From Redmond Police:
Redmond, Ore – On 02/23/2016 at approximately, an off-duty Redmond police Sergeant was driving a marked patrol vehicle westbound on Hwy 126 near mile post 106 when an eastbound full size Ford van drove across the centerline and nearly collided with the patrol vehicle. The Sergeant had to take evasive action to avoid a crash.
The Sergeant turned around and attempted to stop the van. The van did not stop and continued driving at highway speeds, not exceeding 60 mph. Two Deschutes County Sheriff’s Office Deputies were in the same area already, responding to citizen reports the van driver may be impaired due to observed poor driving. The DCSO Deputies and an Oregon State Police Fish & Wildlife Trooper joined in the pursuit of the van.
Additional Redmond police officers responded to the area of SW Highland Ave and SW 31st Street and blocked traffic on SW Highland Ave (Hwy 126). “Spike strips” were deployed near the intersection and other officers set up at key intersections on SW Highland Ave at SW 27th Street SW Rimrock Way to control traffic in order to keep other motorists safe.
The van eventually stopped on its own prior to reaching the “spike strips,” stopping next to several other non-involved vehicles which had stopped while the highway was blocked. The driver of the vehicle, later identified as Mr. Scott Leachman, 64 years of age from Sisters, initially followed commands to exit the vehicle but became non-compliant and verbally challenged officers while standing outside of his vehicle. Officers approached Leachman and put him on the ground and placed him in-custody.
Leachman sustained injury during the arrest, and in combination with extreme intoxication, resulted in Redmond Fire & Rescue medics responding to the scene at law enforcement’s request. Leachman was transported to St Charles Medical Center – Redmond for treatment. No other persons were injured as a result of this incident. Leachman was alone in the vehicle during this incident.
Redmond police officers applied for and were granted a search warrant to seize blood from Leachman. The blood test results are not yet known. Leachman was deemed medically stable to be lodged in jail. Leachman was taken to the Deschutes County Sheriff’s Office Adult Jail and lodged on the following crimes: DUII-Felony (to wit alcohol), Driving While Suspended – Felony, Attempt to Elude a Police Officer – Felony, Reckless Driving, Interfering with a Peace Officer and Attempted Assault in the Second Degree. A portion of the Assault in the Second Degree statute reads:
163.175 (1)(c) Recklessly causes serious physical injury to another by means of a deadly or dangerous weapon under circumstances manifesting extreme indifference to the value of human life.
Your Redmond Police Department is committed to make Redmond the safest community in Oregon. In this incident, choosing to continue the pursuit was deemed appropriate and justified due speeds travelled and the amount of traffic on the road, in addition to the belief the driver may be impaired and was driving poorly prior to the start of the pursuit. Discontinuing this pursuit would have allowed a suspected impaired driver to continue driving and put everyone at risk. We are very appreciative of everyone’s understanding why the highway was blocked and apologize for the inconvenience caused by Leachman’s actions.