Customers subdue man with machete in Umapine Mercantile

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UMAPINE ­— Customer’s at Tate’s Umapine Mercantile leapt into action when another man attempted to pull a machete during an argument with the store’s clerk, Saturday.

According to a Walla Walla County Sheriff’s Office report, Michael Mills, 34, attempted to buy cigarettes with a debit card Friday but apparently didn’t have enough money in his account. According to witness statements, Mills returned Saturday and was upset the charge to his account had not be reversed, even though he was unable to buy the smokes.

Mills allegedly attempted to pull a machete from his waist band and three men, ages 49-, 63- and 65-years-old, who were in the store subdued him and took his blade.

Walla Wallla County Sheriff Deputy Brian Bush was the first to arrive, followed by Oregon State Patrol officers. They handcuffed Mills and also found an open pocket knife he may have been attempting to reach during the tussle with his captors, according to Bush’s report.

Mills was turned over to Umatilla County Sheriff’s Office deputies and booked at the jail on investigation of reckless endangerment, attempting to use a dangerous weapon, fourth-degree assault, menacing and third-degree criminal mischief. Bail was set at $46,000.

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