Monday, February 6, 2023
Feb. 6, 2023

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Pursuit of reckless Clark County pickup driver ends with pepperball munitions

Driver had repeatedly refused to stop or get out of vehicle, deputies say

By , Columbian Assistant Metro Editor
Published:

A man was arrested early Wednesday morning after allegedly driving recklessly through Orchards and Hockinson and refusing to stop for responding Clark County sheriff’s deputies.

Deputies were called at about 1 a.m. to a report of a Ford F-250 pickup driving on its rim near the 15900 block of Northeast 76th Street. Callers reported the vehicle was throwing sparks and gouging the pavement, according to a news release from the sheriff’s office.

Deputies followed the trail of gouged pavement for several miles; Deputy Chelsea Quiggle located the pickup near the 18200 block of Northeast 119th Street. The pickup was still driving on its rim and swerving in the road, the news release states.

The deputy said she suspected the driver may be intoxicated, and she attempted to stop the pickup; the driver refused to stop and continued to drive recklessly, the sheriff’s office said.

“The driver acknowledged the deputy’s attempted traffic stop by giving her a gesture with his hand out the window,” the news release reads.

Deputies deployed spike strips, flattening the pickup’s remaining tires near the 14200 block of 119th Street. The driver continued to try to drive away by revving the pickup’s engine and spinning the wheels. Additional deputies performed a high-risk traffic stop, but they said the driver was uncooperative and refused to exit the pickup, according to the news release.

Deputies used an unmanned aircraft system and ballistic shields while trying to de-escalate the situation. They eventually deployed pepperball munitions inside the pickup, causing the driver to exit; he was taken into custody without injury, the news release states.

Melvern Raffelson was booked into the Clark County Jail on suspicion of resisting arrest and failing to obey an officer. A search warrant was obtained to draw Raffelson’s blood for testing. DUI charges are pending the blood toxicology test results, the sheriff’s office said.

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