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Man Undergoing Mental Evaluation Following Attempt to Elude on South Coast
04/03/2009
Sergeant Scott Punch
Oregon State Police - Gold Beach
Office: (541) 247-6642

A 38-year old north Portland man was taken into custody and is currently undergoing a mental evaluation at a Brookings-area hospital following an attempt to elude state, county and city police officers for about 25 miles on Highway 101. The man's name is withheld pending the mental evaluation and any decision to charge him related to this incident.
 
On April 3, 2009 at approximately 2:10 p.m. Oregon State Police (OSP) Senior Trooper Jeff Johnson observed a rented 2009 Toyota Camry northbound on Highway 101 at the Oregon / California border traveling 90 mph near milepost 362. Unknown to the trooper, California police agencies had also received a driving complaint on this car.
 
Senior Trooper Johnson tried to stop the Toyota but it attempted to elude northbound at speeds in excess of 80 mph. As it approached the city of Brookings the trooper terminated his attempt to stop it and backed off while keeping it in sight.
 
Brookings police and a Curry County sheriff deputy attempted to stop the car in Brookings where it nearly struck a pedestrian crossing the road. The car continued northbound out of Brookings with officers trying to keep it in sight.
 
OSP Sergeant Scott Punch assumed lead near milepost 344 as the Toyota's speeds reached in excess of 100 mph. Near milepost 337, an OSP Fish & Wildlife trooper deployed a spike strip and the car stopped shortly after running over it.
 
State, county and city officers shut down the highway as they tried to talk the driver out of the car, but the driver refused and locked himself inside. The officers subsequently broke out two windows through which a Curry County deputy deployed a Taser to gain compliance and allow officers to take the driver into custody at 2:23 p.m.
 
OSP transported the man to Curry General Hospital where he is undergoing a mental evaluation.
The investigation is continuing and any enforcement decision is pending.