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Man Holding Police Chief Hostage Fatally Shot

January 9, 1985

PHILOMATH, Ore. (AP) _ A Vietnam veteran facing assault charges and complaining of police harassment was shot dead by police after he held the police chief hostage at knifepoint for more than three hours, authorities said.

Police Chief Richard Raleigh was unhurt in the incident at the City Hall police station Tuesday, authorities said.

Bradley D. Covany, 31, of Philomath, was shot in the chest as officers stormed the station and rescued Raleigh after a 31/2 -hour standoff, authorities said. Covany was pronounced dead 30 minutes later at Good Samaritan Hospital in Corvallis, near this western Oregon town of 3,000 people.

During the standoff, Covany told a television station by telephone that his daughter was being drugged in school as part of a worldwide conspiracy.He also apparently claimed that officials had harassed him for several crimes that he said he had not committed, said Benton County District Attorney Pete Sandrock.

The incident began about 5 p.m. when Covany entered the police station and seized Raleigh at knifepoint, Sandrock said in a statement.

Covany ″demanded to speak to the FBI about his allegations of harassment by the Philomath Police Department, FBI and Benton County sheriff’s office personnel,″ Sandrock said.

The shooting took place about 8:30 p.m. as Covany was returning to Raleigh’s office. He had led the chief to the station’s front door, where Raleigh could be seen from the street. Sandrock did not say whether Covany was armed at the time.

In a telephone call to KOIN-TV in Portland, Covany said he had information of murders in the Philomath and Corvallis areas. He told a reporter the murders were part of a worldwide conspiracy and that his 9-year-old daughter was being drugged in school as part of the conspiracy.

Covany told FBI agents and reporters by telephone that he didn’t plan to kill the chief, ″just send him to the hospital,″ KOIN reported.

But Sandrock said Covany had threatened to kill Raleigh.

The Corvallis Gazette-Times today quoted unidentified acquaintances of Covany’s as saying he was a divorced Vietnam veteran.

Covany was facing assault charges in Benton County District Court and Corvallis Municipal Court, Sandrock said. One charge involved an assault in November on a Philomath police officer in the department’s parking lot, he said.

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