By News-Register staff • 

Yamhill police officer fires on fleeing suspect

Bryan Mitchell
Bryan Mitchell
Photo courtesy Oregon State Police
OSP Trooper Phil Richardson s patrol vehicle was rammed from the rear.
Photo courtesy Oregon State Police
OSP Trooper Phil Richardson's patrol vehicle was rammed from the rear.


Bryan Christopher Mitchell, the suspect in Sunday night's officer-involved shooting in which he rammed an Oregon State Police trooper's car from the rear at a high rate of speed, was arraigned Monday afternoon in Yamhill County Circuit Court.

He was charged with one count each of attempted aggravated murder, an unclassified felony; attempted first-degree assault, a Class B felony; attempt to elude a police officer, a Class C felony, in addition to hit-and-run and reckless driving, Class A misdemeanors.

Mitchell, 29, of Yamhill, will be back in court at 1:20 p.m. Thursday, April 11, for a preliminary hearing, at which time he is expected to be arraigned on a grand jury indictment.

— — —

CARLTON — Yamhill police officer Travis Van Cleave fired his service weapon at a suspect during the course of a lengthy Sunday night pursuit that ended west of Carlton at the intersection of Meadow Lake and Old Moores Valley roads.

The Yamhill County Sheriff's Office identified the suspect as Bryan Christopher Mitchell, 29, of 860 E. Third St., Yamhill. He sustained a minor gunshot wound and was transported to the Willamette Valley Medical Center for treatment.

After being released, Mitchell was charged with two counts of attempted third-degree assault, attempt to elude a police officer, hit-and-run and reckless driving. He was lodged in jail on $32,500 bail pending arraignment at 1:20 p.m. today before Judge Ronald Stone in circuit court.

Capt. Tim Svenson of the sheriff's office gave this account:

About 7 p.m., Oregon State Police Trooper Phil Richardson, who patrols out of the McMinnville office and had a civilian rider with him, stopped a Ford F-150 pickup driven by Mitchell north of McMinnville on Highway 47. The trooper had clocked the vehicle going 85 mph in a 55 zone.

After Richardson issued the citation, Mitchell drove off and was visibly angry. At some point, he turned around northbound and passed by the trooper, who was southbound.

Then, as Richardson was continuing southbound and approaching Highway 99W, he saw the suspect's pickup approaching from behind at a high rate of speed. Mitchell rammed the trooper's patrol car from the rear and headed back north.

Following the crash, Richardson attempted to overtake Mitchell's vehicle northbound on Highway 47 toward Carlton, but he lost sight of him.

A short time later, Carlton police located Mitchell's pickup and joined in the pursuit. Several other agencies also joined in as the pursuit headed west out of Carlton on Meadow Lake Road. It continued toward Haskins Creek Road, near the McMinnville Water Treatment Plant, where Mitchell pulled into a large gravel area.

He attempted to ram a sheriff's office patrol car and then sped off east on Meadow Lake Road. Van Cleave fired on the vehicle at that point.

A McMinnville police officer deployed spike strips, finally bring the vehicle to a stop. Michell was tased multiple times and taken into custody.

Van Cleave, by standard protocol, has been placed on paid administrative leave.

Sheriff Jack Crabtree requested the Oregon State Police Major Crimes Section take the lead on the investigation because of the number of county agencies involved in the incident.

After Richardson's vehicle was struck by Mitchell's vehicle, the trooper requested assistance. Trooper Nic Cederberg was in the area, responded and was involved in a minor single-vehicle injury crash in the area of Highway 47 and Gun Club Road. He was transported to the hospital for minor injuries and released.




We heard lots of sirens last night, and they blocked Meadow Lake Road for awhile because my son couldn't get home on that road.


If you did the crime do the time! Now you are in worst hot water because you couldn't manage your anger, what a shame. Everything would've been avoided if your stupidity didn't get in the way and you could've killed the OSP trooper and his ride-along. Idiot. Get help before it's too late for others around you.


Sounds like an expensive night for the tax payers.

"Van Cleave, by standard protocol, has been placed on paid administrative leave"... If I were a cop I'd fire my weapon every spring break and the day before my birthday.


