Sandy man calls police en route, avoids confrontation with strangers

After midnight Sunday, Jan. 19, a Sandy man, traveling to his home by truck from the Gresham Transit Center, realized he was being followed.

In a textbook case of the man doing everything correctly, police were able to contact the pursuing vehicle and identify the suspects.

It didn’t take long for the Sandy man to notice the gray Dodge Charger with Washington license plates was following his truck. Before he had left the transit center, he had seen the vehicle’s occupants.

He drove into a Gresham fast-food restaurant drive-through, hoping the driver of the Dodge would drive away.

Police say that would be an early way to evade a pursuer — go to a place that is well lighted where there are other people. They say a victim should not drive to what they think is the safety of their home.

The man noticed that the Dodge just waited for him to leave the drive-through, and then continued following.

The caravan of a truck and a car traveled to Sandy on Highway 26 at speeds varying from 45 to 60 mph. The driver of the Washington car matched the changing speeds of the Sandy man’s truck, without passing — often turning his high beam headlights on and off.

By the time the two vehicles arrived at Highway 26 and 362nd Drive, the Sandy man called 9-1-1, and a dispatcher told him to drive to the Sandy Police Department, where he would meet an officer now on his way to that location.

The Sandy man had been at the police station for less than a minute when an officer drove into the parking lot to speak with him.

About that time, the officer noticed the Dodge (the dispatcher had described the car) slowly passing by on Ten Eyck Road and then speeding up to go down the hill on Ten Eyck.

The officer told the Sandy man to stay at the station, while he pursued the Dodge Charger.

When he had stopped the Dodge near Coalman Road, he found three occupants: driver, Adam L. Johnson, 20; and passenger Immanuel Rodriguez, 18, both of Portland and both later cited for possession of marijuana. The third person, a female, was not cited.

All three denied following the other car, using the word “coincidence,” even though the Sandy man’s description of the trio he had seen at the transit center matched.

During a search of the vehicle, the officer discovered marijuana, drug paraphernalia, an electric stun gun, an air soft gun and a can of Mace/pepper spray.

The trio eventually was allowed to leave town, but not until they had endured a lecture from the officer on the possible consequences of carrying a hidden weapon and of stalking (following) another car.

With citations in hand, they were told to return to Gresham and not return to Sandy until their court date.

Contract Publishing

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