Man bitten, Tasered after ramming KPD patrol car

Eric Ratliff

A 37-year-old Keizer man allegedly rammed a police vehicle while attempting to evade a traffic stop for suspicion of driving under the influence of intoxicants. 

The man was bitten twice by a K-9 officer and shot with a Taser before officers were able to subdue and arrest him. 

About 11:10 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 8, Keizer police officers responded to a report of an intoxicated driver near the intersection of River Road North and Parkmeadow Drive Northeast. En route, one of the officers spotted a 2010 Toyota Tundra driving south on River Road North that matched the description of the suspicious vehicle. 

Before the officer could respond, the vehicle crossed the median into northbound lanes and steered toward the officer. The lead vehicle pulled to the side of the road to avoid a collision and a second patrol vehicle traveling behind the first also had to pull over to avoid a secondary collision. 

The driver of the Tundra returned to southbound lanes and the responding officers began a pursuit.  The driver continued swerving erratically and seemed to intentionally drive toward other vehicles before pulling back into the proper lane of travel as the pursuit moved into the Gubser neighborhood. The driver stopped near the intersection of Manzanita Street Northeast and 13th Street Northeast. Officers attempted to negotiate with driver, but he refused to exit his vehicle and sped away. 

The pursuit continued at relatively slow speeds, below or near the posted speed limit, and the driver continued veering erratically on the road. The driver stopped again near the 1800 block of Manzanita and a pursuing officer drove around the block to box him in. The driver aimed his Tundra at the police vehicle in his path, accelerated and crashed into it. The police vehicle was disabled in the collision and the suspect vehicle came to a stop a few hundred yards past the point of contact.

The driver resisted arrest and a K-9 officer was deployed. The dog bit the suspect twice and human officers fired a Taser when he continued to move toward them. After being Tasered, the man was arrested and taken to the Marion County jail. 

Eric Ratliff, 37, is charged with felony attempt to elude, reckless driving, misdemeanor attempt to elude, failure to perform the duties of a driver (hit and run), criminal mischief in the first degree, resisting arrest, disorderly conduct, and interfering with a peace officer.

Ratliff previously pleaded guilty to resisting arrest in 2016. Charges of assaulting an officer and criminal trespass were dismissed in exchange for the guilty plea.