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Police say suspect, wanted on a warrant, will be caught

If you’re a wanted man, driving through Sandy at zero-dark-30 does not always mean police will not see you.

A Sandy police officer was alerted at 2:30 a.m. Jan. 10 that a person wanted on a felony warrant for first-degree burglary likely was driving through the city.

Not only was the suspected driver wanted on a felony warrant, he also had no driver’s license or liability insurance.

Police located the lifted, off-road truck, described by one officer as a “small monster truck,” but could not see who was driving it because of its height and the bright headlights.

A lengthy pursuit ensued, first through a large parking lot and then onto Highway 26 — all without stopping, signaling or slowing, even at stop signs and signal lights.

In fact, the large pickup was used in an alleged assault on a police officer when a backup Sandy officer, en route to the parking lot, turned into an intersection just as the fleeing pickup was about to enter that intersection.

The pickup driver gave no consideration to other drivers or pedestrians who might have been near that intersection, according to the police report, because he did not slow down or stop — even though the light was red.

Instead, he crossed the centerline and aimed his pickup at the arriving police car.

“I felt the suspect was coming right at me and was going to collide with me,” the officer wrote in his report. “I remember looking right at the large tire coming right at me. I also remember thinking that it could easily run over the front driver’s side of my patrol car and cause me severe injuries.”

The officer jerked his car out of the path of the oncoming truck, narrowly avoided a crash and joined the other officer in the pursuit.

The 70-mph chase took several Sandy police officers into Boring on Orient Drive, where they received assistance from Clackamas County deputies and a Gresham Police officer with a K-9 assist.

In the darkness of the early morning, the suspect quickly turned off Orient Drive into a plowed field, which the small monster truck was able to negotiate. But the patrol cars could not drive in the soft, wet dirt, and their spotlights would not reach as far as the truck traveled away from the roadway.

By the time, officers were able to reach the truck, the driver had fled on foot. The trained dog from Gresham police also was unable to locate the suspect, and the plowed condition did not lend to tracking footprints.

Officers also checked the home address of the registered owner of the truck, but did not find the 20-year-old suspect there.

Two hours after beginning the pursuit, the officers returned to their patrols.

The Clackamas County District Attorney has been informed of this incident, and when this suspect is located he likely will have to answer to the felony warrant as well as assault on a police officer, attempting to elude police, reckless endangerment and reckless driving.

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