Washington fugitive captured after chase through Southern Oregon
A Washington man is accused of leading police on a high-speed, backroads chase through Jackson and Josephine counties while he had a passenger in his vehicle.
Phillip Michael Davis, 30, of Seattle, faces a felony charge of attempting to elude police in a vehicle and a misdemeanor charge of recklessly endangering another person, following a rush hour pursuit that started near Ashland and ended in Grants Pass — involving speeds in excess of 90 mph on backroads and damaged a fence, according to a press release issued by the Jackson County Sheriff’s Office.
The chase began at 4:58 p.m. Wednesday, when Davis allegedly refused to pull over for Oregon State Police on northbound Interstate 5 near Ashland Exit 19. The green Mercedes-Benz SUV with Washington plates was driving recklessly in heavy traffic, prompting police to back off.
About seven minutes later, a Jackson County sheriff’s deputy spotted the Mercedes in the White City area and began a pursuit after the vehicle sped away at around 90 mph near the intersection of Kirtland and Blackwell roads, according to court documents.
After about a mile, police backed off for safety concerns as the Mercedes headed eastbound on Antelope Road to Highway 62 and the Rogue Valley Expressway.
OSP, and sheriff’s deputies from Jackson and Josephine counties kept tabs on the SUV as it traveled north on I-5 from Medford to the Grants Pass area.
Police saw the SUV pull off the freeway at Exit 55. Davis allegedly drove through a fence, pulled onto a backroad toward Rogue River, then ditched the SUV near an underpass in the 4400 block of Foothill Boulevard.
Witnesses told police they spotted a man fitting Davis’ description and a woman fleeing the vehicle. The pair managed to hitchhike away from the scene in a sedan. Police say the driver was attempting to be a good Samaritan and was unaware of the chase.
Sheriff’s deputies and Rogue River police caught up to the pair after stopping the sedan.
The woman was not charged with a crime.
Davis made his initial court appearance Thursday afternoon. Jackson County Circuit Court Judge Laura Cromwell set bail at $25,000, but Davis was also held without bail on a fugitive warrant for violating a restraining order and will be extradited to Tumwater, Washington, according to court and jail records.