By News-Register staff • 

Wanted suspect taken into custody after overnight search

James Dunwoody
James Dunwoody


James Dale Dunwoody, 47, of McMinnville, is charged with five counts each of of first-degree criminal mischief and first-degree criminal trespass, two counts of fleeing or attempting to elude a police officer and one count each of second-degree criminal mischief, second-degree theft, reckless driving and recklessly endangering another person.

He is lodged in the Yamhill County Jail on $100,000 bail. Court records do not indicate Dunwoody has been arraigned on the charges.

Deputies responded about 7:30 a.m. Thursday to a theft in progress in the 11000 block of S.E. Airport Road in rural McMinnville, according to Capt. Chris Ray.

It was reported that an adult male in a gray Chevrolet Tahoe, who was later identified as Dunwoody, had fled from the caller's property after attempting to steal gasoline. A similar theft occurred in late April and remains under investigation by the sheriff's office which did not indicate if Dunwoody is a suspect.

When deputies arrived at the residence, they located Dunwoody attempting to conceal his vehicle in a nearby tree grove. He drove through a field, a pursuit ensued and he was chased through several properties and fields in the area.

The Tahoe became disabled in a field and Dunwoody fled on foot. At one time it was reported he was running across the runways at McMinnville Municipal Airport, according to Yamhill Communications Agency radio traffic.

A ground search was conducted, including use of a McMinnville Police Department K9 and a Polk County Sheriff's Office drone. Dunwoody was not located.

About 9 a.m. Friday, Dunwoody was spotted by a citizen near Southeast Nehemiah Lane in McMinnville. Deputies and McMinnville police responded and he was taken into custody after deputies ordered him to the ground and displayed a Taser.

With the help of the McMinnville Fire Department, deputies utilized a rope-aided rescue to pull Dunwoody out of a ravine.

He was evaluated at the Willamette Valley Medical Center for overnight exposure, released and taken to jail.

The sheriff's office expressed its appreciation to McMinnville police, the Polk and Yamhill County Sheriff's Office and Oregon State Police for their assistance.

Dunwoody has a criminal record, primarily in Yamhill County, dating back 25 years.

He has one open cased, charged last month with two counts of second-degree criminal trespass and one count of third-degree theft related to a March incident.

It's alleged Dunwoody "unlawfully and knowingly entered or remained upon the premises located in the 5800 block of S.E. Bansen Lane in Dayton and the premises in the 5500 block of S.E. Lafayette Highway in Dayton."

Additionally, it's alleged he "unlawfully and knowingly commited the theft of fuel, of the total value of less than $100 from the property of Steward Kircher."

He is scheduled to appear in court on the charges at 8:30 a.m. Thursday, June 18.








No doubt late for his MENSA meeting.