A wrong-way drunk driver on Highway 97 Sunday night at first didn’t pull over for police – and when he did, he confronted officers and refused to get on the ground, prompting deployment of a Bend police K-9 whose bite got him to comply, officers said.
Around 10:10 p.m., Deschutes County 911 dispatchers advised deputies of a possible DUII driver heading south from Deschutes Junction, said Sgt. Troy Gotchy. Five callers reported the gray 1993 Toyota 4Runner was heading south in the northbound lanes, he said.
A sheriff’s deputy located the SUV at Highway 97 and Cooley Road and tried to pull it over at Robal Road, but the driver, later identified as Thomas Lawrence Travis, 47, of Bend, did not pull over, Gotchy said.
The driver got off the parkway at Third Street and continued on to the traffic signal at Empire Avenue, then turned right (west) and pulled into the Empire Business Park.
Deputies, Bend police and Oregon State Police troopers conducted a “high-risk” (guns drawn) traffic stop. Travis got out of the SUV but “was confrontational with officers and then failed to obey orders to get on the ground,” Gotchy said.
Bend police Officer James Kinsella then deployed his K-9 partner, “Haras,” who “engaged the suspect and got him down on the ground,” Gotchy said. Police then took Travis into custody.
Medics on scene treated Travis before deputies took him to St. Charles-Bend for further treatment the sergeant said. He then was taken to the county jail and lodged on charges of felony attempt to elude, DUII, reckless driving and four counts of recklessly endangering another. He remained jailed Monday, held on $40,000 bail.
Traffic was light during the pursuit, Gotchy said, with speeds about 40-45 mph. No one else was injured, he said, and there was no damage to property.