News

Bend man jailed in Hood to Coast race DUII pickup theft

Also accused of assault, running over racer

BIRKENFELD, Ore. - A 36-year-old Hood to Coast runner from Bend was arrested early Saturday morning after the theft of a pickup truck during one of the event's exchanges in Columbia County, authorities said.

David Jon Blackmon faces car theft, DUII and assault charges, among others, Columbia County sheriff's deputies said.

 Around 2 a.m., a man who race participants identified as Blackmon was involved in the theft of a pickup belonging to a portable restroom company that was servicing its units at the relay race's 24th exchange location, in the Birkenfeld area, deputies said.

"The vehicle didn't go far, however," deputies said in a news release.

Witnesses said Blackmon drove the stolen pickup through a nearby field where runners were resting, they said.

 Three of the resting runners were able to jump out of the way of the vehicle, but one -- Cynthia Gillespie of Canby -- could not avoid the truck and was run over and dragged a short distance before the truck stopped, resting on her leg, deputies said.

The pickup's original driver confronted Blackmon after chasing the vehicle down, deputies said. Blackmon reportedly ran into the woods nearby, fleeing the scene.

Oregon State Police responded to assist the deputy, as did a Beaverton police K-9, which found Blackmon in the woods nearby and detained him.

After Blackmon was identified by the truck's assigned driver, he was taken into custody and lodged in the Columbia County Jail on charges that also included second-degree assault, reckless driving, reckless endangering and driving with a revoked license.

Gillespie was taken to Oregon Health and Science University, where deputies said she was treated and reportedly to be released with only minor injuries.

Deputies said the incident remains under investigation.


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