Wanted man captured after standoff in NE Portland

Wanted man captured after standoff in NE Portland »Play Video
James D. Tautfest

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) - Police fired tear gas into a Portland airport hotel room early Thursday to end a three-hour standoff with a man who refused to leave the room and was suspected of being armed.  

Portland Police also said the man's sister was with him and he was high on meth.

Neighboring rooms at the Travelodge hotel on NE 82nd Avenue were evacuated shortly after midnight and streets were closed as the Special Emergency Reaction Team moved in.

US Marshals were also in on the capture.

A short time after the SERT member and crisis negotiators arrived, police said James David Tautfest, 34, released his sister but refused to come out of the hotel room.

Tautfest then kicked a hole in a wall, went into an adjacent attic, "crashed through the floor" and went into a weight room below, according to police. He then climbed back through the floor and back into a hotel room, police said.

After negotiations stalled, officers fired tear gas at about 3:45 a.m. and Tautfest surrendered without incident. Portland Police said no firearms were found.

According to Eric Wahlstrom with the US Marshals in Portland, "Tautfest had multiple warrants from Vancouver, he recently fled from Kelso Police by jumping out of the window of another hotel."

Kelso Police recovered a handgun in that incident, Wahlstrom said. Tautfest was wanted out of Washington State for identity theft, forgery, theft and possession of a control substance, according to Portland Police.

Wahlstrom said his sources told him Trautfest was "always armed" and made statements to officers Thursday that he had a gun, prompting the SERT response.

According to a former girlfriend contacted by KATU News, Tautfest stayed with her while he was going to school "and he was doing really good" until he used drugs.

"A lot of his friends he wouldn't even introduce me to because he didn't want me to know who they were and what they were about," she said.

"He's completely normal, he's fun, my family loves him," she said. "Drugs completely changes him."

"I think that's the only way for him to stay out of trouble is when he's locked up," she added.

Tautfest is currently in the Multnomah County Jail.

(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press and KATU News. All rights reserved.)