ROGUE RIVER, Ore. — A multi-agency pursuit that began near Ashland on Wednesday evening finally ended with an arrest in Rogue River, the Jackson County Sheriff's Office said.
The chase began on I-5 near Ashland just before 5 p.m., when dispatch notified other agencies that the driver of a green Mercedes SUV had eluded Oregon State Police. The Mercedes was last seen speeding north along I-5.
A few minutes later, a Sheriff's Office deputy patrolling along Kirtland Road near White City saw the green Mercedes heading eastbound from the area of Blackwell Road. When the deputy followed, the suspect drove to Antelope Road and sped away, "driving recklessly." Deputies stopped the chase after less than a mile due to the amount of traffic and concerns for the safety of other drivers.
Continuing to follow the Mercedes at a distance, deputies reportedly saw it get onto Highway 62, taking the Expressway — getting onto I-5 northbound. Though the driver had slowed down due to traffic at times, the Sheriff's Office said, they sped up again once on the freeway.
At that point, officers from multiple agencies joined the pursuit — deputies from Jackson and Josephine County, troopers from Oregon State Police, and officers with several city police departments. They caught glimpses of the green Mercedes as it sped north along I-5.
The driver quickly got off the freeway at Exit 55 in Grants Pass, smashing through a fence before veering south on Foothill Boulevard. When deputies caught up, they found the green Mercedes abandoned at an I-5 underpass in the 4400-block of Foothill Boulevard, the Sheriff's Office said.
"Two subjects were reportedly seen fleeing from the vehicle," the agency said in a statement. "The two fleeing subjects were given a ride by an uninvolved citizen in a sedan who was not aware of the eluding."
Deputies and Rogue River Police found the sedan and its unsuspecting driver a short time later, pulling it over as they came into Rogue River.
"The passengers were determined to be the two individuals who fled the green Mercedes SUV," the Sheriff's Office said. "The subjects were found to be a male and female."
According to the agency, the woman was "uncooperative" with investigators, but was eventually released. The man was identified as 30-year-old Phillip Michael Davis.
"He initially denied driving the suspect vehicle," the Sheriff's Office said. "After further investigation, it was determined that Phillip Davis was the driver of the vehicle which eluded."
Davis had a felony warrant out of Washington state for Escape. He was taken into custody for for Attempting to Elude-Vehicle, Attempting to Elude On Foot, Reckless Driving, and Reckless Endangering. He is lodged on the no-bail fugitive warrant and his other total bail of $22,500.
NewsWatch 12 arrived on the scene in Rogue River shortly after officers took Davis into custody and began to disperse.