WARM SPRINGS, Ore. - Oregon State Police and Warm Springs police sought the public's help Tuesday to find the driver of a stolen pickup who led police on a 60-mile high-speed chase, then abandoned it in a creek on the reservation and ran, eluding searchers.
Around 10:20 a.m. Monday, an OSP senior trooper stopped a 1992 Chevrolet pickup displaying Oregon license plates westbound on Highway 26 near Government Camp for a speed violation, troopers said.
The pickup was occupied by a male driver and female passenger, both Native Americans, troopers said.
During the stop, troopers say, the driver refused to identify himself and when advised he was under arrest fled in the pickup, which was confirmed as a stolen vehicle from the Madras area earlier Monday morning.
The pickup tried to elude the trooper northbound on Highway 35 until the Mt. Hood Meadows junction, where it turned around southbound back to Highway 26. The pickup then headed eastbound on Highway 26 at speeds up to 85 mph, troopers say.
The Warm Springs Tribal Police Department was notified and set up to deploy spike strips west of Warm Springs.
But the pickup avoided the spike strips and then turned off Highway 26 onto Mill Creek/B140 Road, a gravel and dirt road.
Warm Springs police then took over the lead position, with help from an OSP Fish & Wildlife Division trooper and the trooper involved in the original traffic stop.
About five miles off Highway 26 at around 11:15 a.m., the pickup driver tried to travel across Shitike Creek but couldn't traverse through the water because of its depth and current, troopers said.
The two people inside got out and ran from the pickup as it stopped in the water.
An OSP trooper overtook and detained the female passenger, but the male driver avoided capture after an area search.
An investigation led by Warm Springs police identified the driver as Gunner Johnson Bailey Sr., 25, of Warm Springs, who officers said was known to previously carry weapons.
He is described as 5-food-10, medium build, black hair and brown eyes, with numerous tattoos, including a feather on the left side of his face near his eye and the word "Mandy" on the right side of his neck.
Anyone with information to help locate Bailey was asked to contact Warm Springs police at (541) 553-1171.