John Eric Young

Bank robbery, carjacking suspect in jail

A 40-year-old Medford man is accused of robbing a Medford bank and slashing a man with a knife while carjacking a getaway vehicle from a nearby church parking lot during a one-man crime spree on Thursday.

Authorities say John Eric Young, who 10 years ago killed a driver in a drug-fueled, head-on crash near Salem, is the masked man who wielded a screwdriver while robbing a Chase Bank teller of cash and attempting to rob a bank patron of money and car keys, reports state.

After failing to get access to a getaway car, Young allegedly ran next door to the Grace Christian School and used a knife to slash a 70-year-old Medford man's arm during a successful carjacking, according to the Medford Police Department.

Young allegedly fled the scene of the 3:45 p.m. robberies, but was found and arrested about four hours later in Gold Hill after crashing a vehicle into a fence, police said.

During his arrest, Young allegedly admitted to using methamphetamine and heroin, according to a police affidavit.

Young made his initial appearance Monday in Jackson County Circuit Court on a 13-count indictment alleging three counts of first-degree robbery, two counts of second-degree assault and single counts of first-degree theft, third-degree assault, menacing, unauthorized use and entry of a motor vehicle, driving under the influence of intoxicants, driving while suspended and failing to perform the duties of a driver.

Circuit Judge Tim Barnack set Young's bail at $1 million. Young, who appeared in court via a video feed from the Jackson County Jail, remained in custody Monday and was ordered back in court Nov. 20.

In robbing the Chase Bank at 601 Crater Lake Ave., Young allegedly threatened a female teller and reportedly made off with more than $1,000 in cash from the bank, court records state.

He also threatened bank patron George Nye, who refused Young's demands even after Young allegedly slashed at him, police said.

After fleeing the bank, Young allegedly still tried to steal Nye's vehicle, then ran next door to the school parking lot and tried to steal a parked pickup truck. When that failed, he jumped into Richard Robertson's parked Chevrolet Suburban while Robertson was in it, police said.

Young allegedly threatened Robertson with a knife and slashed Robertson's right forearm before Robertson fled in the Suburban, police said. He then drove the Suburban erratically out of the parking lot, striking and slightly injuring someone else, police said.

Robertson was treated at the scene for his injury, police said. The stolen Suburban was found 45 minutes later in a Circle K parking lot at the intersection of South Riverside Avenue and Barnett Road, police said.

While Medford police investigated the case, Jackson County sheriff's deputies investigating the Gold Hill crash came upon Young and believed he matched the description of the suspect in Medford's case, police said.

Medford police and FBI agents are investigating Thursday's case.

Young pleaded guilty on Nov. 30, 2007, to second-degree manslaughter, possession of heroin and other charges for being under the influence of narcotics when he caused a head-on crash east of Salem that killed a 51-year-old Gates man.

— Reach Mail Tribune reporter Mark Freeman at 541-776-4470 or Follow him on Twitter at

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