10/2/2014

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Two arrested for fleeing deputies; residents question chase policy

Two arrested for fleeing deputies; residents question chase policy

SALEM, Ore. - Carrie Lee was asleep Friday night when she got a rude awakening..

"My brothers run into the house and said some guy just hit the tree, and I said 'what tree?'" Lee said.

She ran outside to see a red Honda Civic that crashed into her tree, barely missing her house.

"There's a lot of kids around her and just half an hour before this happened there were kids in the front yard playing right where the car was," Lee said.

A few seconds later a small army of cops and sheriff's deputies flooded the neighborhood and arrested the driver, Shawn Woodard, along with Joanne Wills.

Deputies said they tried to pull them over 12 minutes earlier in rural Marion County for a broken light when they sped off.

Turns out the car they were in was stolen. The pair led deputies back into town at speeds topping 70 mph.

Lee is glad they are in custody but thinks the sheriff's office needs to rethink its chase policy.

"What if the kids were still in the yard? It's not worth a bunch of children dying over a stolen car," Lee said.

Sgt. Chris Baldridge said his deputies did everything by the book.

"Speaking with the shift Sgt., he was pleased with how his deputies performed during this. They acted professionally. They made the right decisions and yes these things are scary that's why we do not take them lightly," Baldridge said.

Police said Wills was originally driving the car, but switched with Woodard midway through the chase.

Both Woodard and Wills were arrested and face multiple charges. A third person was also in the car but was not arrested. No one was seriously hurt.

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