Bend man escapes emergency room, sends police on chase through Deschutes County

Deschutes County Sheriff's Office.jpg

BEND, Ore. - A man in Bend evaded police on Monday morning, stealing three vehicles while running from officers after escaping from the St. Charles-Bend emergency room.

The Deschutes County 911 received information on Monday morning that a man was running around the Old Mill District claiming that he was stabbed, and had a non-life threatening injury to his leg.

Upon identifying the person at Christopher Van Wambeke Ward, Ward admitted that the injury to his leg was self inflicted. He was then transported to the St. Charles-Bend emergency room.

Bend Police were on-scene at the emergency room, at which point Ward ran out of the area. Ward ran through locked doors at the emergency department, under a fence and got into a Tomco Electric box style van.

Ward stole the van and raced out of the parking area. He drove through a temporary fence, causing damage to several vehicles belonging to employees at St. Charles-Bend.

As Ward was driving out of St. Charles parking lot, he nearly struck a Bend Police Officer with the vehicle.

During a search of the immediate area, Bend Officers located the stolen van and attempted to stop it. Ward did not yield to officers, and continued to drive, putting several community members at risk.

Bend Police discontinued the pursuit of the vehicle, but set up areas where Ward had been know to frequent.

Deschutes County 911 received several driving complaints from concerned citizens regarding the van Ward was operating.

Shortly after Ward eluded officers, he was located within the perimeter where police had been set up. Ward again eluded Bend Police and eventually parked the stolen van. He attempted to steal a second vehicle, but was unsuccessful.

Ward wakled west on Reed Market, crossing the empty canal to enter a third vehicle. Officials from the Bend Police, Deschutes County Sheriff's Office and Oregon State Police made contact with Ward inside the vehicle, and he was taken into custody without incident at 12:45 p.m.

Ward was taken back to St. Charles-Bend for clearance as he sustained new non-life threatening injuries during the pursuit.

Ward was transported to the Deschutes County Jail and lodged on two counts of Attempt to Elude in a Vehicle, Attempted Assault 1 on a Public Safety Officer, 2 counts of Reckless Driving, Criminal Mischief 1, Unlawful Use of a Motor Vehicle, Unlawful Entry into a Motor Vehicle, Failure to Perform the Duties of a Driver and Criminal Trespass II.

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