MAPLETON — Thursday morning, 37-year-old Chad Randolph Miller threatened several Mapleton residents in an apparent attempt to obtain a car before being arrested by Lane County Sheriffs around noon.
Jesse Johnson, owner of Caffeination Station, was talking with Florence resident and Mapleton High School teacher Aaron Longo when Miller approached them asking for Longo’s car.
“He said he was a special agent who had a son being held by pedophiles and needed a car to go get him,” said Johnson. “He had a heavy alcohol smell and was talking a mile a minute, which made me believe he may have been on meth or something.
“His skin was pockmarked and he didn’t look healthy.”
At that point, Johnson suggested to Miller that he contact the police if his son was in danger, and gave Miller a phone to call 911.
“He dialed the number, talked for a minute then hung up the phone,” said Johnson. “It was pretty obvious he didn’t really complete the call.”
Miller then left the coffee shop and began eyeing Longo’s car, a GMC Envoy, then returned and demanded the keys.
“I told him I wasn’t giving him my car,” said Longo.
Agitated, Miller hollered “Not even for a kid?” and asked for the keys again.
When Longo again refused, Miller said he would have him arrested and insisted on the keys. Longo declined a third time, and Miller threatened that he would “Remove his face” before heading outside.
According to Johnson, Miller went into Frank’s Place, then came back out before heading to the local gas station at the end of the strip of shops. At that point, Frank Wells, owner of Frank’s Place, entered Johnson’s coffee shop and asked if Miller had wanted a car.
Johnson called Lane County Sheriffs, whose dispatcher told him someone had already called from Randy’s Riverview Market and that officers were en route.
When Miller began heading east up Highway 126 on foot toward Veneta, Johnson called the Sheriffs Department to alert them.
“That’s when they told me someone had reported the man had a knife and to not approach him,” Johnson said.
A short time later, Miller was stopped by Sheriffs on the Mapleton Bridge, prompting a short closure as they took him into custody at approximately 12:30 p.m.
Miller is currently being held in the Lane County Jail on charges of first-degree robbery, unauthorized use of motor vehicle and second-degree assault.