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Oakridge man sentenced for assault, police chase

Travis Gerlits, 42, was sentenced to 8 years and 6 months in prison after he pleaded guilty last week to a half dozen charges.

Posted: Mar 3, 2020 10:55 AM

EUGENE, Ore. -- A judge sentenced an Oakridge man to more than eight years in prison Tuesday for an incident last November that caused a multi-day manhunt. 

Travis Gerlits, 42, was sentenced to 8 years and 6 months in prison after he pleaded guilty last week to a half-dozen charges, including felony assault and attempting to elude a police officer. 

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The charges stem from an incident on November 21, 2019. Prosecutors said Gerlits was upset over a text message his partner received from another man. Gerlits dragged her out of bed by her hair. When the woman eventually escaped in a car, Gerlits took off in a different vehicle with his 3-year-old son. 

Police engaged in a low-speed chase for more than two hours before Gerlits escaped into the woods in the Bohemia mine area.

Gerlits and his son were located the following day. Gerlits reportedly told police he fled with his son because he knew he was headed to prison for his actions and wanted more time with his child. 

Gerlits declined to make a statement to the court during Tuesday's sentencing. 

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