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Man with 1-year-old son in truck leads law enforcement agencies on pursuit

Rudy Foki Paea Fifita mug shot courtesy NORCOR, photo courtesy Oregon State Police

WASCO COUNTY, Ore. – A Wasco County Deputy fired shots at and arrested a Utah man who led multiple law enforcement agencies on a chase through two Oregon counties Thursday.

The chase began around 3:20 p.m. when an Oregon State Police trooper tried stopping a driver in a Dodge pickup truck for speeding on Interstate 84 near milepost 109 westbound in Sherman County.

The driver did not stop and instead cut through the grassy median and began traveling eastbound.

Oregon State Police stopped pursuing the driver, but about 10 minutes later a Sherman County Sheriff’s Deputy spotted the driver speeding and tried to pull him over near Moro.

The suspect refused to stop and the deputy stopped the pursuit.

Shortly after, another Oregon State Police trooper saw the driver in Sherman County heading toward Wasco County.

Wasco County Sheriff’s Office deputies and Oregon State Police tried stopping the suspect by using spike strips, but their attempts were unsuccessful.

Authorities saw the driver travel through Tygh Valley at a high speed and all law enforcement agencies stopped following him because they were concerned for the public’s safety.

At approximately 4:25 p.m., a Wasco County Deputy saw the suspect vehicle at a residence just off US 197, approximately 4 miles south of Tygh Valley.

As the driver tried to reenter US 197 in the pickup truck, the deputy fired several rounds at the vehicle.

The vehicle came to a stop and the deputy took the driver into custody.

Investigators identified the suspect as 30-year-old Rudy Foki Paia Fifita from West Jordan, Utah.

There were also two passengers in the vehicle, 23-year-old Tiffany Joan Roubmai from Haiku, Hawaii and their 1-year-old son.

Neither Fifita nor Roubmai nor their son was injured.

Fifita was lodged at NORCOR in The Dalles on charges stemming out of Sherman County: two counts of attempting to elude police, four counts of recklessly endangering another person and reckless driving.

Oregon State Police will investigate the deputy’s decision to fire shots.

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