Apr 20,2009 00:00
COTTAGE GROVE, Ore. – Troopers arrested a suspected Idaho bank robber after the man’s vehicle finally came to a stop following use of spike strips and a PIT maneuver during a near 20-mile pursuit on Interstate-5 near Cottage Grove on Friday.
Acting on a tip from the U.S. Marshal Service Oregon Fugitive Task Force, troopers began looking for Melvin Hebdon, 32, a man they considered armed and dangerous who is suspected of robbing a bank in Bannock County, Idaho. Hebdon was believed to be traveling south on Interstate-5 near Albany, in a 1982 Ford Thunderbird.
According to an Oregon State Police (OSP) news release, the suspect was spotted near milepost 191 in the Eugene area, but the trooper didn’t attempt to apprehend Hebdon and instead waited until backup arrived.
At about 1 p.m. near milepost 186, the suspect failed to pull over when three police vehicles tried to stop the car, and instead sped up to 90-mph continuing south. More police arrived, including troopers, OSP Fish and Wildlife troopers, Lane County Sheriff’s deputies, and Cottage Grove Police officers.
As the pursuit continued, OSP reported, the suspect called 911 to demand the troopers back off or he would start shooting at them. “The troopers did back off to a reported distance estimated at approximately ¼ mile as they kept the recklessly-driven car in sight,” the news release stated.
After one failed attempt to stop the car with spike strips, a second attempt near milepost 172 south of Cottage Grove successfully hit three of the suspect vehicle’s four tires.
As the car slowed, troopers were able to use the PIT maneuver causing the vehicle to spin, then pinned it in with other police vehicles. Hebdon was taken into custody without further incident, OSP said.
No firearm was found in the vehicle.
Hebdon was lodged in the Lane County Jail in Eugene, and will face the felony bank robbery charge from Idaho as well as charges related to his alleged attempt to flee. These charges include fugitive from justice, felony attempt to elude in a vehicle, reckless driving, and recklessly endangering another person.
Troopers had no further details regarding the Idaho bank robbery.