Driver racks up six charges during wild ride through SE Portland

See how Portland Police Bureau officers helped Oregon State Police corral this allegedly impaired driver – who refused to give up …

With a Portland Police Bureau car in front, and an OSP cruiser behind, this driver’s romp through SE Portland came to an abrupt end.

Story and photos by David F. Ashton
A 34-year old Oregon City man is facing multiple charges after he attempted to elude Oregon State Police and Portland Police Bureau on September 29.

“It started about 1:45 p.m.,” reported Oregon State Police (OSP) spokesman Lt. Gregg Hastings. “OSP got a report of an erratic driver on Interstate 205. An OSP sergeant was in the right place at the right time – and signaled for the driver of a gold Oldsmobile Alero to stop. The vehicle exited at Johnson Creek Boulevard, and stopped at the top of the ramp.”

The sergeant then got out of his car to speak with the driver, Hastings told us, who showed obvious signs of impairment. Shortly thereafter, the driver started up the car and fled from the traffic stop location.

The reportedly reckless driving of the fleeing vehicle attracted the attention of many OSP and Portland Police officers.

Even when trapped on a dead-end street, the driver failed to stop – until a police “tactical driving maneuver” ended the chase. OSP Photo

Driver flees from traffic stop
“Our sergeant kept him in sight,” Hastings continued. “Over the next ten minutes the driver failed to yield to the OSP sergeant, and attempted to elude at speeds estimated near 50 mph. He went west from Interstate 205 on numerous side streets, in and out of the Portland City limits.”

When Portland Police Bureau East Precinct and Traffic Division officers heard the incident unfold on their radios, they helped try to corral the careening Oldsmobile as it zigzagged on SE Duke Street and SE Flavel Street, in the Brentwood-Darlington Neighborhood. The procession headed south on SE 52nd Avenue, then onto SE Harney Street – and continued south through the Ardenwald-Johnson Creek neighborhood, heading toward Sellwood.

The fleeing driver may have fancied himself a race-car driver while making his getaway, but didn’t exhibit the necessary skills. Just before the Tacoma Street Bridge, he took a right turn – apparently thinking he’d head north on McLoughlin Boulevard. But it was not an onramp.

Even though he allegedly refused to cooperate after his car was pinned in, Guelker eventually was taken into police custody.

Paramedics check over suspect Guelker before  taking him to the hospital.

Foiled by a navigation mistake
“The car traveled into an industrial area just north of SE Tacoma Street, onto SE 26th Place, where the driver was faced with a dead end street,” Hastings told us at the scene of the arrest. “The driver backed into the front of both OSP and PPB patrol cars, and then attempted a U-turn. The OSP sergeant conducted a tactical vehicle intervention technique, using the front push bumpers against the car’s rear bumper, to force it to a stop.  The PPB officer then pinned the front of the car to a stop.”

Even after all that, the belligerent driver was unwilling to cooperate.

“He failed to comply with officers’ commands to exit his vehicle. The driver’s side window was then broken out by an OSP sergeant, using his baton. The driver got out, but still refused to comply with the officers’ requests. Officers deployed a Taser. The individual was then taken into custody without further incident,” concluded Hastings.

Officials say this man, 34-year-old Tony Allen Guelker, faces multiple charges stemming from his reportedly wild ride through SE Portland. Clackamas County Jail photo

Takes suspended license driver off the road
The man, later identified as Tony Allen Guelker, age 34, was transported by ambulance to Oregon Health Sciences University for treatment of a minor injury, and then was taken into custody later that evening. He was lodged at the Clackamas County Jail.

“Guelker has been charged with Felony Attempt to Elude in a Vehicle; Driving Under the Influence of Intoxicants; Reckless Driving; Recklessly Endangering Another Person (3 counts); and, Criminal Mischief in the Second Degree,” Hastings later reported.

On top of it all, Hastings said that Guelker was also cited for Driving While Suspended.

Portland Police and OSP officers take a last look at the car of a driver who allegedly refused to stop after being spotted driving erratically in outer SE Portland.

© 2009 David F. Ashton ~ East Portland News

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