Officer Eric Jefferson, who operates a police motorcycle, was injured during the pursuit of a stolen vehicle Tuesday, July 31. Jefferson was forced to lay down his bike to avoid being hit. (KEIZERTIMES/Jason Cox)

A Keizer Police motorcycle officer was hurt during the pursuit of a stolen vehicle at about 4 p.m. Tuesday, July 31, near Keizer Station.

Keizer Police received a report of a stolen car in the area of Keizer Station at 3:53 p.m.  Officer David Babcock, operating a marked patrol unit, responded to the area, followed by Officer Eric Jefferson, who is assigned to the Traffic Unit and operates a police motorcycle.  Officers Babcock and Jefferson located a green Honda Accord believed to be stolen on the cloverleaf of Ulali Drive in a line of stopped vehicles that were waiting to turn eastbound onto Chemawa Road and towards the I-5 interchange.

Babcock drove up next to the stolen vehicle with Jefferson following behind. The driver of the vehicle immediately redirected the stolen vehicle out of his lane of travel, ramming Babcock’s patrol car and heading directly toward Jefferson, police officials said.

To avoid getting rammed head-on by the stolen vehicle, Jefferson turned suddenly and laid the police motorcycle down in an attempt to get out of Honda’s path. The stolen vehicle then fled the area and was pursued by other responding officers before being stopped on Indian School Road just south of Chemawa Road.

Jefferson was transported to Salem Hospital where he was treated for non-life threatening injuries and released. Babcock was uninjured. The patrol vehicle sustained moderate damage and the police motorcycle sustained minor damage.

The driver of the stolen vehicle was taken into custody and identified as Sean Cody Bennett, 28, of Keizer.

Bennett is being held without bail because of a parole violation warrant. He is also being charged with unauthorized use of a motor vehicle, attempt to elude, reckless endangering, two counts of unlawful use of a weapon for using the vehicle as a weapon, and assault.  Bennett is lodged at the Marion County Correctional Facility.