By Paul Daquilante • Staff Writer • 

Sheridan elude suspect gets 90 days

Stone made it clear to Garrett. That someone could well have been him.

“We have a good sheriff’s office,” the judge told the Sheridan resident. “In another county, you might have been shot. You might have been dead.”

Garrett pleaded guilty to one count each of third-degree escape, attempt to elude a police officer and recklessly endangering another person at his plea and sentencing hearing this week in circuit court. Elude is a Class C felony and the other charges are misdemeanors.

Two counts of reckless driving and one count each of third-degree theft, attempt to elude and recklessly endangering were dismissed in the course of plea negotiations between Deputy District Attorney Meuy Chao and Garrett’s court-appointed attorney, Elana Andrew-Flynn of McMinnville. Several probation violations were lodged against him as well, and he pleaded guilty to one of them.

Stone sentenced Garrett to 90 days in jail followed by 36 months probation. He also assessed the 22-year-old for court costs, fees and victim restitution.

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

About 6:30 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 13, deputy Marc Brodeur initiated a traffic stop on a rented 2012 Chevrolet Camaro he spotted in Sheridan. He recognized the driver as Garrett, who was being sought in connection with repeated threats against his estranged wife and her family, in defiance of a restraining order.

“The petitioner reported repeated violations of the restraining order,” Chao said. “He was driving by her residence, blaring his music and playing their song.”

According to Svenson, he also called her father to say, “You’d better round up your guns, because I’m coming after you.”

When Brodeur stopped Garrett, he became verbally abusive, Chao said.

“He told him, ‘F--- you. I can drive on Mill Street all day long,’” she told the court.

Chao said Garrett went on to say, “Shoot me, shoot me. You won’t. So catch me if you can.”

He said he was planning on “going out in a blaze of glory,” Chao said. “This was a dangerous and serious situation.”

Svenson gave this account of the chase:

As he sped off, deputies began tracking him by pinging his iPhone. However, using an app to monitor police radio traffic, he discovered what they were doing and discarded the phone. 

He drove recklessly along portions of heavily traveled Rock Creek, Peavine and Powerhouse Hill roads, even though deputies were hanging back to avoid provoking him. Deputies lost track of him at one point, but got a fix on him again when he stopped for $40 worth of gas in Lafayette and sped off without paying.

In the meantime, deputies secured an affidavit from a judge authorizing OnStar to track the Camaro electronically and ultimately disable it remotely.

Deputies picked up the pursuit north of McMinnville near Shelton and Westside roads about 3 a.m. Friday. After engaging in a failed attempt to disable the car with spike strips, they had OnStar shut off its fuel supply.

Garrett turned onto Old Sheridan Road and jumped out, fleeing into a Southwest McMinnville neighborhood. He left his wallet behind in the car.

A search with a canine team failed to locate him, but law enforcement personnel believed they had the advantage, knowing Garrett had no car, driver’s license, money, identification or phone.

Later in the day, McMinnville police responded to a report of a man passed out on a bench in Lower City Park. It was Garrett, who was taken into custody without incident.

“When the police contacted him, he was having a mental breakdown,” Andrew-Flynn said of his initial contact with Deputy Brodeur.

“Adrenalin kicked in. He took off. He was a broken young man.”

She said his failed marriage had dealt him a devastating emotional blow. However, she said he had since turned his life in a new direction.

“He has listened to what the professionals have told him,” Andrew-Flynn said. “He’s been going to mental health for treatment. He is trying.”

Garrett told the court, “It was stupid. I kind of lost it. I’ve learned from this and I’m thankful no one got hurt.”

Regardless of Garrett’s mental state, Stone said, it was his decision to do the things he did. Citizens of the county are expected to control themselves, he said.

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