Local man appears on assault and firearm charges

By Patty Hastings, Columbian breaking news reporter

Published:

 

A Clark County man appeared in court Friday after he allegedly pointed a gun at a man’s head and threatened to kill him. Charges stemming from an earlier police pursuit in a residential area of Northeast Hazel Dell were also tacked onto his slew of charges.

Ira James “Jimmy” Larson, 29, faces charges of second-degree assault, unlawful possession of a firearm, attempting to elude police, third-degree malicious mischief, second-degree assault (domestic violence), driving under the influence, driving while suspended and harassment (domestic violence).

Larson has six prior felony convictions, from 1997 through 2006.

On the night of Oct. 6, Camas police officers responded to the report of an assault with a firearm at an apartment in the 2600 block of Northeast Third Avenue.

A probable cause affidavit filed in Clark County Superior Court outlines what happened that night at the apartment where Larson’s son and the son’s mother live. Larson showed up at Kristen Benson’s apartment unannounced, but brought gifts for their son.

After giving his son the gifts, Larson went out to his car and retrieved a birthday gift for Benson. Shortly after that, he said he had to leave because his girlfriend was waiting in the car.

According to the affidavit, Benson missed her cellphone after Larson left, and a friend who was with her at the apartment, Jon Hill, called the phone, which Larson answered. Larson allegedly started yelling, asking about a picture of her boyfriend on her phone. Benson asked why he had her phone; Larson said he took it accidentally because it looks like his. After they argued for a few minutes, Larson hung up, but he arrived back at the apartment a few minutes later. They argued and Larson threw the phone on the floor.

Hill went into the living room and started playing a video game with the child to distract him from his parents’ fight. Larson allegedly came at Hill through the kitchen and pulled a gun out of his pants that he pointed at Hill’s head, according to the court documents. “Get the (expletive) out,” Larson said according to Hill’s narrative in the affidavit. “You’re a dead man.”

Hill threw up his hands and started walking toward the front door. Meanwhile, Benson ran to her bedroom and got a gun. When she came into the hallway, she pointed the gun at Larson and told him to get out, so he left. A neighbor who heard the commotion showed up and was asked to call police.

Investigating officers learned from Benson that Larson came to her house a couple of months ago, pointed a gun at her head and threatened to kill her. She later told police that Larson stored firearms in her garage and that he would enter her garage whenever he liked, according to the affidavit. She didn’t know how to change the garage door code and was afraid of making Larson mad.

With her permission, police retrieved a black Nike bag from the garage that contained a black AR-15 gun with a double-drum magazine attached and a scope, along with several boxes of ammunition. A second gun was missing.

At the time, Larson had a warrant out for his arrest, on suspicion of eluding police May 2. On that afternoon, sheriff’s Deputy Rick Osbourne was attempting to pull over a silver Audi near Northeast Ninth Avenue and Northeast 99th Street that was driven by Larson, a suspect in multiple fraud cases. After Osbourne activated his emergency lights, the Audi, which didn’t have license plates, continued north on Ninth. Osbourne activated his emergency lights and when he turned on the siren, the Audi accelerated at a high rate, according to the officer’s report in the affidavit.

The Audi ran the stop sign at Northeast Ninth Avenue and Northeast 105th Street, narrowly missing a motorcyclist who was stopped at the intersection. Osbourne pulled off to the side of the road and watched the Audi until it turned west onto Northeast 106th Street. A short while later, someone reported the vehicle driving recklessly on Northeast Hazel Dell Avenue. Police searched the residential area, but did not locate the vehicle or Larson.

Larson was arrested in Portland and booked in the Clark County Jail on $175,000 bail. He’s scheduled to appear in court Thursday morning. Attorney Art Bennett was appointed to represent him.