A route driver with Republic Services had a less-than-normal morning on March 3 when he tackled a man running from the police.
Republic’s Jared Webster had just left Main Auto Body in Albany, OR shortly before 9 a.m. and was approaching a stop sign at Second Avenue when he saw police vehicles with lights on in pursuit of a Dodge Neon, which was passing other cars at high speed.
The Neon driver — who had blown a stop sign to attract police attention —narrowly missed Webster’s truck, and slammed into a building on the northeast corner of the intersection. The man then got out and took off on foot, leaving a female passenger injured in the Neon.
“Reflexes kinda took over. I just jumped out and tackled the guy,” Webster said. “I kinda held him and at least slowed his pace a little bit until the cops got there. And they were on top of him with Tasers drawn on him. That’s when I backed off.”
Police arrested Andrew Leon Oliver, 33, for unauthorized use of a motor vehicle, reckless endangerment and eluding an officer. He also had a warrant in Lebanon for contempt of court and resisting arrest.
Albany Police Captain Jeff Hinrichs said Webster deserves recognition for his actions.
“There’s a high likelihood the suspect would have gotten away had he not assisted,” said Hinrichs.
Still, Hinrichs cautioned against citizens taking such actions. He said Webster made the right choice after watching the events unfold and being certain the suspect was running from the police.
The passenger was transported to Samaritan Albany General Hospital and treated for minor injuries.
We would like to thank Albany Democrat-Herald for reprint permssion.