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Wanted St. Helens man barricades himself inside home while using synthetic drugs

by: Courtesy photo Josh Lee Taylor

A St. Helens man who was wanted by police for allegedly stealing his neighbor's drill, reportedly barricaded himself inside a home to avoid arrest Aug. 9, while under the influence of 'mind-altering synthetic drugs.'

Josh Lee Taylor, 29, was arrested Aug. 9 at 445 N. 9th St., in St. Helens, and charged with probation violation, second-degree theft and resisting arrest.

Taylor had just been released four days earlier from the Columbia County Jail. Since then, his significant other told police, Taylor had been using drugs and acting violent.

The St. Helens Police Department said Taylor has a history of violent physical altercations with police.

The incident began after police responded to a disturbance on N. 9th Street. When they arrived, Taylor reportedly fled into the home and barricaded himself inside. A Portland Police Bureau K-9 unit eventually found him hiding in an upstairs attic crawlspace.

His struggles with the K-9 left him with superficial bites and scratches.

Police had already been searching for Taylor because he was suspected of stealing his neighbor's drill.

St. Helens Police Lt. Terry Moss said Taylor had been using synthetic drugs similar to the kind sometimes sold at smoke shops, convenience stores and online. Use of these drugs has risen across the country in the last few years and certain types, such as 'synthetic marijuana,' have been outlawed. Other varieties, sold as bath salts for example, can still be found legally. These drugs often carry winking warnings saying they are not for human consumption.