On Wednesday, March 8, 2023, at 1:42 a.m., East Precinct officers were dispatched to the area of Southeast 119th Avenue and Southeast Clinton Street to check the welfare of a man who was seen slumped over in a blue Ford F350. The concerned community member reportedly noticed the engine running and banged on the window, but the man was unresponsive.
Officers arrived and located the truck. They could see what appeared to be a handgun in the center console and drug paraphernalia nearby. In order to decrease the chance of the driver driving off in a possibly impaired state, officers placed spike strips under the truck's tires. The officers then used sirens, air horns and a loud hailing PA system to wake the man, but were unsuccessful. The driver eventually woke up and noticed several police cars behind him. He immediately started driving south on 119th Avenue at a high rate of speed. However, the spike strips were effective in deflating the truck’s tires.
Despite having several deflated tires, the driver of the truck continued driving south on 119th Avenue, failing to stop at a stop sign at Powell Boulevard, and crashed head-on into a parked, but occupied police vehicle. The two officers inside received minor injuries. Based on the police vehicle's position and trajectory of the truck, officers believe the truck would have driven into the side of a nearby house, where a child was sleeping.
Upon crashing, the driver of the truck fled on foot. Officers established a perimeter, and approximately 20 minutes later the suspect was safely taken into custody. Upon inspection, officers learned the F350 was stolen out of Vancouver, WA. The suspect is identified as 42-year-old Jeremiah Lee Prueitt. Prueitt was booked into the Multnomah County Detention Center and faces ten charges.
"This is yet another example of the dangers our officers face on a daily basis," said Chief Charles Lovell. "I'm grateful these two officers weren't more seriously injured, and for all the officers’ efforts in taking this dangerous individual off the streets."
Source: Portland Police Bureau