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Law enforcement had to coax Dennis Painter down from 60-foot cliff after pursuit last week

COURTESY PHOTO: MULTNOMAH COUNTY SHERIFFS OFFICE - Dennis PainterA man was arrested last week in the Columbia River Gorge after fleeing along Interstate 84 and into the woods at Bridal Veil Falls State Park.

Dennis Painter is facing charges including felony elude, reckless driving, criminal trespassing, possession of methamphetamine, and violating his parole. He was safely brought in custody after allegedly scaling a 60-foot cliff and needing to be coaxed down by law enforcement.

The incident began after Painter fled a pair of Multnomah County Sheriff's Office Deputies who were attempting to pull him over after allegedly failing to stay in his lane and speeding. When deputies turned on their lights and sirens, they said Painter accelerated westbound on I-84, eventually exiting the wrong way on an on-ramp at Bridal Veil.

Deputies stopped the pursuit because of the potential dangers to other drivers.

As law enforcement searched the area, an employee with Oregon State Parks reported Painter's abandoned truck near the Bridal Veil Post Office. Deputies found the vehicle stuck on the Union Pacific Rail Road tracks below the viewpoint at the Bridal Veil Falls State Park.

With additional deputies searching, one sergeant came across Painter, but was unable to apprehend him.

The Portland Police Bureau sent its airplane for aerial assistance, and the Gresham Police Department sent an on-duty K9 team. They eventually found Painter at the top of a 60-foot rock cliff. According to deputies he appeared "exhausted, dehydrated and was stuck."

According to law enforcement, a team was formed to climb the steep cliff and assist Painter down. According to documents it took about 20 minutes of speaking with him before they were able to help him down.

Before being booked into the Multnomah County Jail, Painter was examined at Mount Hood Medical Center.

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