MEDFORD, Ore. — Just after 7:00 Saturday morning, Brian Gross was interrupted by an unusual sound.
“All of a sudden I heard sirens. And then I heard some yelling coming from over there just beyond the trees, beyond the hedge, and I heard somebody yelling stop, stop,” said witness Brian Gross.
Gross watched as a man sprinted past an opening in the bushes of his back yard. He says his first instinct was to chase him down, but when the police showed up in force, he decided otherwise.
“They were obviously trying to set up a perimeter, so I just said, ‘two houses down!’” recalled Gross.
Police say that man was 23-year old Medford transient Dominic Pritchett. Pritchett apparently stole a 2005 Mercedes Benz from the neighborhood near Keene Way and Hillcourt, got into a hit and run with another car, and eventually crashed near the corner of Hillcrest and Modoc. Then, he started running. Police set up a perimeter and gave chase, but couldn’t catch up.
“He had a jump on them, you know, tall fences… Lots of stuff can account for someone getting away, but officers weren’t right behind him, he was a little ways away, explained Corporal Chris Dode with the Medford Police.
Hours later they found Pritchett walking along the side of the road. While he remains in custody and prepares to face charges, neighbors say they’re left with memories of a scene that was more like a reality show than real life.
“You see it on TV, but it’s a little more exhilarating when you’re experiencing it first-hand,” said Gross.
Pritchett was charged with unauthorized use of a motor vehicle, attempting to evade police, and hit and run. Police say the stolen car has been released to its owners, although with some heavy front-end damage.