Suspect Anthony Clark, 23, of Grant Pass truly was “wasted” when he got behind the wheel of a car that wasn’t his and led police on a dangerous police chase Saturday, according to the New York Post.
Clark is reported to have first been seen exiting a pick-up truck alongside the road, spotted by two Jackson County deputies that were currently awaiting a tow truck for a Toyota Camry belonging to an intoxicated driver they had just processed. Approaching their vehicle, Clark flatly told one of the deputies that he was going to steal the car, bolting for the Camry and taking the keys that had been left in the door – presumably in anticipation of the tow truck driver. Hopping into the vehicle, Clark peeled out, partially dragging a deputy who had taken off after him, grabbing his shirt.
What ensued was an epic car chase that lasted over a half hour as Clark sped through Ashland, Talent, and Phoenix – crashing through a chain-link fence, driving over deployed spike strips (twice), and raging down the wrong lane on Interstate 5.
Thankfully, no bystanders were injured during the heated pursuit. The chase ended when Clark’s poached Camry was picked by a police cruiser, struck in such a way that drove the vehicle to a dead stop. The Oregonian reports Clark fled on foot to a nearby trailer park, but was arrested by officers as he was in the midst of attempting to steal a second vehicle.
When interviewed, Clark told police investigators that he was hallucinating during the sequence of events, high on LSD. Further, he related that he believed he was in a real-life version of popular sandbox crime game Grand Theft Auto, more specifically. The massively popular video game features high-speed chases, frequent drug use, and frantic shoot-outs between criminal factions of which the player character is often the focus.
The suspect is facing a slew of criminal charges from three separate law enforcement agencies, according to KDRV-TV. Clark is facing charges from the Jackson County Sheriff’s Office including: attempting to elude an officer in a vehicle, driving under the influence of intoxicants, reckless driving, unauthorized use of a vehicle, and recklessly endangering another person.
Meanwhile, the suspect is also charged by the Ashland Police Department with recklessly endangering another person, attempting to elude an officer in a vehicle, second degree criminal trespass, and first degree mischief.
Finally, Oregon State Police have charged the suspect with recklessly endangering another person, and third degree escape.