Madras man, Redmond teen arrested after chase

DCSO: SUV had been stolen, as was man's handgun

REDMOND, Ore. - A 20-year-old Madras man driving a stolen SUV and carrying a stolen handgun was arrested, along with a 14-year-old male passenger from Redmond, in a guns-drawn traffic stop early Monday after a high-speed chase in the Redmond area, Deschutes County sheriff's deputies said.

A deputy had tried to stop the 2019 Ford Explorer for running a stop sign at Northwest Oak Avenue and 35th Street, nearly hitting the deputy's patrol car, Sgt. Troy Gotchy said. 

But the SUV's driver, later identified as Malachi Melvin Webb Johnson, 20, refused to pull over and sped away, reaching speeds of about 90 mph before the pursuit ended on Northwest Way, Gotchy said.

During the chase, there was no other traffic encountered on the roadways, Gotchy said. Johnson stopped the Explorer a couple of times, but took off again as the deputy got out of her vehicle, he added.

Johnson eventually stopped at Northwest Way and Odem Avenue, where a high-risk (guns drawn) traffic stop was conducted. The adult driver and three juvenile passengers were detained.

An investigation determined the SUV had been stolen recently in Redmond, Gotchy said, and Johnson also was in possession of a stolen handgun. Deputies said the handgun was believed to have been stolen from another vehicle in the Redmond area.

The Explorer's owner was contacted and the vehicle was signed as stolen at that time. Gotchy said. The owner went to the scene to retrieve the SUV, which had minor damage.

Johnson was booked into the Deschutes County Jail numerous charges, including three counts each of aggravated theft and car theft, four counts of reckless endangerment, first-degree theft, first-degree criminal mischief, felony attempt to elude police and reckless driving. His bail totaled $215,000.

The 14-year-old was lodged at the county's juvenile detention facility on three counts each of unauthorized use of a motor vehicle and aggravated theft, as well as first-degree theft.

Gotchy said Redmond police and Oregon State Police assisted during the pursuit. There were no injuries, he added, and alcohol was not a factor.

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