Two people were arrested Friday in Grant County after a multi-agency pursuit started in Prineville when a woman’s son threatened to kill her for calling police on his drug use, according to police.
Prineville Police Cpt. Larry Seymour said the incident started about 1:45 p.m. Friday when a woman driving from Portland to Colorado reported being the victim of an attempted assault with a knife in the area of the 600 Block of NW 3rd Street.
Jeremy McLaughlin, 29, was reportedly injecting heroin in the back seat of the car with the help of his girlfriend, Seymour said. The woman’s husband was riding in the front while she drove.
The woman threatened to call the police on their drug use and when she did, McLaughlin reportedly showed a knife and threatened to kill her. Seymour said the woman eventually got out of the car at the 600 Block of NW 3rd Street.
McLaughlin reportedly got out of the car, and tried to get her back in the car while yelling at her that he was going to kill her. It was also reported that both the woman’s husband, and McLaughlin, were telling her she was going to die, Seymour said.
The woman reported McLaughlin stopped trying to get her back in the car when she started screaming for someone to call the police. McLaughlin reportedly got into the driver’s seat of the car, and left the area headed east on NW 3rd with his father and girlfriend in the car with him. Seymour said all three had reportedly been using heroin for the last couple days.
It was reported that there were multiple knives in the car, a handgun, and later learned there may be a homemade bomb in the car. It was confirmed that McLaughlin had a nationwide felony arrest warrant for escape/burglary and theft out of Colorado, and we were cautioned that McLaughlin would not be cooperative, Seymour said.
Officer Dallas Wilson put out an Attempt to Locate (ATL), stop, and detain for the vehicle and its occupants in the areas it was reported they might travel to.
Seymour said they were later advised the suspect and car involved in the case, a Silver 1999 Honda with luggage and items on the roof, was involved in a pursuit and traffic crash in the area of Highway 26, MP 131 in Wheeler County.
According to the Wheeler County Sheriff’s Office deputies were dispatched about 2:20 p.m. to attempt to locate a grey Honda Accord traveling East on Highway 26 from Prineville.
Wheeler County Sheriff’s Deputy Hines quickly responded to the area of Mitchell and headed east on Highway 26. Hines made contact with a local subject who said he saw a car matching the description of the car he was looking for.
Deputy Hines, believing he was minutes behind the vehicle, notified dispatch and continued traveling east on the highway towards Grant County. The area Deputy Hines was traveling has about 15 miles of no radio coverage due to the terrain.
Once the deputy got out of the John Day River canyons west of the City of Dayville, in Grant County, he notified dispatch he had found the suspect vehicle. The Oregon State Police were also in this area and fell in behind the suspect vehicle and attempted a traffic stop, which the driver failed to stop.
According to Oregon State Police, during the pursuit McLaughlin instructed his girlfriend to cut the straps that was holding down several plastic containers to the roof of the car. When she did, the containers came off the vehicle and directly into the path of the pursuing police vehicles, nearly causing a crash.
Deputy Hines along with the Oregon State Police, Grant County Sheriff’s Office, John Day Police Department, BLM Law Enforcement and USFS Law Enforcement pursued the vehicle.
Due to the risk to public safety spikes stripes were deployed. McLaughlin made contact with the spike strips where he lost control of the car causing him to collide with two other motorists on the highway.
Oregon State Police said McLaughlin was charged with Elude In A Vehicle, Reckless Driving, Reckless Endangering (x5), DUID, Assault II, Assault III, Possession of Methamphetamines, and Possession of Heroin. McLaughlin’s father, Robert Malloy, was taken to the hospital with minor injuries and later transported to the Grant County jail, where he was lodged for Felon in Possession of a Restricted Weapon.
The girlfriend, 27, was taken to the hospital with serious injuries and later air lifted to St. Charles in Bend. Oregon State Police Bomb Squad responded to the scene to search for a reported explosive device; none was found. The westbound lane was shut down for about 10 hours.
There were no injuries to the civilian motorists or law enforcement.
The case has been sent to the Crook County DA. McLaughlin was arraigned Monday in Grant County and is due back in court on December 16th.