Driver of stolen Subaru plows through spike strips, arrested


Christopher Benzel had an outstanding warrant

Christopher Benzel was arrested after crashing this stolen Subaru in Keizer, May 27, 2020 (Marion County Sheriff’s Office)

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — The driver of a stolen Subaru was arrested by Keizer police after plowing through spike strips and then trying to run away.

The incident near NE 7th Avenue and Faymar Drive in Keizer unfolded shortly before noon Wednesday, authorities said. Police tried to stop the car but it took off into a cul-de-sac.

The driver, later identified as Christopher Benzel, made a U-turn and headed directly for the officer, who drove off the road to avoid a collision. A pursuit followed with multiple police involved.

Near Howell Prairie Road at Mount Angel/Gervais Highway, police put out spike strips. Authorities said Benzel ran over the spikes, drove into a ditch, then got out and ran.

The 25-year-old Vernonia resident didn’t get far before being arrested.

Benzel was checked out at a hospital for minor injuries before being booked into the Marion County Jail.

He now faces charges including attempt to elude by vehicle, attempt to elude by foot, attempted assault, criminal mischief, reckless driving, reckless endangering, unlawful use of a vehicle, unlawful possession of heroin, and an outstanding warrant.

Bail is set at $85,000.

The Subaru, which was reported as stolen in March, needed to be towed from the scene.

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