PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) – Oregon authorities arrested a man wearing a Ricky Bobby “Talladega Nights” outfit after a wild string of crimes Tuesday night.
Officers took Alexis Ibarra Gomez into custody in Oregon City after numerous police agencies and the Clackamas County SWAT unit joined in the chase. Police said the crime spree included a stolen truck, gunshots at – and by – a motorist, a suitcase filled with stolen jewelry, a police chase, a change of clothes and a vehicle-into-garage crash.
It began around 6 p.m., the Clackamas County Sheriff’s Office said, when the driver of a Chevy Colorado called 911 to report a black GMC pickup driving erratically. The 911 caller was trying to get a license plate number to give to dispatchers when the GMC stopped in the road, and someone in the truck pointed a gun and fired backward toward the 911 caller.
The 911 caller said he ducked down, then returned fire with a rifle. Authorities said no one was hit by either of the shooters. The 911 caller is cooperating, officials said.
Meanwhile, the GMC – which was stolen from Salem, Oregon – took off. Clackamas County deputies spotted the truck driving the wrong way on Highway 213. Efforts to stop the truck, including using spike strips, failed and the truck kept going.
About 18 minutes after the initial 911 call, the GMC crashed into a detached garage at someone’s home, officials said. Gomez got out of the truck, jumped a fence and ran into the woods.
A woman in the GMC was spotted walking away and was quickly detained by deputies. She was interviewed and later released, authorities said.
Not long after, Gomez broke into a home in the nearby Beaver Lake area, officials said. No one was home at the time, but the homeowner alerted the law enforcement agencies after the intruder tripped the home alarm system.
As the situation unfolded, the homeowner explained what happened earlier.
“Apparently, one of the neighbors saw the gentleman breaking into the house, they went in and the gentlemen was acting like he was unconscious,” neighbor Bruce Riggs said.
The Clackamas County SWAT unit surrounded the home. The Washington County Air Unit went to the area and authorities said they could see Gomez using a flashlight moving from room to room.
“We got almost like an Amber Alert where it comes through and all our phones rang at once and it was basically the county telling us there was police business going on in the neighborhood, so we turned on a scanner and started listening,” Riggs said.
Neighbors were stunned as the crash, foot chase and bizarre break-in unfolded in their typically quiet and rural neighborhood.
“It’s very different around this neighborhood because you usually don’t have this type of activity,” Riggs said.
Around 9 p.m. – three hours since the initial 911 call – Gomez came out of the house with a bicycle, saw the heavy police presence and surrendered.
He was wearing the Ricky Bobby costume at the time, officials said. He found the costume inside the house and changed into it at some point while he was inside.
Gomez, 25, is being held on $342,500 bail. He’s facing charges for attempted assault, attempting to elude a police officer, failure to perform the duties of a driver, burglary – plus four charges for previous arrests: failure to appear for an unlawful use of a weapon, failure to appear after pointing a gun at another person, failure to appear for menacing and unlawful use of a vehicle.
It’s unclear if he has an attorney.
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