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DCSO: Bend driver playing ‘chicken’ stopped after chase


Less than three months after allegedly running from a traffic stop and engaging in a standoff with police, a Bend man was arrested early Sunday, accused of playing “chicken” with other drivers, almost hitting a Deschutes County sheriff’s deputy’s patrol car head-on and fleeing police until spike strips deflated his tires.

Around 1:15 a.m., a deputy heading west on Northeast Bear Creek Road near Alpenview Lane told dispatchers a car had swerved into his lane and almost struck him head-on, Sgt. Grant Johnstone said. The deputy took evasive action and drove off the road to avoid being hit by a gold 1998 Buick Century.

The deputy turned around in an attempt to stop the car, but the driver, identified as Kelly Joe Meyer, 48, did not yield to emergency lights and sirens, Johnstone said. Sunriver police and other sheriff’s deputies responded to assist.

The pursuit lasted about nine minutes, encountering minimal early-morning traffic. The sergeant said Meyer reached a maximum speed of 55 mph on Southeast Third Street, but speeds generally were 35 to 40 mph as the driver avoided several attempts to a Pursuit Immobilization Technique (PIT maneuver) in which a pursuing car can force a fleeing driver to turn sideways, lose control and stop.

Bend police successfully deployed spike strips on Southeast Parrell Road and the car began to slow as the tires deflated, eventually coming to rest on a boulder at the dead end of Aberdeen Drive near Penhollow Lane, Johnstone said.

Meyer was arrested and booked into the county jail on seven charges: Three counts of recklessly endangering, reckless driving, attempting to elude police in a vehicle, being a felon in possession of a weapon and a drug offense. He was held on $45,000 bail.

A stolen handgun was found in the car, as well as body armor, tactical gear, a security badge and an older Bend Police Department shoulder patch.

Two passengers, a 35-year-old Bend woman and 28-year-old Bend man, were released with no charges, the sergeant said. They told investigating deputies that Meyer had been “playing chicken” with other drivers. The investigation is continuing, Johnstone said.

The night of March 14, police said, Meyer was at the wheel of a Volvo that ran a stop sign in southeast Bend, and he and a female passenger ran into a nearby home.

Officers used a patrol car’s loudspeaker to call for the pair to come out and surrender, which they eventually did. Police said a search of the car found user amounts of methamphetamine, heroin and Xanax.

Court records show Meyer’s attorney in that case withdrew last week due to conflicts and a hearing to appoint new counsel and set new dates is set for Thursday.

Meyer was convicted of being a felon in possession of a firearm in 2017 and received a nine-month sentence in county jail. He also was sentenced to 19 months in prison in 2015 after pleading guilty to first-degree theft.

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