A perilous high-speed chase that began in Seaside early Monday morning ended with a Culver man’s arrest on drug and identity theft charges in Astoria.
Seaside police received a traffic complaint of a car driving swiftly and erratically on U.S. Highway 26 at roughly 4:30 a.m. Officers spotted it on the 1800 block of S. Roosevelt Drive. They pursued it for more than a mile north before abandoning the chase due to the car’s speed and road wetness, according to a release from the Clatsop County District Attorney’s Office.
Warrenton police and Clatsop County sheriff’s deputies continued the chase north on U.S. Highway 101 as the driver exceeded speeds of 130 mph and drove in the wrong direction on the two-lane road.
Maintaining blazing speeds, the driver plowed into the Roundabout on the east side of the New Youngs Bay Bridge and lost the car’s right front tire, but managed to continue east in the wrong lane on Marine Drive. After the collision, the car sprayed sparks as it bolted along and nearly slammed head-on into an oncoming vehicle.
The car then hit spike strips placed by Astoria police on the road near Pig ’N Pancake. It kept going but finally lost control near Eighth Street and Marine Drive, nearly striking Plaza Jalisco Mexican Restaurant. The driver — identified as Garrett Luke Pruitt-Rexroad, 27 — then exited the car and ran two blocks on Marine Drive before he was arrested near Commercial Street.
Officers found a wallet belonging to someone else, a purse with nearly 50 stolen credit cards and a gun in the car. They also found what appeared to be methamphetamine in Pruitt-Rexroad’s front pocket.
Pruitt-Rexroad was sweating heavily and exuded signs of impairment from a stimulant, according to a police affidavit. His blood alcohol content was 0.00 percent, but police are awaiting the result of a blood sample.
Pruitt-Rexroad has been charged with aggravated identity theft, unauthorized use of a vehicle, attempting to elude, driving under the influence of intoxicants, unlawful possession of methamphetamine, reckless driving and four counts of recklessly endangering another person. He also has a warrant out of Multnomah County in a methamphetamine possession case.
Circuit Court Judge Dawn McIntosh set bail at $50,000. If indicted, Pruitt-Rexroad is scheduled to be arraigned next week.