A 55-year-old Forest Grove man narrowly escaped a brawl with a drunk 21-year-old from Cornelius early Wednesday morning by firing a warning shot from his pistol while he was pinned, Police said.
John McKnight was walking his dog on the 1700 block of Elm Street about a half-hour after midnight Wednesday when he was accosted by a trio of inebriated young men.
McKnight said the three men assailed him with insults and continued to threaten him. McKnight then drew a .38 caliber pistol and told the trio to back down.
Police say Michael W. Ryan III, a Cornelius man with no fixed address, then said he didn’t believe the gun was loaded, and began to assault McKnight.
Police say that Ryan kicked and choked McKnight, who struggled to free himself. In the midst of the struggle, Ryan bit McKnight’s finger.
“He bit his finger pretty severely,” said Capt. Aaron Ashbaugh, spokesman for the Forest Grove Police Department.
McKnight told police that Ryan had him in a sleeper hold and he felt that he was losing consciousness when he fired a shot from his revolver near Ryan’s head.
Only then did the young man back off, Police said.
Officers were on the scene shortly afterward, responding to a number of 9-1-1 calls made during the incident. One of the two men walking with Ryan told police he also called 9-1-1.
Ryan was arrested on charges of Assault IV, strangulation and disorderly conduct and was booked in the Washington County Jail.
McKnight, who suffered minor injuries from the assault, possessed a valid concealed weapon permit.