Thursday, August 21, 2014

On August 13, 2013 Astoria Regional Dispach Center received a call of a hit and run that occured near 7th and Olney. The victim of the hit and run had been stopped at the stop sign waiting for traffic to clear when she was struck from the rear by the suspect, later idetnified as Joshua Beelar, age 35 of Astoria) was following the suspect.

Astoria Police Officers were notified and responded to the area. Officer Chris McNeary located the vehicle traveling up Williamsport from Hwy 202. He turned to attempt to stop the vehicle which accelerated immediately. Beelar did not yield while Officer McNeary was behind him with both lights and siren indicating he should stop. Officer McNeary witnessed several traffic violations. On Niagara the vehicle reached speeds of 60 MPH before turning onto the residential streets where his speed was reduced to 30 and below. Because of the speeds and the frequent turns through the residential neighborhoods the suspect was frequently out of the officers sight. Despite not having a valid plate to identify the vehicle Officer McNeary was begining to think about discontinuing the pursuit because of the neighborhoods. The pursuit had been occuring for less than one minute. After turning off of Niagara the Beelar traveled on 12th, an alley to 11th, James, and 9th.

As Officer McNeary rounded the corner onto Klaskanine from 9th He saw Beelar's vehicle strike the curb and come to a stop, apparently disabled. Beelar was taken into custody. During the process of taking Beelar into custody it was apparent that he was impaired. As officers followed up on the incidint the located several parked cars that Beelar had struck during the brief pursuit (From the time Officer McNeary saw him to the time the vehicle was disabled was less than two minutes). They also were contacted by a pedestrian that said she and her son were almost struck by the vehicle.

Beelar was lodged at the Clatsop County Jail on charges of Eluding a Police Officer, Driving Under the Influence of Intoxicants, Reckless Driving, Reckless Endangering, and Failing to Perform the Duties of a Driver. He was also charged with Refusing a Breath Test, Driving While Suspended, Driving Uninsured, and Open Container.

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