Police: suspect took LSD, thought he was in ‘Grand Theft Auto’

JACKSON COUNTY, Ore. – Police are releasing more details about a bizarre vehicle pursuit that started near Ashland Saturday night.

According to the Jackson County Sheriff’s Office, a large gathering was taking place in the area of Emigrant Lake on the evening of June 2. There were reportedly drugs and alcohol involved.

During the gathering, several people at the lake told police they saw a man, later identified as Grants Pass resident Anthony Joseph Clark, acting strangely.

Deputies said while they were receiving the reports regarding Clark, they were making two arrests in the area for driving under the influence of intoxicants. Before tow trucks could haul away the impounded vehicles involved, Clark entered one of them, a tan 2003 Toyota Camry. An Oregon State Police trooper tried to stop Clark, but he ended up driving away.

JSCO said Clark was able to evade capture as he drove toward Ashland on Highway 66. Eventually, he made it to Interstate 5 where drove north on the shoulder of the southbound lanes.

When Clark got to milepost 16, he turned around and drove south, back toward Exit 14. He made it into town, turning north on Walker Avenue and crashing through multiple industrial gates. Police called off the pursuit when Clark drove into more populated areas.

Clark reportedly drove south through downtown in the northbound lane of travel, then turned back around, heading north. A JSCO deputy was able to catch up to Clark as he left Ashland city limits.

Police said a Talent officer was able to deploy spike strips near Rapp Road. Clark kept going, even though the two rear tires of the Toyota were deflating.

Clark worked his way north toward the City of Phoenix, where an officer there deployed another set of spike strips which deflated the front tires of the vehicle.

Roadways in the area were blocked off as deputies tried multiple times to end the pursuit using the PIT maneuvers. The vehicle finally stopped in the 3400 block of Highway 99. That’s when Clark rammed a patrol car and ran away on foot.

JCSO said Clark was finally found trying to steal another vehicle in a nearby mobile home park.

According to deputies, Clark admitted he took LSD earlier in the day and he thought he was in the video game “Grand Theft Auto” while police were pursuing him.

Clark was lodged in the Jackson County Jail on numerous charges related to the chase. More charges from other law enforcement agencies involved are expected.

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