KLAMATH COUNTY, Ore. — A suspect is now in custody following a high-speed car chase on Wednesday that ended when a K-9 tracked the suspect down through heavy snow, according to the Klamath County Sheriff's Office (KCSO).
Around 12:30 a.m., deputies tried to stop a black Doge SUV near Altamont Drive and Hilyard Avenue. Instead, the driver eluded them — driving "recklessly at high speeds" through the neighborhood and onto Highway 140 East.
Deputies attempted a close pursuit, but the driver kept swerving toward oncoming traffic and at the deputies.
"Realizing danger to the public, deputies followed the vehicle at a safe distance for over 50 miles and eventually onto unpaved roads," KCSO said. Finally, the suspect's vehicle became stuck in deep snow and the man fled on foot.
Arriving on the suspect's heels, KCSO deputies unleashed K-9 "Chief" to track the man down.
“The pursuit ended rather quickly in a canyon with a foot and a half of snow. Chief caught the suspect and held him by the foot for several minutes until I could arrive, and continued to hold him until more back-up arrived. The suspect kicked Chief multiple times but Chief just held him,” said K-9 handler Deputy Hoy. “If we had to track this suspect through hazardous terrain in the middle of the night without Chief, someone would have gotten hurt.”
No one was seriously hurt in the chase — including Chief, KCSO said — and there was no property damage. In a statement, KCSO gave all the credit for the safe apprehension to Chief.
“We’re all super proud of him. He demonstrated outstanding bravery, and did exactly what he’s trained to do,” said Deputy Hoy.
The suspect, later identified as 32-year-old James C. Vincent, was charged with two counts of Attempted Assault I, Attempting to Elude, Recklessly Endangering Another Person, and Reckless Driving.