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Chase leads to wobbly drivers arrest

How much had he had to drink that night? "Obviously not enough."
by: Submitted photo, Glen Rice was arrested July 23 after a short chase up and down Scholls Ferry Road.

Glen Alan Rice told Beaverton police he probably didn't have enough to drink last Saturday night. He might have been right.

Rice led police from two cities and Washington County sheriff's deputies on a weaving, skidding and rumbling nine-minute car chase up and down Southwest Scholls Ferry Road early in the morning July 23, ending in his arrest on more than a half-dozen charges, including driving while intoxicated.

Just before 1 a.m. last Sunday, one of the hottest days of the year, Beaverton police arrested 39-year-old Rice, a transient whose last known address was in Idaho, after he tried to drive a stolen 1992 two-door Cadillac Eldorado in a wobbly escape that went from Scholls Ferry Road to Barrows Road and back.

Rice was lodged in the Washington County Jail on charges of unauthorized use a motor vehicle, possession of a stolen vehicle, unlawful possession of methamphetamine, reckless endangering, reckless driving and attempting to elude police. He also was held on two warrants from Kootenai County, Idaho.

Zig-zag moves

Rice's misadventure began at about 12:49 a.m. when Beaverton Police Officer Michael P. Smith saw the red Cadillac parked in a right turn lane on Scholls Ferry Road near Murray Boulevard. When Smith walked to the driver's side and knocked on the window, he saw a dark-haired man sweating profusely, apparently asleep behind the wheel.

The Cadillac, which police discovered was reported stolen in Kootenai County, had a temporary license tag in the back window that expired July 19.

It took Smith a few minutes to get the man's attention, with the officer fearing the driver might have a medical problem. When the man woke, the police officer noticed his watery eyes and the heavy stench of alcohol.

When Smith asked the man what he was doing parking in a turn lane, the driver replied that he had pulled over the police car.

During the conversation, the man reached for the glove compartment to get his driver's license and registration, but stopped and started the Cadillac. Smith ordered the man to turn the car off, but the driver pulled away, accelerating westbound on Scholls Ferry Road.

Smith jumped in his patrol car and gave chase with lights flashing and siren blaring.

The Cadillac accelerated to 60 mph and feigned a right turn on Teal Boulevard. With a zig-zag move, the driver zipped the Cadillac back onto Scholls Ferry Road and continued west.

As Smith radioed for help in the pursuit, the Cadillac swerved across the road and began braking at about 158th Avenue. Another car on the road tried to get out of the way as the Cadillac roared past.

Approaching Barrows Road, the Cadillac driver hit the brakes, swerved through an intersection and blasted onto Barrows going east.

Spike strips

Even as Smith was chasing the Cadillac, about a dozen other police officers from Beaverton, Tigard and the Washington County Sheriff's Office were rushing to the area. Beaverton police set up spike strips at the east end of Barrows Road near Southwest Walnut Lane. The Cadillac hit the spikes but continued east on Barrows, turning east on Scholls Ferry Road going about 65 mph.

Near 130th Avenue and Summerlake Drive, the Cadillac's right rear tire began to wobble and the car began slowing. The driver ignored warnings from Smith's public address system to stop the car.

Beaverton and Tigard police set up more spike strips at Scholls Ferry Road and Nimbus Avenue. By this time, several minutes into the chase, three Beaverton police cars were in pursuit of the Cadillac.

The Cadillac drove over the second set of spike strips, forcing the car to shudder, throwing chunks of tires onto the road.

Near the intersection, the Cadillac wobbled and struck a cement median strip, bringing the chase to an end. The car's front left tire had disintegrated, leaving only the metal rim, but the Cadillac's driver was revving the engine, still trying to drive away.

Smith and Beaverton officers Dan Frye and Jon Shields approached the car cautiously. The driver quickly put his hands up and climbed out, lying on the pavement until he was handcuffed.

The chase had lasted less than 10 minutes and reached speeds of about 65 mph on Scholls Ferry Road.

Smith put Rice in Beaverton's holding cell, where he slept during most of the booking process.

When Smith asked if Rice wanted to know the charges against him, he replied 'no,' he'd eventually find out what they were.

Smith then asked Rice how much he'd had to drink that night. 'Obviously not enough,' Rice replied.