On March 30, 2022, at 2:08 a.m., a Washington County Sheriff's Office sergeant contacted a vehicle parked on the side of SW Minter Bridge Road, near the Tualatin River. The woman told the sergeant the vehicle, a 1992 Nissan pickup, was out of gas, and her boyfriend was on his way to get more. The female told the sergeant they did not need any assistance.
The sergeant began to drive away but soon learned the truck was stolen. The sergeant and several deputies attempted to contact the woman and vehicle again, but the vehicle drove off as they approached. Deputies saw a male was driving the vehicle, and the female they contacted earlier was in the passenger seat.
Deputies tried to pull the vehicle over, but it sped away and turned into a nearby field adjacent to the Tualatin River. The truck’s driver drove through the field for about 300 yards, off a steep embankment, and into the Tualatin River. The driver of the truck climbed out and swam to the far riverbank, then ran off into the woods along with a dog that was in the vehicle.
The female passenger exited the vehicle and yelled to deputies that she could not swim as she began to float down the river in the current. A deputy removed their duty belt and vest then jumped into the river, while another deputy retrieved a throw rope. The deputy in the water swam to the woman while the other threw them the rope. While deputies pulled the woman out of the river, she told them she was six months pregnant. Deputies took care to ensure she was safely brought to the shore.
The deputy who threw the throw rope was wearing a body camera. Video of the incident can be viewed here.
Deputies, and officers from Hillsboro Police Department, searched for the male driver and dog but did not locate them.
The pregnant female was transported to a local hospital, where she was evaluated then released with no significant injuries.
The male driver was not located and has been identified as 32-year-old Jonathan Michael Laura. If you have any information on Laura or know where he is, please contact the Washington County Sheriff's Office at 503 629-0111.
Later in the morning, deputies with our Remotely Operated Vehicle Team, and Washington County Animal Services, were able to locate the missing dog safe and unharmed.
Shortly after noon, Clackamas County Sheriff's Office Marine Patrol assisted deputies and successfully removed the stolen vehicle from the Tualatin River.
The Remotely Operated Vehicle Team (ROVT) supports law enforcement operations throughout the county using robotics, unmanned aircraft (drones), and other cutting-edge technology. Team members often respond to incidents involving the Tactical Negotiations Team (TNT) or even regular patrol operations. ROVT is leading the way in drone usage for law enforcement agencies, proving the technology can be useful in many circumstances.