Handcuffed suspect steals deputy's patrol car, drives away during arrest

KEPR-TV News photo

HERMISTON, Ore. - Sheriff's deputies have arrested a Hermiston man who they say stole a deputy's patrol vehicle while handcuffed during an arrest.

The deputy said the 23-year-old suspect stole his vehicle Thursday after he was arrested in the 33400 block of East Punkin Center for an unrelated burglary.

The suspect was in the back seat of the deputy's patrol car in handcuffs behind his back while the deputy was in the driver's seat, waiting for a tow truck to pick up a truck in the burglary.

As the deputy got out of the vehicle to briefly speak to the tow truck driver, the suspect moved his cuffed hands to his front, broke the rear window and crawled out of the car and back into the driver's seat and drove away.

The suspect reportedly then crashed the car into a ditch on Tabor Road, causing damage to the patrol car.

Law enforcement personnel from multiple agencies searched for the suspect, including Hermiston Police, Stanfield Police, Umatilla Police, Oregon State Police, the U.S. Forest service and Umatilla County Community Corrections, according to reports.

People living at Cowboy Lane called police to report that a strange man was pounding on their doors. Deputies responded and found the suspect in the area.

After a short foot chase, deputies arrested Phillips in the area of Diagonal Road near Short Stop in Hermiston around 1:20 p.m. Thursday.

Reports say he is now in custody and faces charges including escape, vehicle theft and eluding police.

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