Car thief crashes into three vehicles, injuring two people
Police dog finds Matthew Dean Magistrale hiding in a garbage can
At least two people were hospitalized Wednesday, Oct. 2, following a four-car crash in Gresham.
Matthew Dean Magistrale, 24, a transient, is being held on $22,500 bail at the Multnomah County Detention Center on allegations of driving while intoxicated, reckless driving, unauthorized use of a motor vehicle, felony hit and run resulting in injuries, felony attempt to elude police and fourth-degree assault. He also is being held on a Clackamas County warrant for second-degree escape.
Magistrale reportedly stole a 2007 Jeep Wrangler from Brasher's Auto Auction, in the 23500 block of Northeast Sandy Boulevard in Wood Village, at about 4:15 p.m., said Detective John Rasmussen, a Gresham Police spokesman.
About 10 minutes later, motorists reported seeing the stolen vehicle driving recklessly toward downtown Gresham.
Two TriMet officers tried to stop the car, but the driver just picked up speed and continued driving recklessly, so officers stopped the pursuit. "They didn't want to create any more hazards than there already were," Rasmussen said.
At 4:34 p.m., as Magistrale turned left from eastbound West Powell Boulevard onto northbound Northwest Eastman Parkway, he crashed into three cars. The force of the crash sent debris flying, damaging a fourth vehicle.
Magistrale ran away from the scene, jumped two fences and hid from police, while bystanders rushed to tend to two people who were injured in the crash.
A police dog sniffed out Magistrale and found him hiding – appropriately enough - inside a garbage can in the zero block of Northwest Sleret Avenue. Police arrested the man as ambulances transported the two injured victims to hospitals for treatment of unspecified injuries.
The East County Vehicular Crimes Team is investigating.
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