A Warm Springs transient led Jefferson and Crook County sheriff’s deputies on a wild on- and off-road chase in a stolen pickup early Wednesday before it got stuck on a muddy hill northwest of Prineville, authorities said.
The two occupants ran, and while the driver was caught with the helpful bite of a Deschutes County K-9, the passenger remains on the loose, deputies said.
Shortly before 3 a.m., Crook County deputies and Prineville police were told a Jefferson County deputy was in pursuit of a pickup stolen in Madras that was headed toward Crook County on Highway 26, said Undersheriff John Gautney.
The Crook County deputies and Prineville officers deployed a spike strip on the highway at NW Gerke Road, Gautney said.
The 1994 gold Chevy pickup, still being pursued by the Jefferson County deputy, turned north on McCabe Road and avoided the spike strip, then hitting speeds of 70 mph, the undersheriff said.
Crook County deputies then took over lead of the chase as the pickup turned east onto Ryegrass Road, then north on Grizzly Road, where it traveled into the Ochoco West subdivision, then slowing to about 35 to 40 mph, Gautney said.
The pickup driver traveled onto Glenview Lane, then turned onto a private road, crashed through a Powder river gate and continued about a half-mile uphill on a muddy road, where it got stuck, prompting the two men inside to get out and run, he said.
Deputies secured the pickup and maintained a perimeter until Redmond police and Deschutes County K-9 units arrived to help, Gautney said.
The driver, identified as Gunner Bailey Sr., 25, a transient resident of Warm Springs, was caught a short distance away, hiding in the brush, Gautney said.
Bailey was bitten by Deschutes County K-9 Duco during the apprehension, officers said. He was taken to Pioneer Memorial Hospital in Prineville for treatment, then taken to the Crook County Jail on charges of car theft, attempting to elude police and first-degree criminal mischief.
Bail was set at $15,000 on the charges, but he was held without bail for federal marshals on a probation hold, Gautney said.
The passenger, who fled east from the pickup into the brush, was described as a male 5-foot-9 to 5-11, 165 to 170 pounds, last seen wearing a dark hoodie sweatshirt and jeans. Gautney said it’s not known if the passenger had any weapons when he fled.
Anyone with information about the passenger’s whereabouts is asked to contact the Crook County sheriff’s Office at (541) 447-6398.