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SE Bend traffic stop sparks chase, crash, manhunt, arrest


A transient pulled over for speeding in southeast Bend Thursday morning took off and led police on a chase, eventually crashing into and exploding a power transformer, then jumping a fence and eluding searchers, including two police dogs.

His arrest came in far more subdued fashion later in the morning, as he walked down a road in the area, though officers said they learned he’d tossed a handgun out of the truck during the pursuit.

Ronald Juarez-Wallace, 39, was driving a 2007 Ford Ranger pickup when he was stopped for speeding around 7:25 a.m. on Southeast Country Club Drive at Knott Road, said police Lt. Clint Burleigh.

Just as the traffic officer reached the pickup, Wallace sped off, triggering a pursuit down Country Club Road, through the Murphy Road intersection and into the neighborhoods along Aberdeen Drive and Silver Sage Street, Burleigh said.

Wallace crashed into an electrical transformer, causing it to explode, then got out, climbed over a neighboring home’s fence and fled.

Several Bend officers set up a perimeter in hopes of catching Wallace, while calling out two K-9 teams, one from Redmond police, but they couldn’t find him and eventually the perimeter was taken down.

Bend police detectives continued to drive around the area and around 10 a.m. found Wallace walking down Wildwood Drive in the neighborhood, taking him into custody without incident, Burleigh said.

During the investigation, detectives learned Wallace allegedly threw a semi-automatic handgun out the pickup window during the pursuit. It was located and seized, the lieutenant said.

Wallace was taken to the Deschutes County Jail and booked on 10 charges, including felony and misdemeanor attempt to elude (by vehicle and on foot), reckless driving, recklessly endangering, first-degree criminal mischief and misdemeanor hit and run for the property damage. Jail records also showed three counts of second-degree criminal trespass and one count of contempt of court. His bail totaled $48,000.

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