Three-county police chase ends in maneuver, 2 arrests

Spike strips flatten tires; car pushed off road

CULVER, Ore. - A three-county, on-and-off police pursuit Wednesday morning ended in the arrest of two men near Culver after spike strips and an Oregon State Police maneuver to force their car off the road, troopers said of Central Oregon’s third police chase in nine hours.

The pursuit of the 1994 silver Buick began in Prineville around 9:45 a.m. and headed west on the O'Neil Highway into Redmond, then north on Highway 97 through Terrebonne and into Jefferson County. Prineville police ended their pursuit, later resumed by Redmond police, who also called it off as the car left their area.

Monitored police scanner reports indicated the probable cause to stop the car was failure to properly display a front license plate.

OSP, Madras police and Jefferson County sheriff’s deputies joined in the pursuit, on dry roads and in light to moderate traffic, using spike strips to deflate all four tires, but the driver, identified as Eddie Villagomez-Lopez, 23, of Prineville, continued at a slower speed.

Troopers said the pursuit was terminated several times before the car was spiked and OSP used a tactical vehicle intervention (TVI) maneuver to stop the slowed car near Southwest Feather Drive and Iris Lane in the Culver area and force it off the road, into a field, where it stopped.

Villagomez-Lopez and passenger David Castaneda-Valerio, 21, of Salem, were jailed on Jefferson County charges, though OSP said more charges will be filed in Deschutes and Crook counties.

Initial charges against Villagomez-Lopez range from attempting to elude police and assault on a public safety officer to criminal mischief, heroin and methamphetamine charges and offensive littering.  Castaneda-Valerio was held without bail on an out-of-county warrant, along with some local charges.

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