Standoff in Florence apartment leads to arrest

Photos Mica Ottensmann @CoastalCodeThree and Ned Hickson

Justin Martinez, 39, was wanted on two warrants, refused to exit apartment

Nov. 25, 2022 - An hours-long standoff involving multiple law enforcement agencies ended peacefully on Wednesday, Nov. 23 with the arrest of Justin Martinez, 39, of Florence.

At around 10:45 a.m. Lane County Sheriff's (LCS) deputies learned that Martinez was at the  Siuslaw Dunes Apartment complex on 43rd street, just off of Highway 10, who was wanted on two warrants -  “assault in the third degree” from the Oregon State Parole Board, and “escape in the third degree” from the Florence Municipal Court, according to Lane County Sheriff’s Office Sgt. Tom Speldrich. 

When deputies arrived at the apartment, Martinez barricaded himself in the apartment, refusing to exit. When LCS learned that Martinez may have been armed, they called in the county’s special response team for assistance.

An area surrounding the apartment was closed off, including portions of the Les Schwab parking lot, though traffic on Highway 101 was not stopped during the incident. 

At around 2 p.m., the response team arrived, which included a pair of sharpshooters, a mechanized surveillance robot, K9 unit, drones, armored battering ram  and the tactical team. However,  the sharpshooters, K9 unit and ram, which are standard components of the team when deployed, were not used in the incident.

Around 3:00 p.m. an unknown individual was seen escorted in handcuffs by the team, but Speldrich stated that it did not result in an arrest of the individual, and did not give an explanation as to why they were temporarily detained.  

Soon after, authorities warned Martinez that gas was going to be used if he did not come out unarmed and with his hands on his head. 

At approximately 3:25 p.m., Martinez finally came out, unarmed, and was taken into custody. 

No injuries were reported during the standoff. 

“We would like to thank the Oregon State Police and the Florence Police Department with their investigation,” Speldrich said. 

Photos Mica Ottensmann @CoastalCodeThree and Ned Hickson