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Police hunt Dalles man for attempted murder

A suspect from The Dalles is wanted by the Hood River County Sheriff's Department for attempted murder.

James Eugene Paulk, Jr., is being sought for allegedly wielding a baseball bat that was used to crack open the skull of a Peach Tree Drive resident on Aug. 4.

Paulk, 23, reportedly escaped arrest that night by fleeing from the suspect vehicle when it was stopped by police in downtown Hood River shortly after the attack. He was identified by law enforcement officials from a previous booking photo at NORCOR and has also been charged with first degree assault and burglary.

Because he has a long criminal history that includes robbery, harassment, menacing and assault, Hood River County Sergeant/Detective Gerry Tiffany said anyone with knowledge of his whereabouts should not approach him directly, but call 9-1-1.

"He is known to carry a weapon and could be dangerous," said Tiffany.

Paulk also frequents the cities of Goldendale and White Salmon. He is described as a Caucasian male about 5 feet 9 inches in height and weighing about 190 pounds. He has blue eyes, blond or light brown hair and sometimes wears a beard and/or a mustache.

On Aug. 4 Paulk allegedly stormed through the door of the Hood River residence with two other persons. He was reportedly wearing a ski mask and struck Clifton Adams, 41, over the head with a baseball bat. Adams' cracked skull required eight inside stitches and several staples to repair. One of the assailants also punched Donald Dufour, 39, a visitor at the residence, who refused medical treatment for a deep gash on the bridge of his nose. After the three men ran back outside, the two victims observed the subjects getting into a vehicle that had one other occupant. That passenger, also from Hood River, was not charged in the crime.

As the car pulled away, Adams and Dufour called dispatch and relayed a description of the automobile, which was stopped on Second Street near Cascade Avenue. Paulk reportedly fled the scene as law enforcement officials approached the car. He eluded pursuers by scrambling down an embankment near the Mount Hood Railroad Depot and through a slough toward the freeway. The bloody bat he is believed to have used as a weapon was found in the suspects' vehicle.

Samuel Bishop, 22 of Rowena and Aaron Hightower, 22, of Hood River were both arrested at the scene.

Since that incident, the other occupant of the Peach Tree Home, Alan D. Mathis, 38, has died. His body was found on the floor of the dwelling by a neighbor on Aug. 12.

Hood River County District Attorney John Sewell said the two incidents appear to be unrelated and initial reports indicate that Mathis died of natural causes, although toxicology reports are still pending.

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