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Teen driver flees Ardenwald; taken down in Lents

by: DAVID F. ASHTON - The alleged driver, a 17-year-old, bolted after his fleeing Ford was stopped by a police PIT maneuver - but he didnt escape the law officers who chased him down. Here he is shown, sitting on a curb, in custody.Neighbors annoyed by a trio of teenagers allegedly shooting off fireworks at Ardenwald Elementary School on S.E. Roswell Street in the Ardenwald-Johnson Creek neighborhood finally had enough, and called the Milwaukie Police at 11:10 pm on Tuesday night, July 2.

A Milwaukie police officer tried to contact the occupants of a white Ford compact car near S.E. 36th and Barba Street – but they didn’t want to be contacted.

“The driver attempted to elude the officer and sped away,” said Milwaukie Police Information Officer Ulli Neitch. “But, the driver turned into a dead-end cul-de-sac near the east side of the school. When the officer pulled in behind the vehicle, the driver turned, and twice rammed the front of her patrol car head-on, while trying to elude the stop.”

The driver managed to navigate to S.E. Johnson Creek Boulevard, and then up S.E. Bell Avenue into Portland – thence heading west on S.E. Luther Street, near 82nd Avenue, when he turned south on 76th Avenue – another dead end street.

It was there that the suspect driver struck a Clackamas County Sheriff’s Office patrol car that had arrived in the area to assist in the pursuit.

Escaping the law once again, the driver headed north on S.E. 82nd Avenue of Roses.

According to reports coming over the police radio, the suspect driver appeared to steer the car toward a Portland Police officer who was preparing to throw a “spike strip” to deflate the car’s tires.

The car turned east on S.E. Flavel Street, then north on 84th Avenue. Portland East Precinct and Traffic Division officers continued the pursuit, and a Transit Division officer ended it with a successful PIT (“Precision Immobilization Technique”) maneuver in the 7200 block of S.E. 84th Avenue.

The suspect driver still wasn’t ready to surrender, and took off running north up the street.

But the two passengers, a male and a female, stayed and surrendered to the police. The female told officers that the suspect driver took her Samsung Galaxy S5 cell phone on which she had been recording the events of the evening.

More Portland Police officers pulled into the area, and officers caught the suspected driver about four blocks north, on S.E. 84th Avenue near Duke Street.

“Three occupants of the vehicle were taken into custody,” Neitch reported. “The driver and the passengers in the vehicle were all juveniles.

“The 17-year old driver was transported to a local hospital for minor injuries that resulted from the incident,” Neitch added. “The two juvenile passengers were released to legal guardians.”

A criminal complaint will be forwarded to the District Attorney's Office. The charges will no doubt include the damage sustained by one Milwaukie patrol car and one Clackamas County patrol when rammed by the suspect vehicle.