Man charged with stealing Salem Police car, leading officers on a chase

·3 min read

This story was updated Wednesday.

A man has been charged after police said he got into a fight with two Salem Police officers Monday and then drove off in one of their patrol vehicles.

According to police, they chased the man more the five miles down Wallace Road NW before the vehicle got stuck in a field south of Zena Road.

David Leroy Miles, 35, was arraigned on multiple charges Tuesday in Polk County Circuit Court, including attempted assault on a police officer, stealing a vehicle and attempting to elude police, according to Polk County District Attorney Aaron Felton.

Miles is being held at the Polk County jail. His bail is set for $125,000.

Police responded to Taggart Drive NW and Wallace just before 1 p.m. Monday after a caller reported seeing a man shove another man. According to a probable cause statement, the caller told police the man, later identified as Miles, stopped him and told him to take everything out of his pockets.

When Salem officers Benjamin Ruddell and Megan Rollins approached Miles and told him he was not free to leave, Miles replied, "Yes, I am" and took off on his bicycle, according to police. Police lost track of the caller after they began pursuing Miles.

Ruddell chased the Miles on foot a short distance and told him he was under arrest but was unable to stop him. Ruddell asked for backup.

Ruddell and Rollins soon located Miles at the West Salem Post Office on Glen Creek Road NW. Police allege Miles became combative, putting his fists up and challenging Ruddell to a fight.

Ruddell tried to arrest MIles, but he allegedly began throwing punches at Ruddell and hit the officer's cheek.

Both officers used their tasers, a baton and pepper spray on Miles with little to no effect, police wrote in the probable cause statement.

At one point, Miles fled on foot, but then circled back to Ruddell's patrol car. He jumped inside and drove away, "rapidly accelerating" across Glen Creek Road NW and into the parking lot behind the Roth's Fresh Market.

Officers lock their vehicles in all standard calls, according to Salem Police spokesperson Angie Hedrick. In this case, the officer was in active pursuit of the individual “so in these quickly unfolding situations … officers are going to work quickly to get out of their vehicle to make that apprehension, which doesn’t allow time for them to secure their vehicles in those fast-moving circumstances.”

Miles drove north on Wallace Road NW with the officers in pursuit. Ruddell said he heard an officer over the radio say Miles was driving an estimated 80 to 95 miles per hour.

Additional responding officers said Miles left the roadway and drove through an orchard and fields before getting the patrol car stuck in mud in a grass field near an access road off Wallace Road outside of the city.

Miles was seen running from the vehicle by a farm worker, police said. Police said multiple agencies were called to search for Miles. They eventually spotted him and he was arrested after a "short standoff."

The damage estimate to the patrol car is more than $5,000 and it was not drivable. Officials said damages include a broken passenger-side mirror and spotlight, dents and scrapes to the front and rear passenger door, as well as possible damage to the undercarriage, suspension and drivetrain.

Virginia Barreda is the breaking news and public safety reporter for the Statesman Journal. She can be reached at 503-399-6657 or at vbarreda@statesmanjournal.com. Follow her on Twitter at @vbarreda2.

This article originally appeared on Salem Statesman Journal: Man charged with stealing Salem Police car, leading officers on chase