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Medford Police identifies 'armed and dangerous' man wanted after fleeing traffic stop

Law enforcement officers from multiple agencies were searching for an as-yet unidentified person in a Medford neighborhood on Thursday evening.

Posted: Dec 12, 2019 5:43 PM
Updated: Dec 19, 2019 5:50 AM

MEDFORD, Ore. —

UPDATE: The Medford Police Department (MPD) has identified the man they say ran from a stolen car after being pulled over in a west Medford neighborhood on Thursday.

Officers are still looking for 33-year-old John David Lewis. When he was pulled over on Thursday, MPD said, Lewis was driving a vehicle that had been stolen in California — but the license plates had been switched.

Police first tried to stop Lewis on W Main Street, but he "drove recklessly" and eluded officers for a while. Eventually he stopped and ran away on foot.

"Although we didn't catch him, we figured out who he is," Medford Police said.

When the car was stolen in California, the owner reported that there had been a handgun inside. After recovering the car from Lewis, Medford Police said that the handgun was not found. He is being considered armed and dangerous for that reason.

Lewis is also wanted for violating his probation on a meth possession charge. He's described as 6'0" and about 200 pounds, with a tattoo of the number "541" on his left forearm.

(Updated 12/13/19 at 5:15 p.m.)


INITIAL REPORT: Law enforcement officers from multiple agencies were searching for an as-yet unidentified person in a Medford neighborhood on Thursday evening.

Officers at the scene near the corner of 10th and Elm Street told NewsWatch 12 that a Jackson County Sheriff's deputy tried to pull someone over for a traffic stop after identifying the car as stolen. The driver stopped, but then got out and ran from the vehicle.

Deputies built a perimeter and brought a K9 in to look for the subject. By 5:30 p.m., the agency hadn't said whether they had found anyone. Officers from the Medford Police Department were also on the scene.

People living within the perimeter were allowed to enter and leave, but officers were keeping everyone else out.

Lt. Mike Budreau with Medford Police said that they knew who the suspect was, but authorities were not yet releasing that information.

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