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100 mph Third St. police chase ends in DUII arrest


A Bend police officer tried to pull over a suspected drunk driver early Thursday, leading to a chase down Third Street that hit speeds of 100 mph, police said. It ended after the Mercedes hit spike strips, flattening two tires. The driver soon stopped, got out and ran near Badger Road but was captured, officers said.

Around 12:40 a.m., an officer tried to pull over a 2001 Mercedes-Benz near the Third Street railroad underpass for a traffic violation and suspicion of DUII, said Sgt. John Lawrence.

The driver, Paul Akehurst, 29, of Bend, refused to stop and took off, triggering a chase heading south on Third Street that reached 100 mph after crossing the intersection with SE Brosterhous Road, Lawrence said.

A second Bend officer successfully deployed spike strips near Highway 97 and Powers Road, but Akehurst kept driving with two flat tires south to Badger Road, where he got out and ran, the sergeant said. The pursuit covered about two miles in less than two minutes, he added.

A search perimeter was established in the area, with help from Deschutes County sheriff’s deputies and Oregon State Police. Lawrence said officers “used various investigative techniques” that led to Akehurst’s arrest a short time later.

Akehurst refused to do a breath test for DUII, so officers sought and received a search wrrant authorizing that Akehurst’s blood be taken as evidence.

Lawrence said a records check found that Akehurst was arrested on DUII charges in Deschutes County in March and has a record of four prior DUII arrests in Missouri.

After going to St. Charles Bend to have his blood drawn, Akehurst was taken to the Deschutes County Jail. He was booked on charges of DUII, felony and misdemeanor attempt to elude, reckless driving and a probation violation. He was held without bail on the latter charge; bail on the others totaled $35,000.

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