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Man arrested after alleged carjacking

A California man who offered a ride to three people and a baby he'd recently met was assaulted near Grants Pass and had his car stolen by one of his passengers.

Callers reported a possible carjacking to emergency dispatchers about 3:45 p.m. Wednesday, Oregon State Police reported.

Witnesses said a blue 1984 Mercury four-door with California plates stopped on the side of Highway 199 near Kerby. A passenger got out, punched the driver in the head, pulled him out of the vehicle, then got in the car and sped away, leaving the driver at the roadside.

The driver, a 30-year-old man from Crescent City, Calif., made his way to a Josephine County Sheriff's Department substation in Cave Junction to report the assault and car theft, OSP said in a press release. He had minor injuries from the assault, but didn't need medical care, police said.

He told investigators he had just met the group he agreed to drive to Grants Pass. On the way, they got into an argument, and he pulled to the side of the road.

— Deputy Jim Geiger stopped the vehicle occupied by three adults and an infant northbound on Highway 199 near milepost 9. OSP senior trooper Tanya Henderson and another Josephine County deputy responded to the scene, OSP reported.

Officers arrested Timothy Richard Long, 26, of McKinleyville, Calif., on charges of third-degree robbery, unauthorized use of a vehicle, fourth-degree assault and furnishing false information to a police officer. Long also had two outstanding felony drug-related warrants in California.

Long initially told police his name was James Elba Long, but officers suspected who he really was, OSP reported. Josephine County jailers confirmed his identity through an automated fingerprint database, when he was lodged in the jail.

The other man and woman who were riding in the car were interviewed and released. The investigation is continuing and prosecutors could add charges, police said.