Alleged criminal crosses Willamette River to evade police
Wilsonville Police and other enforcement agencies tracked down a man who evaded officers and eventually reached the other side of the Willamette River near Butteville Road Saturday, Aug. 24.
Police received a call at about 6:30 p.m. that a man, suspected to be Wesley Reynolds, was parked and in the driver's seat with one other person near the intersection of Boones Ferry Road and Bailey St. and allegedly doing drugs. The caller provided the license plate and police's records showed that the car, a Nissan Altima, had been stolen.
The officers rushed to the scene and when they approached the car, the man fled while the passenger was apprehended.
According to Wilsonville Police officer Zach Keirsey, who responded to the call that night, the man fled south toward the Old Town neighborhood and the Willamette River. Kiersey said the man hopped fences and traversed through trees to evade cops.
"That area (has) a thick apartment complex to the south of Bailey. A lot of times they hop on fences whereas we are chasing them on cars. We lose line-of-sight which makes it difficult to pursue him," Keirsey said.
Kiersey said he and fellow officers were looking for the suspect for about an hour. Meanwhile, he said members of the neighborhood helped point them in the right direction.
"The cool part of this story is the involvement of the community in this specific call," Kiersey said. "We were being flagged down by all sorts of citizens who had seen the guy."
The citizens pointed officers toward the train tracks that cross the river. Meanwhile, K-9 units for Clackamas County and Canby Police were dispatched to the scene as well as Oregon State Police.
In the end, an OSP officer spotted the man on the other side of the river near Butteville. Fortuitously, an officer patrolling the river happened to be there at the time and helped the officer corral the man. Kiersey wasn't sure whether the man swam across the river or walked across the railroad tracks but said he was wet when they found him.
"At some point when they were tracking him down, he was running across docks. I believe he jumped in the water at one point and got out pretty quickly," Kiersey said.
Reynolds already had a warrant out for his arrest for an alleged robbery and received a felony charge for possession of a stolen vehicle and misdemeanor charges for unlawful entry into a motor vehicle and attempting to avoid police officers on foot after the incident that evening.
"It sucks we didn't catch him sooner but it was great we had such a police response from so many surrounding agencies that it was impossible for him to get very far," Kiersey said.
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