April 1, 2013
Captain Tim Svenson
Yamhill County Sheriff's Office
On March 31, 2013 at around 7:08 pm, an Oregon State Police Senior Trooper Phil Richardson, accompanied by a civilian rider, made a traffic stop on a vehicle going 85 mph in a 55 mph speed zone on Highway 47 just north of McMinnville. After Trooper Richardson issued a citation for the speed violation, the driver left visibly angry southbound on Highway 47 and at some point turned around northbound. Trooper Richardson drove from the traffic stop location southbound and saw the same vehicle pass him in the opposite direction. As Trooper Richardson was continuing southbound and was nearing Highway 99, he saw the vehicle approaching from behind at a high rate of speed and crashed into the back of the OSP patrol car. The suspect vehicle then fled the scene.
After the collision, Trooper Richardson attempted to overtake the eluding vehicle north towards Carlton, but lost sight of it. A short time later Carlton Police located the vehicle and a pursuit ensued. At that time several agencies joined the pursuit which leads out of Carlton on Meadowlake Road. The pursuit continued West on Meadowlake Road towards Haskins Creek, where the suspect pulled into a large gravel area. The suspect vehicle then attempted to back into a Yamhill County patrol vehicle and then fled again headed East on Meadowlake Road. At that point a Yamhill Police Officer Travis Van Cleave fired at the vehicle.
A McMinnville police officer successfully deployed spike strips, bringing the suspect vehicle to a stop near the Meadowlake Rd intersection at Old Moorse Valley Road. Yamhill County Sheriff’s Deputies took the suspect into custody after deploying Tasers.
The suspect, Bryan Christopher Mitchell, age 29, from Yamhill, was transported to Willamette Valley Medical Center where he was treated for a minor gunshot wound and released. He was lodged in the Yamhill County Jail on two charges of Attempted Assault in the Third Degree, Reckless Driving, Hit & Run, and felony Elude in a Vehicle. Total bail is set at $32,500.
Officer Van Cleave, by standard protocol, has been placed on administrative leave. Yamhill County Sheriff Jack Crabtree requested Oregon State Police Major Crimes Section to take lead on the investigation due to the number of Yamhill County agencies involved in the incident.
During the initial phase of this incident after Trooper Richardson’s patrol car was struck by the suspect vehicle, he requested cover. OSP Trooper Nic Cederberg was in the area, responded to the call and was involved in a minor injury single vehicle crash. Trooper Cederberg was taken to a local hospital and treated and released.
The investigation is ongoing.