Sheriff: 57-mile stolen motorcycle chase ends with suspect swimm - KPTV - FOX 12

Sheriff: 57-mile stolen motorcycle chase ends with suspect swimming in river

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David Lewallen, jail booking photo David Lewallen, jail booking photo
BROWNSVILLE, OR (KPTV) -

A 57-mile chase that spanned multiple Oregon cities and involved five law enforcement agencies ended when the suspect jumped in the Calapooia River and attempted to swim away, according to deputies.

The Linn County Sheriff's Office said the suspect, identified as 35-year-old David Lewallen of Jefferson, hit speeds of 120 mph during the chase that lasted one hour and six minutes.

It began at 10:03 a.m. Tuesday when Albany officers witnessed a motorcyclist committing several traffic violations.

A chase ensued southbound on Highway 99E toward Tangent and continued south to American Drive in Halsey. At that point, the Linn County Sheriff's Office took over the chase, as deputies said the motorcyclist continued refusing to yield.

The man on the motorcycle took back roads to Harrisburg, where his speed reached 120 mph, and then into Lane County, according to deputies.

The pursuit was turned over to the Lane County Sheriff's Office, Oregon State Police and the Coburg Police Department, until, at 10:39 a.m., the motorcyclist again entered Linn County on Coburg Road.

The suspect rode through Harrisburg north on county roads at speeds in excess of 80 mph, according to the sheriff's office, and went into the city of Brownsville.

In Brownsville, investigators said the motorcyclist stopped on a bridge crossing the Calapooia River, got off and jumped in the water.

Lewallen was arrested about 100 yards downstream from the bridge.

During the lengthy chase, deputies learned the motorcycle was reported as stolen from the Oregon State University campus.

Lewallen was booked in the Linn County Jail on charges of elude by vehicle, elude by foot, reckless driving, unauthorized use of a motor vehicle, criminal mischief and multiple traffic violations.

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