Search Underway for Gervais Man who Eluded Police Tuesday Night Near French Prairie

Police are searching for a Gervais man who reportedly assaulted a state trooper and evaded arrest Tuesday night despite the officers’ use of ECD (electronic control device), pepper spray and physical force.

At approximately 8:30 p.m. Tuesday, a state trooper made contact with Juan Alberto Riestra-Cruz, 41, who was cleaning out his vehicle (a black Honda Civic) in the parking lot of the French Prairie Rest Area, just north of Aurora State Airport.

In the trooper’s incident summary, a copy of which was provided to the Canby Now Podcast, he said that he observed a meth pipe in Riestra-Cruz’s vehicle and attempted to take him into custody. 

Riestra-Cruz resisted, and despite the trooper’s use of “several force options,” he escaped, fleeing the area on foot. 

A perimeter was established, and Clackamas and Marion County deputies were called to assist. Many residents noticed and commented on the police activity in the area. Police attempted to track the suspect with K-9 officers, but he was not located.

A search of the Civic revealed meth and fraudulent identification documents. The case was referred to the district attorney for consideration of charges likely to include possession of methamphetamine, resisting arrest and escape from custody.

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