Traffic violation turns into felony charge

GRANGEVILLE – What started as a simple traffic infraction escalated into a felonious high-speed pursuit across the prairie, ending with the arrest of a Grangeville man.

Tyler J. Ross, 19, is charged with felony eluding a police officer, along with related misdemeanor charges of reckless driving and driving without privileges. He is set for a Dec. 23 preliminary hearing in magistrate court.

The early Saturday morning pursuit, Dec. 7, involved officers with the Grangeville and Cottonwood police departments, along with the Idaho County Sheriff’s Office, and lasted more than 20 minutes, during which the suspect’s speed on the icy backroads north of Grangeville allegedly exceeded 100 mph.

Around 12:30 a.m., according to GPD Chief Morgan Drew, Officer Paul Orgish attempted a traffic stop on a red Ford Probe that failed to yield at a stop sign at the North Idaho Street and truck route intersection. The vehicle is alleged to have failed to stop for Orgish and instead took off into the unincorporated area north of town where, along with the high speeds, it was reported driving on the wrong side of the road and in a manner endangering the public.

Along with Orgish, ICSO deputies Gideon Roberts and Scott Paulsen, and Cottonwood Police Chief Terry Cochran were involved in pursuit of the vehicle for approximately 20 minutes, at which point the Ford drove into a stubble field and the driver – identified at the time as Ross – exited the vehicle and fled on foot. Ross subsequently eluded a pursuing officer.

An arrest warrant was issued for Ross the following day, and ICSO law enforcement arrested Ross at his work at Grangeville Monday, Dec. 9.

During the pursuit, a GPD vehicle slid off the road and into a fence causing minor body damage, which on Idaho State Police investigation was determined a nonreportable accident (less than $1,500 damage).

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