Deschutes County Sheriff’s Office deputies and Oregon State Police captured a suspect involved in an aggressive driving complaint near La Pine Thursday morning that led to a pursuit and the evacuation of the South County Services Building, including the sheriff’s office.
Late Thursday, the sheriff’s office released an updated timeline of the wild events that led to the arrest of 39-year-old Cody R. Cruse.
According to Sgt. William Bailey, the incident started just before 10 a.m. when a deputy saw a reckless driver on Highway 97 just north of La Pine. The truck was driving more than 90 mph and passing other vehicles in the oncoming lane and shoulder of the road. Bailey said Cruse refused to pull over and initiated a pursuit north to Wickiup Junction. then turned around and drove back southbound on Highway 97 towards La Pine.
Bailey said Cruse avoided a set of spike strips set up just north of La Pine and then the pursuit was stopped prior to it entering La Pine in the interest of public safety.
It was determined the vehicle had continued through La Pine on Highway 97 and then turned westbound onto Jackpine Loop. Deputies and Oregon State Police troopers began to set up a perimeter along Highway 97 in that area and worked together to keep the suspect vehicle from getting back onto the highway.
During this initial pursuit, the driver of the truck threw an object from the vehicle that the deputy was able to avoid in the road, Bailey said. A citizen ultimately picked up this object and delivered it to the DCSO substation located at the south end of La Pine.
Upon arrival, the object was deemed suspicious in nature and the substation, along with the South County Services complex, was evacuated as a precaution. The Oregon State Police Explosives Unit was contacted and then responded to the scene to assess the object.
Then, just after 12 p.m., Deschutes County 911 received a call regarding a work truck that had just been stolen from the downtown area of La Pine. The truck had a GPS tracker and the caller told dispatch the vehicle was in the area of Burgess Road and Lost Ponderosa Road, north of La Pine.
Deputies quickly responded to that area and located the stolen Mission Linen box truck. A second chase started with the stolen truck, which deputies were able to identify the driver as the same driver from the earlier pursuit.
This second pursuit stayed north of La Pine, primarily occurring in the forested area south of Burgess Road and east of Huntington Road. The driver was able to leave this area and then get back onto Highway 97. The driver then exited the highway again, driving into the forested area to the east of Highway 97 and to the south of Gordy’s Truck Stop, Baileys aid.
Deputies and Oregon State Police troopers began to establish a perimeter around this area while an Oregon State Police aircraft assisted overhead. Cruse ran from the truck after driving over the railroad tracks in this area. With the assistance of the Oregon State Police aircraft, deputies located and took the Cruse into custody a short time later.
Cruse was subsequently taken to St. Charles Medical Center in Bend for a medical examination. Cruse is currently being held on a probation detainer and once released from the hospital, he will face charges including; felony elude or attempt to elude, unauthorized use of a motor vehicle, first-degree criminal trespassing and reckless driving.
The Oregon State Police Explosives Unit later determined suspicious device thrown from the vehicle during the first pursuit was not dangerous. It was determined to be a radio made from an ammunition can, Bailey said. The green Ford truck from the first pursuit was found late this afternoon in a wooded area off of Jackpine Loop.