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Speeding drivers frustrate police

One teenager was arrested and another cited for reckless driving after a high-speed chase in which both were reportedly speeding 90 mph along Riverside Avenue, police said.

A Medford man in the pursuing vehicle was charged with a felony for attacking the other car with a machete when the chase ended with a crash. Police said the man also launched several steel marbles at the other car during the chase, prompting the fleeing driver to call 9-1-1 because he believed someone was shooting at him.

The Monday morning chase has frustrated Medford police, who continue to investigate a Feb. 11 crash that killed two people when a drunken Ashland teen sped along Riverside before running a red light and crashing into another vehicle.

I don't know what it's going to take before people get the message, Medford police Lt. Mike Moran said. It's amazing that after (the fatal crash), some people haven't figured it out.

That was terribly irresponsible and dangerous.

— The incident began at about — a.m. Monday, when a 17-year-old boy woke his brother, Bartlett Sayer, to say two men were breaking into Sayer's Honda CRX. The brothers went outside their home in the 1700 block of Dove Lane in southwest Medford and saw a Ford Crown Victoria leaving.

Sayer, 21, and his brother hopped into a Toyota Camry and chased the Ford toward downtown Medford. The vehicles turned onto Riverside, where witnesses said both were traveling between 90 and 100 mph, Moran said.

During the chase, the driver of the Ford, Samuel Martinez, called 9-1-1 to say a passenger in the Camry was shooting a gun at him. Moran said police later learned Sayer had actually fired several steel marbles from a slingshot at the Ford.

The chase continued through Central Point to the intersection of Blackwell and Kirkland roads, where the Ford crashed, Moran said.

Martinez, 18, of the 200 block of Talent Avenue in Talent, ran from his vehicle. Sayer grabbed a 24-inch steel machete from the Camry and smashed the Ford's windows, Moran said.

A responding Medford officer went to the scene and arrested Martinez on charges of first-degree theft, second-degree criminal mischief, unlawful use of a vehicle and reckless driving. He was lodged in the Jackson County Jail on &

36;16,000 bail.

Sayer was cited on one count of first-degree criminal mischief, a felony. His brother, who drove the Camry during the chase, was cited for reckless driving, Moran said.

There is no justification, ever, for a citizen to pursue someone in that manner, Moran said.

Police have not recovered an amplifier and other items taken from Sayer's Honda. Investigators are seeking the public's assistance in locating two men believed to have taken part in the car break-in. Moran said the men may have attempted to steal items from other vehicles in the Dove Lane area early Monday.

After interviewing Martinez, Moran said police believe one of the suspects is named Phillip. The other may be a Talent resident named Jose Garcia. Anyone with information about the whereabouts of the men is asked to phone Medford police at 770-4783.

Reach reporter Jack Moran at 776-4459, or e-mail