The following is information from the Cowlitz County Sheriff's Office regarding a carjacking in St. Helens on Sunday morning June 30 that triggered a two-state law enforcement pursuit. The pursuit ended in Clatskanie.
On June 30, Ridgefield Police responded to an incident where a suspect had reportedly tried to steal an occupied vehicle. The reporting party told police the suspect put him in a headlock and stole his keys, but was unable to start the vehicle. Ridgefield Police attempted to arrest the suspect, but the suspect escaped after a foot pursuit. The suspect fled in a silver Ford F150 truck which was reported stolen out of St Helens, Oregon.
Cowlitz County Sheriff's Office Deputy Spaulding observed the truck traveling Northbound on I-5 near exit 27 and attempted to stop the it. The suspect fled at speeds over 100 MPH and used all three lanes to evade police. The suspect was able to avoid spike strips and intentionally swerved at a deputy who was outside of his vehicle attempting to deploy the spike strips.
The suspect vehicle took exit 39 and collided with a vehicle that was stopped for a red light, causing reportable damage. The occupant was not injured. The suspect continued to evade deputies and took the Lewis and Clark bridge into Oregon, then continued Westbound on Highway 30. The suspect drove at high speeds on Highway 30 and forced Eastbound vehicles out of their lane.
As the suspect continued into Clatskanie, he collided with a CCSO patrol vehicle and was then pinned in by multiple patrol vehicles to end the pursuit. The suspect attempt to flee the vehicle and resisted arrest. Deputies deployed a taser and the CCSO K-9 to take the suspect into custody. One CCSO deputy was cut by broken glass during the altercation, requiring sutures.
The suspect was identified as Gergorio Ivan Layna, age 35, of Kelso. Layna was taken into custody by Oregon State Police on charges related to the pursuit in Oregon. Cowlitz County Sheriff's Office will be filing additional charges for Attempting to Elude a Law Enforcement Officer, Possession of Stolen Vehicle, Assault 2nd Degree, Hit and Run - Attended Vehicle and Resisting Arrest. Ridgefield Police has probable cause for additional charges for the attempted carjacking incident.
Previous report from The Chronicle in St. Helens posted at 7 a.m. July 1:
One person suffered injuries after jumping on the hood of his pickup truck to stop a carjacking at the St. Helens Ace Hardware Store.
According to employees at Ace Hardware, the suspect stole the truck from the store parking lot at 155 S Columbia River Highway.
As the incident unfolded at 11:30 a.m. Sunday, June 30, the truck's owner spotted the suspect taking the vehicle and gave chase by grabbing onto the hood of the pickup.
The owner was dragged and eventually thrown off the vehicle as the suspect attempted to flee in the truck. According to reports, the truck owner suffered minor injuries.
KATU reports that St. Helens Police are searching for suspect and the Ford F150 crew cab with license plates 463-GFP. If you spot this vehicle, call police.
Read more in the July 5 print edition of the Chief.