MULTNOMAH COUNTY, OR - On Tuesday, October 17, 2023, around 6 p.m., a Multnomah County Sheriff’s Office deputy, who was investigating a shots fired call in the Larch Mountain area east of Corbett, attempted to make an investigatory contact with a person who was acting suspicious.
After refusing to engage with the deputy, the man got in his vehicle and drove away westbound down E Larch Mountain Road in a reckless manner. The deputy followed behind the man’s Ford Escort and observed him cross the center line. When the deputy attempted to make a traffic stop, the man did not pull over and eluded the deputy.
The deputy did not pursue the Ford Escort, but radioed the vehicle’s description and the direction it was last seen traveling to other patrol units. An MCSO airplane was able to locate the vehicle from the air as it traveled through the communities of Corbett and Springdale. Even though he was not being pursued, the man continued to drive recklessly westbound on E. Historic Columbia River Highway. With the help of updates from the air support unit, a sergeant was able to position himself ahead of the suspect and deployed a spike strip in Springdale, successfully puncturing at least one tire.
The driver did not stop and continued driving recklessly through the cities of Troutdale, Wood Village and Fairview. As the driver continued to drive, the flattened tire began disintegrating. Even when there was no rubber left on the wheel, the driver continued to elude, driving on a bare rim. With continued directional updates from the air, patrol units were able to position themselves ahead of the Ford Escort. The vehicle was ultimately brought to a stop in the area of NE Halsey Street and NE 196th Avenue in Gresham.
The driver of the Ford Escort, 59-year-old Steven Thomas Fitzpatrick, was arrested and booked on Felony Elude, Reckless Driving and Recklessly Endangering Another Person. He also had numerous warrants for his arrest. The case will be forwarded to the Multnomah County District Attorney’s Office.