I think the big expenses for the taxpayer are the two wrecked squad cars, probably both totaled; the massive multi-agency investigation this will all trigger; and the looming criminal prosecution, with the taxpayer picking up the tab for the defense, the prosecution, the trial judge, the court reporter, the jury panel and all the trimmings. Paying the Yamhill police officer for a few days of down time pales by comparison.
However, don't know how most of that expense could have been avoided. We can't let people ram squad cars at high speed every time they get a ticketed for going 85 in a 55. We need to track them down, apprehend them and prosecute them, it seems to me.
Steve Bagwell, Managing Editor


Thank you Steve. I was biting my tongue to not further fuel ignorant comments. A few paid days off is also to ensure everyone's safety to give that officer a chance to calm down and talk/work through what happened so they can be sure he is ready to resume his duties.

troy prouty

posted " two wrecked squad cars, probably both totaled"

I was going to suggest a new wax job, but hey a new car will work also. wink..

Maybe we can ask the 2184 millionaires that didn't pay any tax last year for a loan.


Michael Tubbs Sr

Not sure whom is reaping most of the financial rewards generated from the reality T.V. show 'Cop's, but I'd be willing to purchase a couple of general admission 'Live Audience' seating tickets for his anger management show.

How big of an audience will (or does) Linfield's auditorium accommodate?


Steve and NoThanks,
I was referring to the squad cars being expensive not the officers time off.
My second comment was just a light joke, obviously no officer in his right mind would fire his weapon just to get the day off on his birthday.

I also agree he needs to be arrested and pay restitution. We can't have people bashing into squad cars every time they get a ticket.

It seems to me this might be a golden opportunity to bring in the experts and get to the bottom of the real problem with this guys mentally. Having a better understanding why people commit acts of violence might save some lives in the future


It does take a special kind of angry that is dumbfounding to me. There is a complete lack of common sense in a scenario like this. If this was truly a momentary lapse, he will get a very long "time out" to think about his actions. It does make me happy though to know that we live in an area that allows a rapid response to situations like these and that one officer wasn't left to fend for himself.


I'm also dumbfounded. We don't understand it, but I don't think we should simply chalk this kind of behavior up to a guy with a hot temper.
Most of us threw temper tantrums as children but learned to control our anger when Mom and Dad made us go to our room, take time out, earn money to pay for the (whatever) we broke as we threw our fit. Then as we were doing additional chores we had plenty of time to reflect on how dumb we acted. Then came the part I hated the most... gulp, I had to apologize! I still hate that part.

I agree with you; this is a scenario where there was a complete lack of common sense, it was truly a momentary lapse . This is a grown man who lost all reasoning for a period of time, was so overtaken by emotion he lost all sense of reality.
I don't think he'll learn to control his anger even if he has consequences, If consequences were a deterrent he wouldn't have done what he did! Obviously the officer already had all of his info. Some people are like Charles Manson can never be let back in society and others are normal functioning people who snap for no apparent reason.
I have no idea what prompts people to snap. Mental illness, wrong medication, violence on TV, food allergies, violent video games, other stress that causes them to go over the top? The list goes on and on. I also don't know if some of us are immune to this kind of behavior because we were raised better or have stronger moral fiber. We all see siblings who act act differently and have the same parents and upbringing.


Please don't get me wrong, we all need to take responsibility for our actions and I'm not making excuses for his behavior. I used to think violent people simply gravitate toward violent entertainment and that threw gas on the fire, (I still do), but I now think It's much more complex than that.

I don't understand it, but it's not my area of expertise. There must be experts in this field. As a society we should delve into this farther then we do.

troy prouty

it's emotional regulation problems. We rarely question what we are feeling, so we act impulsive then later regret consequences.


Michael Tubbs Sr

Sounds as if you may need to slow down your thought process, Troy.

troy prouty

that would be one way of doing it.



Another is by employing the 'Triple Column Technique', Troy, and may in this particular incident have proved to be somewhat advantageous for Mr Mitchell as well.

I myself once (in a momentary act of rage) bit the tip off my own finger and scrawled one out in 'Heads-Up' display fashion on the inside of my own windshield. Some short while afterward I'd made a mental note to add pen and paper to my 'check list' before clearing myself for 'take-off'

troy prouty

Zen practice works pretty good and cognitive thearpy.. hince DBT.. but only if practiced and used.


Web Design & Web Development by LVSYS