Wanted man dances in Wilsonville street, sparks wild car chases through Portland suburbs

Dan Smith

A Washington state man was arrested Thursday afternoon after he led officers in a number of intense chases outside Portland, police said.

Oregon State Police originally received a report of a white Mercedes driving recklessly on Interstate 5 around 9:20 a.m. Thursday. A guard found the car and pulled over. When officers told the driver he was under arrest, the man replied, "No, I'm not," and drove off, police said in a statement.

After chasing the Mercedes on I-5, the troopers decided it was unsafe to continue as the car encountered traffic.

Then, around 11:00 a.m., an agent from the Clackamas County Sheriff's Office was summoned into a "suspicious situation." A man in yellow pants and pink shoes was dancing in the middle of the street in Wilsonville.

The man matched a description Oregon State Police put out early in the morning about the driver of the Mercedes. collided.

Again law enforcement pursued him, but again gave up due to safety concerns.

At 1:00 pm, Tualatin Police were summoned to Cabela's at 7555 SW Nyberg Street. Police said a man (wearing yellow pants and pink shoes) was running through the store, engaging in "insane and obscene behavior." Tualatin police recognized him from two different chase alerts earlier in the day. Police say the man fled again in a Mercedes and was hit by a car on his way to Southwest Tualatin on Sherwood Road, police said. Tualatin's officers did not pursue him.

At the same time, the Washington County 911 dispatcher received a call about a reckless driver in a white Mercedes on that road.

A Sherwood police officer tried to stop a Mercedes near Southwest Century Drive and yelled at a man who was driving erratically. Police said the man had taken off again and was running on the pavement to try to pass the stopped car.

Police said officers attempted to stop drivers by placing spike strips at various locations in Sherwood, including the Southwest Pacific Highway. We slowed down the other side.

Police have closed the Pacific Highway near Southwest Tualatin Sherwood Road.

Finally, the driver was surrounded by spike strips and police cars, police said.

Stephen J. Denham, 38, of Bothell, Washington, has finally been arrested.

Denham faces multiple charges of attempted felony trying to evade a police officer, reckless driving, and reckless dangerous conduct, as well as five counts of attempted first-degree assault, five counts of attempted assault on a public security official, and multiple charges of driving under the influence. doing. In total he is accused of his 38 crimes. It's unclear which county court will hear his case.

Police said Denham had a felony warrant from Washington state for "harassing communications," and allegedly made certain threats regarding law enforcement.

-- Savannah Edens; [email protected]503-221-6651; @savannaheadens

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