further incident.”
According to 13th & Olive resident and UO student Emily Grasberger, the suspect opened the door to her apartment while she and three others, including her roommate, were in the residence. However, he did not fully enter the residence.
“As we were hanging out we noticed the door suddenly opened slightly as if it were pushed,” Grasberger said. “My roommate, Faith, went to the door and saw a middle-aged man from the back who was getting on the elevator and described him to be pushing something.”
“All of a sudden we see our door opened by someone about an inch,” Faith Guzman, Grasberger’s roommate and a UO student, said. “I quickly got up and poked my head out of the door and look both ways. To my right, I saw a man in a gray men’s beret hat, black shirt and blue jeans.”
Grasberger explained that not long after they locked the door, they witnessed the door handle start to move again. At that point, Ardeshir Tabrizian, a friend of Grasberger and Guzman’s who was in the apartment at the time, placed a call to EPD.
Guzman went on to describe hearing yelling in the hallway. According to Guzman, police ended up letting a K-9 unit loose in the apartment that Welch was in.
Soon after the call was placed, officers removed the man from the premises. Residents were later informed that Welch was not affiliated with the apartment complex and entered the premises illegally.
“I’m not surprised about these things happening in downtown Eugene,” Guzman said. “Considering there was a shooting at this same complex this winter break, these things happen quite often,” she said, referring to a December incident.
13th & Olive did not respond to multiple requests for comment in time for publication.
The Emerald will continue to update this story as it develops.
Editor’s note: Ardeshir Tabrizian is a reporter for the Daily Emerald and was present at the time of this incident. He had no role in the writing of this story.
This story was updated to correct the spelling of Emily Grasberger's last name.