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Man Arrested After Stealing Commercial Truck, Attempting to Elude Police on Interstate 5 near Roseburg

October 25, 2013

Lieutenant Gregg Hastings
Public Information Officer
(503) 731-3020 ext 247

A 36-year old Wolf Creek, Oregon man was arrested late Thursday night after he stole a commercial truck at knife-point and later attempted to elude Oregon State Police (OSP) and local police agencies along Interstate 5 in Douglas County. The elude attempt ended after police deployed spike strips on the truck's tires and the truck became disabled in the center median of the freeway north of Roseburg.

According to Sergeant Matt Bowersox, on October 24, 2013 at approximately 9:54 p.m., OSP received a report of that a blue Peterbuilt commercial truck was hijacked at knife-point at Wolf Creek where the driver had stopped for dinner. The suspect fled in the truck, which was hauling a load of paper products, northbound on Interstate 5 from Wolf Creek.

At approximately 10:14 p.m., an OSP trooper saw the stolen commercial truck and trailer northbound near milepost 109 in the Myrtle Creek area. The trooper attempted to stop the truck but the driver failed to yield and continued northbound. Troopers and assisting local officers learned the driver was TRAVIS BLONDELL, age 36, from Wolf Creek, who a week earlier was arrested for assaulting a police officer and is known to be violent.

Officers from Douglas County Sheriff's Office and Roseburg Police Department deployed spike strips south of Roseburg, successfully deflating some tires. As the truck continued northbound, the tire tread shredded off and some of the wheels were down to bare rims. The suspect was reportedly throwing items out of the moving truck, displaying obscene hand gestures at police, and damaged some ODOT property while speeds slowed to below 10 mph.

Five miles north of Roseburg near milepost 131, at approximately 11:12 p.m. the truck and trailer went into the center median where it got stuck. The driver refused to comply with police orders to exit the truck so a Roseburg police canine was sent into the truck at which point BLONDELL came outside and was taken into custody. Officers immediately rendered aid for dog bites on his arms before he was transported to Mercy Medical Center where he was treated and released.

BLONDELL was lodged in the Douglas County Jail for Unauthorized Use of a Motor Vehicle, Felony Attempt to Elude in a Vehicle, Reckless Driving, Recklessly Endangering Another Person, Criminal Mischief in the First Degree, and misdemeanor Fail to Perform Duties of a Driver in an Accident. OSP will be submitting reports to the Josephine County District Attorney's Office for Robbery in the First Degree. Additional charges may be pending.

The victim commercial truck driver, a 31-year old California man, was transported by an OSP trooper from Wolf Creek to the scene to retrieve his personal effects from the truck. He was then taken to a nearby hotel and his trucking company was contacted to make arrangements to help their driver and to recover the truck and trailer.

OSP troopers were assisted during this incident by Douglas County Sheriff's Office, Roseburg Police Department, and Sutherlin Police Department.


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