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Bend man with lifetime drivers license suspension arrested on DUII, resisting arrest charges

Bend Police Dept.

Open beer cans, loaded handgun stolen in Texas found in minivan

BEND, Ore. (KTVZ) – A Bend man whose drivers license was suspended for life after a 2017 DUII and hit-and-run in Benton County was arrested Saturday on felony DUII and other charges, accused of striking a pickup truck when pulled over by Bend Police and resisting arrest. Police found several open beer cans and a loaded stolen handgun in his minivan.

Bend Police received a traffic complaint around 2 p.m. Saturday about an erratic driver in a white Chrysler Pacifica minivan who was waving out the window and following other vehicles in the downtown area, Communications Manager Sheila Miller said.

An officer spotted the vehicle in the area of Northeast Third Street and Franklin Avenue, watching as the driver, later identified as Dennis Alexander Puente, 32, drove straight through an intersection signed as “right turn only,” Miller said.

When the officer tried to pull the minivan over, Miller said Puente struck a parked pickup truck as he turned into a parking lot on Third Street, then parked and got out. He appeared to have a knife holstered on his hip and showed signs of impairment, she said. Miller added that no knife was found on Puente when he was taken into custody.

“He did not obey repeated commands from the officer, instead pacing and alternating between sitting and kneeling,” Miller said in a news release. “As officers attempted to take him into custody, Puente resisted arrest, repeatedly reached for his knife (sheath) and also attempted to take hold of an officer’s vest and remove police gear.”

As a result, officers placed Puente in a WRAP restraint device during the encounter.

After he was taken into custody, officers searched Puente’s vehicle and found several open alcoholic beverage containers in the center console and on the passenger floorboard, including beer and malt beverages, Miller said.

Officers searching the minivan also found a loaded Sig Sauer pistol under the driver’s seat and several magazines containing hollow-point bullets, as well as metal knuckles, she said. An investigation determined the gun was stolen out of Texas.

Puente was first taken to St. Charles Bend, then booked into the Deschutes County Jail on charges of felony DUII, felony driving with a suspended license, reckless driving, resisting arrest, first-degree theft, second-degree disorderly conduct, felon in possession of a firearm, felon in possession of a restricted weapon and a parole violation, Miller said.

He was arraigned Monday afternoon on three Class B and C felonies – DUII, felon in possession of a firearm and criminal driving with a suspended or revoked license – and two misdemeanor charges, reckless driving and resisting arrest. A public defender was appointed, and arraignment was set for next Monday on an expected formal indictment.

Court records show Puente pleaded guilty in early 2018 in Benton County to DUII, hit-and-run (property damage) and interfering with a police officer, while charges of reckless driving, and failure to carry/show a driver’s license were dismissed. He was sentenced to three years’ probation, a lifetime drivers license suspension and 30 days in jail.

Article Topic Follows: Crime And Courts

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Barney Lerten

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