Police: Oregon suspect risked death trying to hide from troopers - KPTV - FOX 12

Police: Oregon suspect risked death trying to hide from troopers in badger hole

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Law enforcement working to remove suspect from badger hole in eastern Oregon. (Photo: Oregon State Police) Law enforcement working to remove suspect from badger hole in eastern Oregon. (Photo: Oregon State Police)
Gregory Morrow was removed from a badger hole and arrested on BLM land in Vale. (Jail booking photo/OSP) Gregory Morrow was removed from a badger hole and arrested on BLM land in Vale. (Jail booking photo/OSP)
Jerry Boatman was arrested before a second suspect was caught hiding in a badger hole. (Jail booking photo/OSP) Jerry Boatman was arrested before a second suspect was caught hiding in a badger hole. (Jail booking photo/OSP)
Photo of the badger hole. (Photo: Oregon State Police) Photo of the badger hole. (Photo: Oregon State Police)
ONTARIO, OR (KPTV) -

A man involved in a police chase in a stolen SUV escaped to BLM land in rural eastern Oregon and attempted to hide in a deep badger hole with his dog, according to Oregon State Police.

The incident began at 7:30 a.m. Thursday in Ontario.

An OSP trooper spotted a stolen 2001 Chevrolet Tahoe in the parking lot of Jack in the Box on 4th Street.

The trooper attempted a traffic stop, but the driver jumped a curb and drove away.

A short chase ensued, but was canceled by police due to safety concerns. Two men and a dog were seen in the vehicle.

Police received information that led them to BLM land near Vale. A search by ground and air led to the capture of one suspect, Jerry Boatman, 35, of Ontario.

Boatman was arrested on charges of third-degree escape and parole violation.

The search for the second suspect continued. Hours later, the Chevrolet Tahoe was spotted in a ravine and police followed tracks from the SUV for more than a mile that led them to a dog.

When law enforcement approached, the dog ran into a large badger hole and would not come out.

As police worked to remove the dog, they heard a man screaming for help from within the hole.

The suspect, 22-year-old Gregory Morrow of Ontario, was stuck eight feet underground and could not move.

He told police he went into the hole feet first and was losing feeling in his arm.

It took more than an hour, but law enforcement dug him out of the hole.

Morrow was taken to the hospital for treatment of minor injuries and then arrested for a parole violation. Troopers said he was driving the stolen SUV and additional charges are pending.

"Most likely Morrow would have died from exposure as he would not have been able to free himself," according to an Oregon State Police statement.

OSP was assisted by the Ontario Police Department, Malheur County Sheriff's Office and Vale Fire and Rescue.

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