CENTRAL POINT, Ore. — Central Point Police have identified Ashton Garrett and Erick Cervantes Melinero, both from Fort Worth, TX, as their suspects after a harrowing armed robbery and car chase last night.
Police say that Garrett and Melinero held up one victim at gun point and restrained him with duct tape. A second victim reported a total of three suspects involved in the robbery, which happened on the 800 block of Greenleaf Lane in Central Point. The suspects fled the scene in a green Honda Civic sporting Texas plates.
An Oregon State Police trooper identified a vehicle matching this description and attempted to perform a traffic stop. The suspects fled and a short chase ensued, before the vehicle crashed near N Phoenix Road and Juanipero Way. Law enforcement then took Garrett and Melinero into custody.
Detectives believe that the intial robbery attempt involved a deal for several pounds of marijuana. There is no word yet on whether the third suspect has been apprehended or identified. Detectives are investigating the incident and will issue more details as they emerge.
Oregon State Police Sgt. Jeff Proulx said troopers used a TVI (tactical vehicle intervention) manuever to stop the car, which is a low-speed technique that turns the car 180 degrees.
"We don't use it when they're doing 80 or 100 or 120 miles per hour, 35 miles an hour or so is the top speed," Proulx said.
He said it's not a move they use very often.
"Not all our pursuits, probably less than half our pursuits are a low-speed pursuit and you have to have ample roadway, you have to make sure that the roadway is condusive to that type of manuever before you decide to do it," Proulx said.