Not your typical ride-along
The show chronicles the activities of big city law enforcement agencies. The action is usually a lot less fast and furious in rural Yamhill County.
“I think young people have this perception that the job is 100 percent excitement all of the time,” said Hessel, who helps oversee the McMinnville OSP office. “The truth of the matter is, it isn’t.”
But don’t tell Kyle Hayes, an 18-year-old senior at Amity High School.
Hayes, who is leaning toward a career in law enforcement, was accompanying OSP Trooper Phil Richardson on a ride-along the evening of Sunday, March 31.
The evening was relatively uneventful until Richardson ticketed 29-year-old Bryan Mitchell for going 85 in a 55 zone on Highway 47 in his Ford F-150 pickup. Then all hell broke loose.
According to police reports, Mitchell retaliated by doubling back to ram the patrol car from the rear at high speed, then leading officers on a high-speed chase that ended up with him being shot, then tased.
Hayes and Richardson sustained minor injuries. They were released from the Willamette Valley Medical Center after undergoing treatment.
Richardson has since returned to duty.
Hayes slept in before heading to school April 1, because he didn’t get home until the early hours of the morning. Three weeks later, his back and shoulders are still sore.
“I think he was a little bug-eyed when it was over,” Hessel said of Hayes. “It was definitely not your typical ride-along.”
In the course of the evening, Trooper Nic Cederberg crashed his patrol car in the area of Highway 47 and Gun Club Road, while rushing to the area to provide Richardson with backup. He totaled a patrol car and broke his hand, adding another element to the night’s mayhem.
Hayes plans to enroll at Chemeketa Community College, Eastern Oregon University or Oregon State University in the fall. He plans to major in psychology and minor in criminal justice.
Someday, he would like to become a detective, maybe with a county sheriff’s office or state patrol.
Becoming involved in the Yamhill County Sheriff’s Office cadet program cemented his decision to make law enforcement a career. Of course, it doesn’t hurt that he has four uncles in law enforcement.
He did a ride-along with sheriff’s deputy Roy Harrell three days before sliding into the passenger seat beside Richardson. He said Harrell had to tase an uncooperative suspect, but that was nothing compared to what he experienced with Richardson, a family friend.
Richardson picked him up at his house for a 3 p.m. to 1 a.m. shift. The trooper made a couple of traffic stops, then headed north on Highway 47 and pulled to the side of the road about 7 p.m. to monitor passing traffic.
Authorities gave this account of what transpired next:
Mitchell came roaring by at a high rate of speed. Richardson took off after him, pulled him over and cited him.
Hayes remained in the squad car, but Richardson described Mitchell’s demeanor as angry and threatening. The trooper said Mitchell told him, “You’re a dead man.”
Afterward, Mitchell headed north and Richardson south. But Mitchell made a U-turn, passed Richardson going the other direction, then made another U-turn and came up behind him at a high rate of speed.
“He said, ‘He’s coming up on us,’” Hayes said of Richardson, who was going almost 65 himself. “I thought to myself, ‘This is interesting.’ He was riding the bumper.
“He backed off a little, then he decided to speed up and ram us. It jolted the car. The trunk lid was flapping.”
Hayes said his heart started pounding as soon as he felt the impact, and he thought to himself, “This is a little weird.”
Richardson’s car sustained heavy damage, but he activated his emergency lights and siren, called for backup and continued south, toward town, with Mitchell still following.
“We got to Highway 99W,” Hayes said. “We took a right and went over the bridge, and he was still following us. We got to the Wilco Farmers store, and he turned around.”
Hayes said Richardson initiated a pursuit, but when radio traffic indicated Cederberg had been in a bad crash, they peeled off, “just to make sure he was OK.” He said Cederberg was out of his car when they arrived, but it was clearly demolished.
Other law enforcement agencies were being kept abreast of the situation by the 911 dispatch center.
Carlton police officer Jacob Herr soon located Mitchell’s pickup and set out in pursuit. The chase headed west from Carlton on Meadow Lake Road.
There, Mitchell pulled into a large graveled area.
Authorities said he tried to ram the squad car of sheriff’s deputy Robert Eubanks, then sped east, drawing fire from Yamhill police offficer Travis VanCleave.
Mitchell sustained a superficial wound. A grand jury cleared VanCleave of wrongdoing in opening fire.
A McMinnville officer finally brought the pickup to a stop by deploying a set of spike strips. Mitchell was so disruptive, he had to be tased multiple times.
Mitchell has since been indicted by a grand jury on one count each of attempted aggravated murder, attempted first-degree assault, first-degree criminal mischief, attempt to elude a police officer, driving under the influence of intoxicants, hit-and-run with property damage and reckless driving, along with four counts of recklessly endangering another person.
The attempted murder, assault, criminal mischief and elude charges are all felonies. The others are misdemeanors.
He remains lodged in jail without bail. He is next due in court at 3 p.m. Monday, April 29.