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Man sneaks into driver's seat of deputy car, drives away during his arrest

Man arrested sneaks into driver's seat of deputy car, drives away

HERMISTON, Ore. - Sheriff's deputies have arrested a Hermiston man who they say stole a deputy vehicle during an arrest.

Deputy Daugherty said Christopher Alvin Phillips, 23, stole his vehicle around 10:36 a.m., Thursday after Daugherty had arrested him in the area of 33464 E. Punkin Center for an unrelated burglary.

Phillips was in the back seat of Daugherty's patrol car in handcuffs behind his back while Daugherty was in the driver's seat, waiting for a tow truck to pick up a truck in the burglary.

As Daugherty got out of the vehicle to briefly speak to the tow truck driver, Phillips moved his cuffed hands to his front, broke the rear window and crawled out of the car and back into the driver's seat and drove away.

Phillips reportedly then crashed the car into a ditch on Tabor Road, causing damage to the patrol car.

Officials searched for Phillips from agencies including Hermiston Police, Stanfield Police, Umatilla Police, Oregon State Police, the US Forest service with a K-9 and Umatilla County Community Corrections, according to reports.

People living at Cowboy Lane called police to report that a strange man was pounding on their doors. Deputies responded and found Phillips in the area.

After a short chase on-foot, deputies arrested Phillips in the area of Diagonal Road near Short Stop in Hermiston around 1:20 p.m., Thursday.

Reports say he is now in custody and faces charges including escape, vehicle theft and eluding police.

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