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Man nearly struck trooper deploying spike strips

A Grants Pass man faces felony charges in the wake of a police chase last weekend when he almost struck a police officer with his vehicle. 

Athenian Kronus Russell, 18, was indicted Wednesday in Jackson County Circuit Court on charges stemming from a vehicle chase that involved spike strips, vehicle maneuvers and a close call for an Oregon State Police trooper.

According to an affidavit filed in Circuit Court, Russell refused to stop for Rogue River police at 1:23 a.m. Saturday, March 26, near Depot Street and the on-ramp for northbound Interstate 5. Police said Russell continued into Josephine County, where he drove over spike strips deployed by Grants Pass police and Oregon State Police.

Russell "nearly ran over" Oregon State Police Trooper Brian Ziegler while the trooper was deploying the spike strips to stop the vehicle, according to the affidavit. Four passengers were in the vehicle Russell was driving, including two juveniles, according to the affidavit.

Rogue River police Cpl. Chris Snyder ended the pursuit by striking the vehicle with his car in Grants Pass near Seventh and Savage streets, according to the affidavit. After the vehicle was immobilized, Russell fled on foot with two other passengers, police said.

Russell faces felony charges of attempted first-degree assault and attempting to elude police in a vehicle, and misdemeanor charges of attempted assault of a public safety officer and four counts of recklessly endangering another person. His next court appearance is April 18. Russell remains lodged in the Jackson County Jail on $100,000 bail.

Athenian Kronus Russell