DOUGLAS COUNTY, Ore. — Oregon State Police arrested a 36-year-old Wolf Creek man Thursday night after he allegedly stole a commercial truck and semi-trailer at knife point and then attempted to elude OSP. He was stopped and arrested after police deployed spike strips and the truck became disabled in the center median of Interstate 5 north of Roseburg.
According to OSP Sgt. Matt Bowersox, the incident began just before 10 p.m. when troopers received a report of a hijacked Peterbuilt truck which was stolen at Wolf Creek. The suspect fled northbound on I-5.
Shortly afterward, a trooper spotted the truck near milepost 109 in the Myrtle Creek area. The trooper attempted to stop the truck but the driver continued northbound. Troopers and assisting local officers learned the driver was Travis Blondell, 36, from Wolf Creek, who a week earlier was arrested for assaulting a police officer.
According to police, the spikes were deployed south of Roseburg, which successfully deflated the tires. As the truck continued northbound the tires became shredded and the wheels wore down to bare rims. Meanwhile, police say, Blondell threw items from, displayed obscene hand gestures at police, and damaged ODOT property.
Five miles north of Roseburg, near milepost 131, the truck and trailer went into the center median where it became stuck. Blondell allegedly refused to comply with police orders to exit the truck until 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.
Authorities say 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 says it will submit reports to the Josephine County District Attorney’s Office for robbery in the first degree.