Two men were arrested Sunday in what was then a level 3 evacuation zone just north of Milo McIver State Park. Drugs, weapons, burglary tools and a firework were found in their possession, police said.
Ryan Burnette, 31, of Vancouver, Wash., and Justin Valente, 32, of Portland, face various charges for their roles in the incident, which included a high-speed chase through fire-ravaged northern Clackamas County.
Deputies were dispatched to the area of South Springwater Road and Feldheimer, northwest of Estacada, Sunday on a report of a suspicious vehicle, which was reported to have gas cans on its exterior, according to the caller.
A deputy initiated a traffic stop for a faulty brake light, and the driver slowly came to a stop. However, as the deputy approached on foot, the driver rapidly drove away in an attempt to flee, police said.
Other patrol units in the area responded to assist with the pursuit. An Oregon State Police trooper was able to deploy spike strips — a device used to safely deflate the suspect vehicle’s tires — in an attempt to bring the pursuit to a stop.
As the vehicle continued fleeing, a deputy attempted a Pursuit Intervention Technique (PIT) maneuver — an intentional spinning of the vehicle to cause it to stop — which was unsuccessful. However, it apparently encouraged the driver to abandon his flight, as he stopped his vehicle and surrendered.
“The driver stated he fled because he was scared and believed he had a warrant for his arrest,” a release from the sheriff’s office said. “He said he was in the area to help his dad move, but was unable to provide his dad’s address.”
A search of the vehicle revealed heroin, methamphetamine, drug paraphernalia, a dagger, an air-powered pistol replica, an assortment of shaved vehicle keys and “a single firework,” as well as various hand and power tools, according to police.
The two men were arrested were transported to an area hospital for treatment of pre-existing medical conditions. Both were charged with possession of heroin, possession of methamphetamine, felon in possession of a restricted weapon and possession of burglary tools.
Burnette — the driver — was also charged with attempt to elude a police officer.
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