Published: Monday, October 04, 2010, 6:09 PM Updated: Wednesday, October 06, 2010, 5:30 PM
Maxine Bernstein, The Oregonian
Dustin Haas was playing video games in the living room of his Southeast Portland home one night when one of his pit bulls started growling.
Haas wondered what was wrong. He found his dog, Hennessey, outside the bathroom.
"The way my dog was barking rapidly" Haas said, "I could tell he was real scared."
Haas grabbed a baseball bat out of his sports bag, and stepped into the bathroom.
He slowly pulled the shower curtain open, and found a strange man lying in his bathtub, covered in mud, sweating profusely and wearing Haas' University of Oregon Ducks football jersey.
"It scared the crap out of me," said Haas, whose two young daughters, ages 3 and 5, were asleep on the couch.
The man in the tub reached for his wallet, pulled out a $100 bill, and offered it to Haas to keep him from calling police.
"I'm screaming bloody murder, 'Who are you? Get your hands up! How'd you get my shirt on? How long have you been in my house? Why are you running from the police?' " Haas recalled.
But the intruder just kept waving his money in front of Haas, pleading "Please, Please, don't call police."
"I just said, 'No dude. No dude. No dude.'... I don't know what kind of burglar he was because he had multiple $100 bills in his wallet," Haas, 24, recalled. "I kept telling him, 'I won't call the cops, just leave! Just leave!' "
Finally, the strange man, his eyes bloodshot, stepped out of the bathtub. Holding his bat, Haas walked backwards, leading the man to the front door.
"As I got to the door, he's begging me, trying to offer me money. I had to push him because he wouldn't leave," Haas said. "I finally slammed the door on him, ran around the back and locked the back door."
Haas suspects the man entered the unlocked back door of his one-story home in the 8100 block of Southeast Woodstock Boulevard sometime between 10 and 11 p.m., and snatched his Ducks No. 2 jersey from the pile of dirty laundry on his washing machine. (Portland police spokesman Sgt. Pete Simpson, when asked to verify the type of Oregon football jersey, didn't hide his allegiance to the Beavers by replying: "Ducks jersey...Dirty ducks!" )
Haas immediately called the police and found them already in the neighborhood. They were using a dog to track a suspect, who was accused of breaking into his brother's ex-girlfriend's father's home the night before.
It wasn't until the following morning, Sept. 19, that police traced the suspect to a crawl-space in Stephen Walls' detached garage in the 8900 block of Southeast Lincoln St. Walls and his family had just awakened about 8 a.m. that Sunday. While his kids watched cartoons, he let his chocolate lab out, and the dog started barking at police surrounding his garage.
Radai Artega-Vasquez,27, pleaded not guilty to first-degree burglary, second-degree criminal trespass, and failure to appear on a Beaverton traffic warrant. He also faces an immigration hold.
"He's looking at some serious prison time," Simpson said, "for what amounts to running from a traffic warrant and a trespass charge."
So what happened to Haas' Ducks' jersey, with former star running back Onterrio Smith's number on it?
Haas, not a UO alum but a fan, said he's bummed he never got it back. But Artega-Vasquez is facing a more serious burglary charge because he snatched that jersey. Police are still looking for it.
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