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Burglary suspect thwarted by elderly resident

Intruder was tackled by the 73-year-old and held by the throat until authorities arrived


Editor’s note:?The elderly couple referenced in this article asked not to have their last names disclosed due to safety concerns.

Local couple Bob and Beverly had just finished watching the nightly news this past Saturday evening and were ready to call it a night.

It was 11:30, and 73-year-old Bob was about to get up from his chair and shut of the TV, while his 82-year-old wife stood in the nearby kitchen putting the finishing touches on a slow cooker project.

That’s when an unexpected and highly intoxicated intruder barged in and turned their whole evening upside down.

“He came through our patio door,” recalls Bob. “He didn’t say anything. He just went right past me, into our kitchen, then the family room.” Beverly heard the intruder come in, but didn’t give the situation much thought.

“We have a guest staying in our trailer behind us, and I just thought it was her coming in,” she said.

Beverly then watched as Prineville 24-year-old, Christopher Labauve, clad in a hooded sweatshirt that concealed most of his face, ran past with Bob hot on his trail.

Bob followed Labauve into his bedroom, where the assailant headed for the window, intent, in Bob’s estimation, on breaking out the glass and making his escape.

“That’s when I ran over and tackled him,” he said, “and threw him on the bed and pinned him there.” Bob then yelled to his wife to call the police as he held Labauve by the throat and arms.

Over the course of her conversation with 911 dispatch, Beverly could hear the intruder making profanity-laced threats.

“The guy kept saying ‘I’m going to kill you, I’m going to kill you!’”

Bob and Beverly were both pleasantly surprised at how quickly Crook County Sheriff’s Office personnel arrived on scene. It didn’t take them long to subdue Labauve and take him into custody.

“They all three ran in there and they jumped on him right away, turned him over, and put handcuffs on him,” Beverly said.

While apprehending Labauve, authorities discovered an 18-inch-long modified knife tucked in his waistband.

“I didn’t even know he had that at the time,” Bob remarked. “Maybe I wouldn’t have been so brave.”

Once everyone left the house, the couple attempted to put the incident behind them and get some rest. It didn’t go too well.

“It must have been 3:30 or so before we could get to sleep,” Beverly said. “It was really something to have that happen.”

If that didn’t rattle them enough, they learned the next morning from authorities that Labauve had been released into his father’s custody on bail.

“That kind of disturbed me a little bit,” Bob said.

Looking back on the event, Bob doesn’t recall much going through his mind except to protect his property.

“It was just an adrenaline rush,” he said. “You just react to the situation.”

He determined, based on what happened, that Labauve was not trying to necessarily steal anything.

“I think he was just high on dope. He didn’t have anything in possession of mine,” he said. “What bothered me most was him trying to break my bedroom window.” As it turns out, Labauve was probably fortunate that Bob and Beverly had yet to go to bed when he broke in.

“I have a loaded revolver right there (under the bed),” he said. “With the way he was stomping in the house, I wouldn’t have hesitated a bit to shoot him.”

Following the incident, Labauve was charged with First Degree Burglary, First Degree Criminal Trespass, Third Degree Criminal Mischief, and two counts of Menacing.

While the charges were not necessarily out of the ordinary, Crook County Undersheriff John Gautney acknowledged that the event that prompted them was indeed unique for the community. Not only is it uncommon for someone to break into an occupied home, it is equally rare for an elderly man to apprehend an intruder.

“I don’t know of any other incidents where that has happened here locally,” Gautney said.




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  • 28 Jul 2014

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  • 29 Jul 2014

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