A Bend man was arrested after a police chase and manhunt Sunday morning when a K-9 tracking team found him hiding in rocks along the Deschutes River Trail, authorities said. It marked the third time in less than two years that a police dog has located the man, hiding on the run after similar police pursuits.
His passenger, who has been in newsworthy trouble with the law for about a dozen years, also fled the scene but was arrested a short time later.
Around 8:15 a.m., a Deschutes County sheriff’s deputy tried to pull over a tan 1978 Ford F-250 Ranger pickup near Reed Market Road and Brookswood Boulevard on a traffic violation, as it had no front license plate and skidded “carelessly” around a corner, said sheriff’s Lt. Kevin Dizney.
At first, the driver, later identified as Jason Daryl Walter, 37, of Bend, would not pull over, Dizney said. He did briefly stop at McClellan Road and Woodriver Drive, but refused to comply with the deputy’s order to get out of the pickup, Dizney said.
Instead, Walter then sped off, triggering a brief, one-minute pursuit on several streets in the Woodriver Village neighborhood south of Reed Market Road, Dizney said.
The driver jumped out of the still-moving pickup at the corner of Cedarwood Road and Ashwood Lane, Dizney said, and ran from the scene. The pickup kept going about 100 feet down Cedarwood before striking two large boulders lining the road at Farewell Bend Park along the Deschutes River, he said.
Walter fled along the river trail, and numerous officers converged to join the manhunt, Dizney said, including Bend and Oregon State Police, who helped form a search perimeter.
About 40 minutes later, Walter was tracked down by sheriff’s K-9 Duco, who found him hiding in the rocks along the trail, the lieutenant said. He surrendered without incident, Dizney added.
The deputy who first stopped the pickup said a passenger was in it before he lost sight of it for a while, Dizney said. During the pursuit, the deputy spotted the passenger, later identified as Brandon Gary Will, 31, of Bend, walking in the area, and he was found with assistance of Bend police.
Will was believed to be under the influence of controlled substances, Dizney said, and his parole officer detained him for violating conditions of his parole.
Walter was booked into the county jail on charges of attempting elude police in a vehicle (a Class C felony), three Class A misdemeanors (driving with a suspended license, attempt to elude police on foot and reckless driving), and held without bail on a parole violation warrant.
Walter’s latest arrest came a year and three days after he allegedly engaged Bend police in a brief chase on the city’s Eastside. Officers said he jumped out of a black Audi and ran that time as well, but Bend police K-9 Haras found him hiding in the backyard of a nearby home. The numerous charges that time included methamphetamine possession and a probation violation.
That was actually Walter’s second encounter with Haras. In May 2011, the K-9 found him hiding after another attempted traffic stop-turned-foot chase in southeast Bend. Police said Walter, then termed a transient, refused to stop a silver 2008 Subaru Impreza, sparking a brief chase, until he jumped out at a dead end. Passenger Joshua Watson, 30, was caught after a brief chase, while Walter was found by the police dog, hiding in a nearby yard on Centennial Boulevard.
Sunday’s pickup passenger, Brandon Will, first made the news in Bend in 2001 when, at the age of 19, he was charged with breaking into 44 businesses, homes and churches over a 45-day period.
Seven years later, Will was out of jail and awaiting sentencing on assault and robbery charges when he fled and eventually was found hiding in a shed in Canyon County, Idaho and arrested.
The following year, in 2008, police said Will fought with police trying to handcuff him in the parking lot of the 7-Eleven at NE Third Street and Franklin Avenue. He was charged with second-degree attempted escape, resisting arrest and a probation violation.
Dizney: Long criminal histories can point to deeper problems
Asked about the people who police see all too often -- sometimes referred to as "frequent flyers" in police parlance, Dizney told NewsChannel 21, "We do have several people that deputies come to know by name and vice versa, and it's unfortunate when those kind of things happen."
"We have cases where we have people who are suffering from drug and alcohol abuse, which is certainly a predicate of long-term solutions that they need to come to solve their problems," Dizney said. "The same can be true with domestic violence situations, where folks are suffering from anger issues."
"We do unfortunately, as any community, have some issues with folks that are frequently in and out of the jail system, and then through the court systems," he said. "As their criminal histories become dangerous enough, it does ultimately result in longer-term jail and prison sentences."
"Again, we are not necessarily only out here to try to capture the bad guy," Dizney said. "In some cases, some of these folks have some severe issues that they need to work on. As I mentioned with the drug and alcohol abuse, we try to help them achieve opportunities, to seek out the resources that they need to maybe solve the ultimate problem."
On the other hand, he added, "We have had several cases that we are proud of, that we can start to see some of these people come to see the light and understand some of their mistakes they've made, and start to correct their lives."
As for Walter, Dizney said. "He does have a parole violation, which is a no-bail warrant. So in this particular case, he is not going to be in a position where he can bail out or otherwise be released. So he is going to have to face the judge in this particular case, and the options that the judge has before him are numerous. We will see where it goes from there."