Three Jackson County men are facing criminal charges following a high speed chase that originated in Gold Beach and ended north of Brookings.
According to a release from the Curry County Sheriff’s Office, the investigation unfolded shortly after 7 a.m. Saturday Dec.14, as Curry County Sheriff’s dispatch received a 911 call from Gold Beach resident Carey Hargesheimer, reporting that someone had just stolen his green 1996 Honda from the Gold Beach Motel 6 and drove off south bound from the Rogue River Bridge.
Dispatch radioed the Gold Beach Police Department and at the same time a Curry County Sheriff's marine deputy saw a car fitting that description going south on Ellensburg Avenue along with a red Honda. The deputy attempted to stop the stolen vehicle near the Curry Fairgrounds, but it, along with the red Honda, execrated at a high rate of speed south out of town. The deputy began to pursue the stolen vehicle while the red Honda car turned off.
As the deputy pursued the vehicle, he reported speeds ranging from 90 miles per hour to about 45 miles per hour. In an effort to stop the fleeing vehicle, Brookings Police Department set up stop sticks and responded north to intercept. A Gold Beach Police corporal caught up to the pursuit near Thomas Creek Bridge and took over the lead. As the chase preceded along Highway 101 near Whaleshead viewpoint, the pursing officers reported that the stolen vehicle starting to smoke heavily and become disabled.
According to the release, the driver of the stolen vehicle turned back north and ran off Highway 101 near Eggers Road, where he jumped from the moving vehicle and fled into the steep, heavily wooded and brushy area on the west side of the road.
Other deputies, the Sheriff’s K9 Unit, Brookings Police and Oregon State Police arrived to set up a perimeter of the area. The Sheriff’s Office Search and Rescue (SAR) team training at the time in Gold Beach with a heat-seeking equipped drone also responded to the area. Once the perimeter was set up the drone was deployed.
The drone picked up a heat source in an area but the signal was lost shortly after due to weather conditions and tall trees. Steep, treacherous and brushy terrain challenged the law enforcement search of the area. Shortly after the search was initially called off due to the challenges, a SAR member spotted the suspect who took off back down in the brush again.
Deputies, K-9 and officers again scoured the area but were not able to locate the suspect and the search was suspended due to pending darkness and bad weather.
At 4:45 a.m. n Sunday Dec. 15, the Curry County Sheriff’s Office received a 911 call from Jot’s Resort in Gold Beach about a man who had broken into the pool and hot spa area. A Sheriff’s Sergeant responded to the scene and took the man into custody. The man, who initially identified himself as Scott Marshall, was arrested for trespass and criminal mischief. He was transported to the Curry County Jail.
After fingerprints were taken, the man was identified as Michael Marshall, who had a warrant for his arrest out of Jackson County. Gold Beach Police checked video surveillance footage at Motel 6 and identified Marshall as the suspect who stole the green Honda the morning before.
The red Honda
The red Honda involved with the Green stolen Honda had been abandoned on Highway 101 near milepost 324, north of Gold Beach, after the pursuit started. Deputies discovered it was reported stolen to Central Point Police but had not been entered as stolen at that time of the pursuit. Investigators said the license plates on the red Honda had been removed prior to law enforcement’s efforts to recover the stolen vehicle.
Sheriff John Ward said through investigative leads and good team work, Gold Beach Police and Sheriff’s Deputies tracked down the driver of the red Honda near Jot’s Resort, identified him as Rocky Rockwell, 25, of Medford. Rockwell was arrested and transported to the Curry County Jail. During the investigation, deputies and officers learned that Anthony Morse, 33, from Jackson County was also involved in the stolen car incident.
Sheriff’s dispatch received another 911 call at 2 p.m. Monday, Dec. 16, from Jot’s Resort reporting a suspicious person who had been walking around the complex. The suspect’s image was caught on Jot’s security cameras. Sheriff’s deputies responded and spotted the suspicious person hiding under the north end of the Rogue River Bridge. Deputies and State Police confronted the subject, identified as Anthony Morse, who had a valid detention warrant for his arrest out of Jackson County. Morse was taken into custody and transported to the Curry County Jail.
The criminal charges
Marshall faces charges, including UUMV, Fleeing or Attempting to Elude a Police Officer, Reckless Driving, Interfering with a Police Officer, Theft of Services, Criminal Mischief III, False Information to Police Officer and Criminal Trespass II.
Rockwell is charged with UUMV, Reckless Driving, Interfering with Police Officer, Obstruction of Governmental/Judicial Administration, and Criminal Conspiracy II.
Morse is charged with Possession of Stolen Vehicle, Theft 1st Degree x 5, and Criminal Trespass II.
As of press time, the Curry County Sheriff’s Office and the Gold Beach Police Department were continuing the investigation. All information is being forwarded to the Curry County District Attorney.