Man escapes Oregon mental hospital while fully shackled and drives away

Christopher Lee Pray

SALEM, Ore. (AP) — A man newly transferred to Oregon’s psychiatric hospital managed to escape while fully shackled and then drove off in a stolen van, the Oregon State Police said Thursday.

Christopher Pray, who was previously charged with attempted murder and other crimes, was last seen driving south on Interstate 5, the Oregon State Police said on Facebook, calling him a “dangerous escapee.”

The state police statement said they were notified Wednesday night of the escape. He “eluded law enforcement southbound on Interstate 5,” the state police said, without specifying how he managed to escape despite being “fully restrained with leg shackles, a belly chain, handcuffs, and a restraint connecting all three together.”

UPDATE: Oregon State Hospital patient who escaped in shackles found, rescued from mud

Pray faced charges including attempted murder, robbery, assault and felon in possession of a firearm in Multnomah County Circuit Court, where Portland is located, but was sent on Wednesday to the Oregon State Hospital in Salem after he was found unfit to proceed with trial, according to court records.

Pray, who was wearing a white T-shirt, maroon sweatpants and black rubber slippers, is considered extremely dangerous, the police said, asking the public to dial 911 and report any sightings of him or the white 2016 Dodge Caravan he was driving.

Oregon State Hospital spokesperson Amber Shoebridge said Pray had “an altercation with another patient” shortly after he was admitted and needed to be taken away for treatment, Oregon Public Broadcasting reported. When he was brought back to the Oregon State Hospital that night, Pray was “able to gain control of the van and drive away,” OPB reported.

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Pray is considered extremely dangerous and should not be approached.  Court records indicate Pray was charged on May 3 with attempted aggravated murder, two counts of assault, one count of robbery and three weapons charges. 

OSP is urging the public to dial 911 and report any sightings of Pray or the Dodge he was driving.

Christopher Lee Pray

  • 39 years old
  • 6 ft. tall, 170 pounds
  • Brown hair and brown eyes
  • White male 
  • Trimmed facial hair- may be different from photo
  • Stitches on his upper lip
  • Tattoos- Right arm- “PRAY”; right forearm – “S”; neck- possibly “supreme”
  • Full restraints- leg shackles, belly chain, and handcuffs
  • White t-shirt, maroon sweatpants, and black rubber slippers.

2016 white Dodge Caravan- (photo not actual vehicle)

  • Oregon license plate- E265614
  • No identifying marks

Central Oregon Daily News contributed to this report.


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