Julio Aneudis Romano-Baez

Short standoff, arrest follow road rage incident

A Medford man at the center of a short standoff video widely shared on social media was arrested on misdemeanors alleging he attacked a septuagenarian Thursday and drew a gun on him in White City.

Julio Aneudis Romano-Baez, 37, was arrested on misdemeanor charges of fourth-degree assault, menacing, disorderly conduct and carrying a concealed firearm following a late-afternoon attack on a 70-year-old man in the parking lot of a Dollar Tree store that escalated to Jackson County sheriff's deputies pointing their weapons and ordering Romano-Baez onto the ground.

At 3:52 p.m. Thursday, multiple people called 911 to report an altercation at the intersection of Highways 140 and 62 between Romano-Baez, who'd been driving a Mazda RX-8 sports car, and the victim in a green Jeep Grand Cherokee SUV, according to a release issued by the Jackson County Sheriff's Office.

Witnesses told police they saw Romano-Baez punch the victim and point a handgun at him.

Within two minutes of the call, the first of two deputies arrived on scene, according to the release. Video posted on the Jackson County Scanner Facebook group showed the sheriff's deputy with his duty weapon drawn and telling Romano-Baez to get down.

Several people at nearby businesses in the parking lot witnessed the incident, and the video showed at least one other person recording.

"Deputies urge bystanders to consider their own safety when they find themselves in similar situations," the sheriff's office release says. "While JCSO respects the rights of citizens to observe and to record law enforcement encounters, deputies remind everyone that remaining near a volatile scene is inherently dangerous and should be avoided when possible."

Romano-Baez was not injured in the incident and was booked in the Jackson County Jail at 6:08 that night, jail records show. He has since been released. Charges had not been filed in Jackson County Circuit Court as of Friday afternoon, records showed.

News reports out of New York showed that Romano-Baez was previously accused of felony reckless endangerment in a 2014 police chase in upstate New York that involved speeds up to 113 miles per hour in a BMW and wrong-way driving, according to a New York Post story from January 2014. Information as to the outcome of the charges was not immediately available.

— Reach reporter Nick Morgan at 541-776-4471 or Follow him on Twitter at @MTCrimeBeat.

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