K9 Lars helps track man who led deputy on pursuit, then crashed and fled on foot

A Columbia County Sheriff's deputy and K9 deputy nabbed a burglary suspect near Clatskanie Friday evening, Oct. 6, after the suspect fled the scene and then crashed a vehicle.

COLUMBIA COUNTY SHERIFF'S OFFICE PHOTO - A Lincoln Mark VIII crashes into a field outside Clatskanie city limits, following a pursuit by a Columbia County Sheriff's deputy.A deputy was dispatched to a distrubance call at 10:49 p.m. Friday, in the 200 block of South Nehalem Road in Clatskanie. When the deputy arrived, a suspect, David Hunter, 50, of Clatskanie, was spotted running toward a 1996 Lincoln Mark VIII parked on South Nehalem Road, Columbia County Sheriff's Office reported in a news release.

The suspect got into the sedan and sped off as he saw the Sheriff's deputy arrive. The deputy pursued Hunter, with lights and siren activated, to no avail. Hunter sped up and drove out of city limits, toward Clatskanie Heights Road, according to CCSO.

"The deputy followed the suspect vehicle out of town, and observed the vehicle lose control and crash on a turn," the news release states. "The suspect ran away on foot while the deputy secured the scene and summoned additional help from our K9 tracking unit."

Lars, a Belgian Malinois K9 deputy who joined the Sheriff's Office in 2015, began tracking the suspect at 10:54 p.m., and found Hunter at 11:18 p.m., CCSO stated. Hunter

Hunter cooperated once he was caught, and didn't resist arrest. He was arrested and booked into Columbia County Jail on charges of attempt to elude police, and reckless driving. Hunter remains in jail on $27,500 bail.

An investigation into the incident is ongoing.

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