BEND, Ore. - A Bend man wanted on a warrant refused to pull over for police Monday night and led officers on an on-and-off chase, running red lights and a stop sign on the city's northeast side before parking his pickup at the Forum Shopping Center and fleeing, police said.
An officer found the driver nearby, and he again ran away -- but was caught after he tripped and fell in the middle of Highway 20, officers said.
Shortly after 8:30 p.m., an officer spotted a black 2002 Chevy Silverado on NE Franklin Avenue near Third Street, said Sgt. Ron Taylor.
The officer tried to stop the pickup for a traffic violation – reportedly a broken window covered in plastic – but the driver, later identified as the pickup's owner, Colby Joseph Wright, 29, sped away toward the west, Taylor said.
The officer stopped the pursuit "due to concerns for public safety in this usually heavily congested area," Taylor said, and radioed a description and the last known direction of travel to officers who were responding to assist.
Other officers spotted the pickup heading east on Highway 20 near 15th Street, he said. There was less congestion in that area, so an officer tried to stop the pickup once again, but he sped away once more, Taylor said.
The pursuit continued east on Highway 20 at speeds reaching around 70 mph, Taylor said. Wright failed to stop for two red lights on 27th Street, at Highway 20 and Bear Creek Road, and a stop sign at Bear Creek and Purcell; after he ran the stop sign, the pursuit again was called off "in the interest of public safety," Taylor said.
Less than 10 minutes after the initial attempted traffic stop, an officer found the pickup parked and abandoned in the Barnes and Noble parking lot at the Forum Shopping Center, the sergeant said.
Officers began checking the area, while another officer spotted a man matching Wright walking near the intersection of Highway 20 and Purcell Boulevard, Taylor said.
Another pursuit on foot ensued, but Wright tripped and fell in the middle of Highway 20 and was apprehended without further incident, Taylor said.
Wright was taken to St. Charles-Bend for treatment of some minor cuts and bruises sustained in the fall but otherwise was unhurt, the sergeant said.
Wright then was taken to the Deschutes County Jail, where he was lodged on charges of felony and misdemeanor attempt to elude a police officer, three counts of reckless driving, possession of less than an ounce of marijuana and failure to appear on a bench warrant out of Deschutes County.