Fleeing driver crashes into yard

It wasn’t a ‘dragnet’ that caught this man as he tried to elude police – he was stopped by steel mesh, in a Hazelwood neighborhood yard …

Portland Police District and Gang officers converge on a yard in the Hazelwood neighborhood where a fleeing driver drove his car.

Story and photos by David F. Ashton

It could have been a broken tail light, or a rapid lane change without signaling, that caused the driver of a white Honda two-door coupe to take off when a Portland Police Bureau (PPB) signaled for him to stop on SE Division Street at 125th Avenue, during the late evening hours of October 22.

It was about 10:15 p.m. The driver at first appeared to be following the East Precinct officer’s commands – but then he stepped on the gas and sped off.

After missing the house, and threading his getaway car between two trees, the fleeing suspect is trapped by a steel fence.

The precise route of the suspect’s route remains unclear, as he did his best to elude the rapidly increasing number of PPB units following him through outer East Portland.

The suspect made his way through Hazelwood neighborhood streets, and finally to SE Harrison Street – a stub of a road than runs between SE 140th and 146th Avenue.

“I looked out to see why so many cop cars were on our street,” remarked a neighbor, who walked up the street to see where the pursuit ended. “There were a lot of them, all coming [west] on SE Harrison Street.”

Officers box in the car, making sure it won’t drive away after this stop.

Somewhere along the way, an officer got a “good spike” on the car – that is, throwing out a “spike stick” that punctures, and slowly deflates, tires.

The suspect’s attempt to elude officers ended as his car approached SE 141st Avenue. The auto swerved to the south, popped up over the curb, and plowed into the yard of a neighbor on the southeast corner of the intersection.

Relentlessly followed by an unmarked patrol car – with emergency lights blazing – the Honda threaded a path between the house and two large trees.

-4 An officer talks with the eluding suspect, seated in the unmarked car.

Another unmarked car pulled around the corner and up into the yard to cut off a the escape of the vehicle – a maneuver that turned out to be unnecessary. The Honda was stopped by a steel chain-link fence.

PPB East Precinct District officers were joined by members of the Gang Enforcement Team as they took the suspect into custody.

Officers were overheard asking why the suspect appeared to have a quantity of Methadone in the vehicle with him.

Officers look pleased that this pursuit ended without injury or greater damage to property.

Although PPB Public Information Officer Sgt. Greg Stewart checked and re-checked the records, further information about this pursuit and capture was not available at the time of publication.

© 2015 David F. Ashton ~ East Portland News

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