OSP: Man steals semi at knifepoint, captured by K-9

DOUGLAS COUNTY, Ore. -- A man stole a semi truck at knife-point and led police on a chase on Interstate 5 before being captured at bite point by a police dog, Oregon State Police said.

State police say that just before 10 p.m. Thursday night, they received a report that a blue Peterbuilt commercial truck was hijacked at knife-point at Wolf Creek where the driver had stopped for dinner.

The suspect fled in the truck northbound on I-5 from Wolf Creek.

State police spotted the truck on I-5 in the Myrtle Creek area and attempted to stop it.

Authorities say the driver continued northbound.

Police learned the driver was Travis Blondell, 36, of Wolf Creek, who they say assaulted a police officer a week earlier and was known to be violent.

OSP was joined by Sheriff's deputies and Roseburg police, who used spike strips on the semi. Some of the tires deflated, and as it continued on the tires began to come apart, leaving some of the wheels down to bare rims.

Troopers say Blondell started throwing things out of the moving truck, displaying obscene hand gestures at police and damaging some ODOT property while speeds slowed to below 10 mph.

Five miles north of Roseburg near milepost 131, the truck and trailer went into the center median where it got stuck.

Police say Blondell refused to comply with police orders to exit the truck, so a Roseburg police canine was sent into the truck.

That's when troopers say Blondell surrendered and was taken into custody.

State police say officers immediately rendered aid for dog bites on his arms before he was transported to Mercy Medical Center, where he was treated and released.

Blondell was lodged in the Douglas County Jail for Unauthorized Use of a Motor Vehicle, Felony Attempt to Elude in a Vehicle, Reckless Driving, Recklessly Endangering Another Person, Criminal Mischief in the First Degree, and misdemeanor Fail to Perform Duties of a Driver in an Accident.

State police say they will be submitting reports to the Josephine County District Attorney's Office for Robbery in the First Degree. Additional charges may be pending.

The victim commercial truck driver, a 31-year old California man, was transported by an OSP trooper from Wolf Creek to the scene to retrieve his personal effects from the truck. He was then taken to a nearby hotel and his trucking company was contacted to make arrangements to help their driver and to recover the truck and trailer.