Suspect faces charges in assaults

MEDFORD — A local man who allegedly throttled a friend during a weekend dispute, then grabbed a knife and charged at officers investigating that incident remained in jail Tuesday.

Ronald David Slonecker, 46, of the 2100 block of Roberts Road, was arraigned Tuesday in Jackson County Circuit Court on charges of attempted first- and second-degree assault and menacing related to his apparent attack on investigating officers, as well as fourth-degree assault and strangulation charges related to a fight with a visitor to his home.

Police were called to Slonecker's apartment at about 9:30 p.m. to investigate a burglary report. Slonecker — whom officers described as agitated and intoxicated — suspected that neighborhood teens had broken into his home and taken cigarettes from a friend's purse, Medford police Lt. Tim Doney said.

Police didn't find evidence of such a break-in or theft, Doney said. Slonecker told officers that he had military experience and would deal with anyone breaking into his home.

Nearly two hours later, police were again summoned to the apartment, this time for a reported assault. A 36-year-old Eagle Point man told police that he and his girlfriend had visited Slonecker, who got angry at the man during a conversation. The man told police that Slonecker shoved him to the ground, jumped on top of him and tried to choke him. The man said he was able to fight Slonecker off and get outside to call police.

Four officers investigating the assault were talking with the man and his girlfriend in a common walkway through a dimly lit courtyard at the apartment complex when they heard someone charging through the darkness.

The silhouetted form of a man with one arm raised over his head raced toward them, Doney said.

"They yelled 'Stop! Police!' " he said, but the man refused to yield and rushed onward.

Officer James Barringer, an Air Force veteran who joined Medford's police force in March 2007, kicked the suspect in the chest, knocking him to the ground.

Officers then saw it was Slonecker and that he had a large kitchen knife in his hand. They subdued him with a Taser and took him into custody on charges stemming from the assault of the Eagle Point man and the attack on the investigating officer.

He was lodged in the Jackson County Jail on charges of attempted aggravated murder, attempted first-, second-, third-, and fourth-degree assaults, attempted assault on a police officer, attempted harassment, menacing, recklessly endangering another, second-degree disorderly conduct, fourth-degree assault, harassment and strangulation.

When he was lodged, a breath sample found he had a blood-alcohol content of .23, nearly three times the legal limit under intoxicated-driving laws, police said.

The Jackson County District Attorney's office reviewed the case, filing the charges that were heard in court Tuesday. The case is set to be heard by a grand jury on Thursday, Doney said.

Reach Chris Conrad at 776-4471 or

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