Suspected drunken driver fights cops; passenger tries to steal police car

Ride-along was in police vehicle when the woman jumped in the driver's seat

A drunken-driving stop during Saturday's early morning hours netted an Alaskan man and his passenger in jail after one ran from police and the other allegedly tried to steal a patrol car.

Medford police Cpl. Tom Venables stopped a suspected drunken driver near West Main and Lozier Lane at about 2:10 a.m. Saturday. After the driver, Chad Ray Paxton, 27 of Alaska, underwent a field sobriety test, he began fighting with Venables and Officer Jenny Newell, said Lt. Mike Budreau.

The officers attempted to subdue Paxton with a Taser, but to no avail. He broke free and ran away, with the officers chasing him on foot.

Meanwhile, Paxton's passenger, identified by police as Shilo Chrystine Schalk, 36, of Medford, jumped into the driver's seat of the patrol car in an alleged attempt to steal it. Then she noticed there was a civilian ride-along in the passenger side.

"She got into the driver's side, looked over, saw somebody sitting there, and realized it would be difficult to steal a car with a passenger," Budreau said. "He's a bigger guy and he just verbally challenged her."

He's also in the testing phase to become a Medford police officer, Budreau said.

Police backup arrived, and officers arrested Schalk on charges of unlawful entry into a motor vehicle and attempted unauthorized use of a motor vehicle. Schalk was lodged in the Jackson County Jail on $8,000 bail.

Officers found Paxton when they heard him noisily trying to hide behind Sherm's Thunderbird Market. The officers formed a perimeter around Paxton, pulled their guns and ordered him to surrender. Paxton still refused until police were able to forcibly arrest him.

"He put up a fight and ultimately lost," said Budreau.

Paxton was arrested on charges of two counts of assault on a police officer, three counts of resisting arrest, two counts of harassment, two counts of interfering with police, driving while under the influence of intoxicants and escape. He was lodged in jail on $110,000 bail.

The officers sustained minor injuries to their heads and faces that did not require immediate medical attention, Budreau said.

"It's a busy time to be a police officer," he said. "December is historically our busiest month, and it's proving to be that way this year as well."

Reach Mandy Valencia at 541-776-4486 or avalencia@mailtribune.com.


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