Alleged Robber Arrested After Car Chase

, Written by Christine Pitawanich, Posted: Sun, March 4 2012 at 8:31 PM, Updated: Sun, March 4 2012 at 9:44 PM

Uneasy, that's what residents in west Medford are feeling tonight.

"It's kind of scary," said west Medford resident, Cassie Hendershot.

"Now it's getting to where I feel insecure in this neighborhood," said another area resident, Tim Armstrong.

They say they're unsettled after police say a drug deal went bad at around 2:30 on Saturday afternoon, near the corner of Lozier Lane and Sunset Court in west Medford.

"He was trying to rob him I guess and he put a gun to the guy's head," said Rawlston, who lives nearby and said he saw what happened.

"I'm just glad he didn't pull the trigger you know," he continued.

Police say the armed robber was 33-year-old Jason Bateman who was in a car with the victim and ran away with an undisclosed amount of cash.

Authorities say he then left the area in a red Jeep Wrangler with a black top that they said was originally stolen from the Medford School District.

It wasn't until just before six in the evening on Saturday when authorities received word that Bateman was spotted driving near North Phoenix Road and Barnett. That's where the chase began.

The Phoenix, Talent and Medford Police Departments as well as the Jackson County Sheriffs chased Bateman down Barnett and laid down spike strips to stop him.

Steven Johansen, a gas attendant working near the intersection of Barnett and Stewart, where the chase ended, said he saw everything.

"The vehicle smacked into this [...] hit here and the guy bailed out and ran [...] and Phoenix Police Department tackled him right there on the corner," described Johansen.

Tonight Bateman is behind bars at the Jackson County Jail, charged with 2nd degree robbery, menacing, attempting to elude police, reckless driving, unauthorized use of a motor vehicle, and criminal mischief in the 1st degree. Bail is set at over one-million-dollars.

About the Author

Christine Pitawanich

Christine Pitawanich was born and raised in the Pacific Northwest. In 2010, she received a master's degree in Broadcast Journalism from the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications at Syracuse University in New York.

Christine also has a Bachelor of Arts degree in Communications from the University of Washington.

Before joining the NBC5 News team, she had the opportunity to file reports from Washington D.C. for WFFT FOX Ft. Wayne News in Indiana. Christine has also interned at KOMO-TV in Seattle.

Christine loves to ski, try new food and have fun in the outdoors.

Catch Christine anchoring weekdays on NBC 5 News at 5pm.

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