Hwy. 97 stolen-car chase ends in crash, arrest

Driver reportedly hit 95 mph , swerved to avoid spike strips

BEND, Ore. - A transient stole a car parked running in front of a southeast Bend home Monday morning and led police on a chase at speeds of up to 95 south on Highway 97 before he swerved to avoid "spike strips," sideswiped another car and rolled his own several times off the highway, authorities said.

The injured driver ran into the woods, pursued by an Oregon State Police trooper who caught and held him at gunpoint.

Shortly after 10 a.m., Deschutes County 911 dispatchers received a report of a 1997 Subaru Legacy that was stolen from in front of a home at 60855 Raintree Court, said Bend police Sgt. Dan Ritchie.

The caller said they had started and moved the Subaru, belonging to a friend, in front of the home when a man and dog came out of the nearby woods, got in and sped away toward Knott Road.

Dispatchers broadcast a description of the car and suspect, and around 10:10 a.m., a Bend officer in the area of the Riverwoods Country store at Baker Road and Highway 97 in Deschutes River Woods reported spotting the car and tried to pull it over, Ritchie said.

The driver, later identified as Andrew Dean Pray, 23, refused to pull over and headed west on Baker toward Brookswood Boulevard. He then turned around and headed east on Baker, then south on Highway 97, speeding up to 85-95 mph, Ritchie said.

Due to safety concerns amid busy traffic conditions, the officer terminated the pursuit south of the High Desert Museum, turning off his siren and flashing overhead lights while pulling off to the highway shoulder.

Oregon State Police were in position to the south, just north of Lava Butte, and tried to deploy spike strips to stop the fleeing suspect, Ritchie said.

Pray swerved to avoid the spikes and sideswiped another car before losing control and rolling the Subaru several times off the roadway. The driver and passengers in the other car were unhurt, Ritchie said.

Pray got out of the wrecked Subaru and ran into the woods west of the highway.

"(I) just watched the man flee into the forest while an officer on foot headed after him with his gun drawn," witness Angela Church said on NewsChannel 21's Facebook page.

The OSP trooper detained Pray at gunpoint until Bend police and Deschutes County sheriff's deputies arrived to assist, Ritchie said.

OSP Trooper William Durant was the one who ran after and captured Pray.

"When i located him in the woods, he was up, sitting up against a tree. and he was obviously kept there until fire responded," Durant said.

Pray was taken into custody without further incident and taken by ambulance to St. Charles Bend for treatment of his non-life-threatening injuries.

Pray's dog suffered a minor injury in the crash taken to an emergency veterinary clinic for treatment, Ritchie said.

Pray later was lodged at the county jail in Bend and held on $51,000 bail, facing charges of unauthorized use of a motor vehicle, felony elude (by car), misdemeanor elude (on foot), reckless driving, four counts of reckless endangering, hit and run, DUII and second-degree animal abuse.

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