Police nab assault suspect who was injured by arrow
BLOOMFIELD — A man suspected of trespassing and shooting at a dog with a pellet gun was injured after the dog’s owner returned fire with an arrow from a compound bow. Law enforcement agencies asked for — and got — the public’s help in finding suspect Eric Tillerson.
A tip led to Tillerson's arrest less than an hour after the San Juan County Sheriff's Office posted details of the manhunt on its Facebook page.
"That was FAST!," a Sheriff's Office Facebook update noted at 3:14 p.m. "Due to a quick tip from a citizen (after seeing our Facebook post) Air One was able to get in the sky and deputies quickly arrested Eric Tillerson!"
Tillerson is also a person of interest in an attempted break-in that happened Tuesday in Farmington.
A San Juan County press release stated that Tillerson sparked the manhunt when he left the San Juan Regional Medical Center emergency room early today and went on the run after a bizarre series of events led to his injury.
The Sheriff's Office Facebook post noted — before releasing details of the alleged crime — "We cannot make this stuff up."
A Bloomfield resident reported that she found Tillerson on her porch bleeding with the shaft of a broadhead arrow sticking out of his arm around 10 p.m. Tuesday.
“Medics had to use bolt cutters to clip the shaft of the arrow to render aid,” the release said.
Investigators followed a trail of blood. They pieced together the story when they contacted the occupant of the home where that trail led — and also found some of Tillerson’s clothing, a pellet gun and a syringe.
They were told that Tillerson had made threats at the home earlier that day, and climbed over a fence that night and began shooting at the dog with the pellet gun.
“The resident (whom is a convicted felon and cannot possess a firearm) heard the dog squeal and returned fire with a sling shot,” the release stated. “When he realized that wasn’t working he retrieved something bigger.
“Tillerson continued to advance towards the resident and raised a pistol, later identified as a pellet gun,” the release continued. “The resident then shot Tillerson with a compound bow and arrow at a close distance. The resident went back inside after Tillerson retreated and did not call 911.”
Police say Tillerson had “a significant wound to his right arm.”
He faces charges of aggravated assault, a fourth-degree felony, and misdemeanor counts of criminal trespass, cruelty to animals and drug paraphernalia.