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Dog Sniffs Out Runaway Driver

by: Chase Allgood of the News-Times, Christopher Soares

A Gaston man managed to elude police officers during a high speed chase early Thursday morning, but couldn't shake Bossk, a German Shepherd that's part of the county's K-9 unit.

Christopher Soares was arrested Tuesday, Sept. 14, after a Washington County deputy recognized him driving a 2001 maroon Daewoo.

Soares, who had outstanding warrants for failure to appear in court charges of drug possession and drunk driving, was heading south on Southwest 185th Avenue from Southwest Shaw Street, police said.

The deputy attempted to stop the 22-year-old Gaston man using his lights and siren. But, police said, Soares accelerated and continued west on SW 185th at a high rate of speed. The pursuit continued through Aloha and then west on SW Farmington Road.

Police said Soares was driving too recklessly for the deputies to keep up with him. His speeds reportedly exceeded 85 mph at times and he passed in a no passing zone, and ran several stop signs.

The lead deputy in the pursuit lost sight of the suspect vehicle but noticed fresh skid marks turning from Farmington Road onto Southwest Robinson Road.

Deputies flooded the area and eventually located the suspect vehicle parked in a driveway in the 10700 block of Robinson Road.

The car was occupied by Soares' girlfriend, 22 year-old Mandy Edwards of Gaston, and their two year-old son, according to police, who said both had been in the car during the pursuit.

Bossk, a Washington County K-9 was called to search for Soares who was located hiding in blackberry bushes several hundred yards from the car.

After giving several commands to Soares ordering him to come out of the bushes, police said he eventually complied and was arrested without further incident.

Soares was treated by paramedics at the scene for superficial scratches he sustained while he was crawling through the blackberry bushes. He was later transported to the Washington County Jail where he was booked on the following charges:

Recklessly endangering another person (two counts, one for his son and one for his girlfriend)

Felony attempt to elude a police officer

Misdemeanor attempt to elude a police officer.

Possession of a controlled substance (methamphetamine).

Edwards was not charged with any crimes.