Salem, Ore. – A 37-year old Salem man is in the Marion County Jail this afternoon, charged with felonies and misdemeanors, including two counts of attempted murder of a police officer.
Deputies were called to a home in the 4600 block of Glenwood Drive SE in Salem at 10:46am. The caller reported that some family members of a former tenant were at the residence collecting personal property when they got involved in a disturbance with a male who had parked his car in the driveway of the house. The man was not a resident of the house nor was he associated with anyone at the house.
As Sr. Deputies Greg Sparks and Skip Lumley arrived, they saw a 1986 Ford Bronco being driven by a male who was attempting to leave the residence. The Bronco was blocked in the driveway by a parked car and trailer belonging to the 911 caller.
Deputies watched as the driver of the Bronco accelerated his car and rammed it into the trailer several times trying to make room to get around it to leave. The deputies tried to get the driver to stop ramming the trailer, but he refused to follow their commands. The driver made eye contact with the deputies, but then locked the door of the car and continued to ram the trailer.
He was eventually able to push the trailer aside, but in the process, pushed it into Deputy Sparks, hitting him on the legs. The driver then backed his car onto the roadway where Deputy Lumley was standing. Lumley could see the driver’s eyes in the rear view mirror as he rapidly backed his car into Lumley’s parked patrol vehicle. Lumley was forced to jump out of the way to avoid being hit. The crash caused major damage to the patrol vehicle. The driver then accelerated forward, directly toward Deputy Lumley, narrowly missing him again.
Deputy Sparks ran to his patrol car and followed the suspect for several blocks before the suspect abandoned his car on the playground of the Four Corners School on Elma Avenue. He fled on foot. Deputies learned of the driver’s identity from residents at the scene. He was identified as Willie Ray Williams, a transient known to frequent that area. Deputies learned that Williams was wanted on several Marion County warrants, including a felony warrant for Assaulting a Police Officer.
Two Salem-Keizer schools, Four Corners, 500 Elma Avenue SE and Houck Middle School, 1155 Connecticut Street SE were locked down for about an hour. Both were returned to normal status shortly after the arrest of the suspect. The lockdown was handled smoothly by school officials and no students were ever in direct jeopardy.
Twelve deputies, assisted by the Salem Police Department, searched the area for over an hour before locating the suspect, hiding in the closet of a home on Elma Avenue SE. The homeowner gave deputies permission to enter the house to search for him.
Williams is being held in the Marion County Jail on two counts of Attempted Murder of a Police Officer, two counts of Hit & Run Property, Criminal Mischief 1, Attempt to Elude (Vehicle), Trespass 1 and the warrants. He has an extensive criminal history dating back to 1994. He is currently on parole in Marion County.
He is due in court at the Courthouse Annex at 3:00pm, Thursday, April 5th.
News Release and Photos from: Marion Co. Sheriff’s Office