Accused vehicle thief ‘plays through’ Glendoveer Golf Course

See why golfers jumped out of the way and trail walkers leapt to safety when guy blasted across the greens and walkways …

After radio reports of a motorcycle rider eluding a Traffic Division officer, then crashing and stealing a truck, police converged in and around the Glendoveer Golf Course.

Story and photos by David F. Ashton
Duffers at Glendoveer Golf Course experienced a shot of adrenaline on an otherwise sleepy weekday afternoon, on February 13, when a white Toyota pickup truck drove wildly across the grounds during the noon hour.

“I couldn’t believe what I was seeing,” Brent Armstrong told East Portland News. “At full throttle, the truck came roaring up out of nowhere.

“Almost everyone who plays here is very polite, and there’s very little drama at Glendoveer,” Armstrong added. “But the guy driving the pickup truck roared across the rough and greens like he must have been ‘high’ on something!”

Above NE Halsey Street, a Glendoveer Trail hiker beholds the errant pickup truck, lodged in the northern fence.

As it turned out, it appears as if Armstrong was right – one of the many charges racked up by the suspect was “DUII–Controlled Substance”.

It all began, Portland Police Bureau (PPB) Public Information Officer Sgt. Pete Simpson told East Portland News, when Traffic Division Officer Tom Larson attempted to stop a motorcycle for speeding northbound on residential SE 139th Avenue near SE Stark Street in the Hazelwood Neighborhood.

“When the traffic stop was initiated, the motorcycle rider attempted to elude Officer Larson and continued north on SE 139th Avenue,” Simpson reported. “The motorcycle crashed at NE Glisan Street a short time later.”

Glendoveer maintenance workers look at the truck, now wedged into the fence.

Hoping to evade police, already converging on the area, the rider jumped up and ran into Glendoveer Golf Course. “The suspect stole a maintenance truck, and then continued north through the golf course.”

Golfer Armstrong quipped, “The guy didn’t even yell ‘Playing through!’ as he drove through the course.”

Looking at the marks left on the slick embankment, it’s clear to see where the alleged truck thief made his escape.

The thief either didn’t know the area – or wasn’t very clear-headed – because there is no exit on to NE Halsey Street, the northern boundary of Glendoveer. The driver did discover a steel chain-link fence – and a steep, 15-foot slope down to NE Halsey Street.

After crashing into the fence post, the suspected truck thief slid down the embankment and disappeared into the mid-County blocks of the Russell Neighborhood.

On NE 143rd Avenue, just north of where the truck crashed across NE Halsey Street, a PPB K-9 unit and officers begin their search of many blocks in the Russell Neighborhood.

Thanks to the help of a PPB K-9 Unit, it didn’t take long for police to find and arrest the suspect.

Records show that 27-year-old Brandon Craig Johnson was collared at 1:10 p.m.

Police accuse this man, 27-year-old Brandon Craig Johnson, of stealing two vehicles – among other charges.

Johnson was booked into the Multnomah County Detention Center at 6:25 p.m., charged with two counts of UUMV for stealing both the motorcycle and the truck, plus two counts of Possession of Stolen vehicle, Eluding Police, Reckless Driving, DUII–Controlled Substance, Second Degree Criminal Mischief, and Criminal Trespass.

Held in lieu of $30,000 combined bail, Johnson remains lodged in Multnomah County Inverness Jail.

© 2013 David F. Ashton ~ East Portland News

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