As of Thursday, November 14, 2013
An attempted traffic stop in Oregon turned into a vehicle leading law enforcement officials on a chase across the Hood River Toll Bridge and through Bingen on Friday.
According to Bingen-White Salmon Police Officer Tony Warren, an officer with the Hood River Police Department observed a “suspicious vehicle” speeding on eastbound Interstate 84. When the Hood River officer attempted to pull the car over the driver sped away, heading toward the Hood River Toll Bridge.
Warren said the vehicle, a Dodge Caravan carrying a driver and one passenger, began crossing the bridge with the Hood River officer behind. At one point small bags of an unknown substance were thrown out the window followed by a duffel bag.
Once across the vehicle headed into Bingen and proceeded to speed through town at 50 miles per hour. At that point the Bingen-White Salmon Police, Hood River County Sheriff’s deputies, and a Klickitat County Sheriff’s deputy joined the chase.
Law enforcement caught up with the Caravan on State Route 14 near Courtney Road, according to Warren. The driver, Norman Couch, 39, of The Dalles, was arrested by the Hood River Police Department along with the passenger, Tiffany Barajas, 20, of The Dalles.
Couch was charged by the Hood River Police Department with tampering with physical evidence, unlawful possession of heroin; marijuana; and methamphetamine, unlawful delivery of marijuana and methamphetamine, reckless driving, and attempting to elude. Barajas was charged with tampering with physical evidence, unlawful possession of marijuana, unlawful delivery of marijuana and methamphetamine, hindering prosecution, and littering.
Warren added that they will also face charges of attempting to elude, reckless driving, and driving without a license from the Bingen-White Salmon Police. Couch also had an outstanding warrant for being a violent offender and a methamphetamine charge from Vancouver.
Both Couch and Barajas are being held at the Northern Oregon Regional Correctional Facilities.