Medford police arrest man who raced away from traffic stop

A Medford man attempting to outpace police in his car following a Wednesday night traffic stop was eventually apprehended early Thursday morning, authorities said.

Chase Best, 25, is held in the Jackson County Jail without bail on charges of attempting to elude police, reckless driving, possession of methamphetamine and a parole violation related to a previous burglary charge.

Police first attempted a traffic stop at 11:51 p.m. Wednesday near the corner of Main and Cottage streets. Best shot away in his vehicle, a white Ford Mustang, and headed south on Cottage Street.

"There was no pursuit initiated," said Medford police Lt. Mike Budreau, adding that authorities have to assess carefully who they pursue, as passersby could be hurt in the ensuing chase. "When someone eludes the police, they're clearly outside their driving ability. If we're lucky, it's property damage. It's like a 4,000-pound bullet flying down the highway."

Best eventually turned onto Siskiyou Boulevard and blacked out his lights, driving out of sight. Police later fielded reports of a car driving at high speeds near Siskiyou Boulevard's intersection with Highland Drive. Best abandoned the vehicle near the intersection and ran into Bear Creek Park, police said.

Responding officers apprehended Best at 12:18 a.m. Thursday on the Bear Creek Greenway near Willamette Street.

No property damage or injuries were reported as a result of the chase, police said.

"This is a best-case scenario," Budreau said.

Incidents where suspects attempted to elude Medford police in their vehicles saw a boost in 2012, with 41 reported. There were 30 reported in 2011. Police added there was an 86 percent arrest rate for those 41 cases.

— Ryan Pfeil


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