News Release from Ashland Police Dept.
Posted: August 14th, 2020 12:31 PM
The county’s Major Assault/Death Investigation Unit (MADIU) is investigating an apparent suicide that happened this morning at approximately 1:40 a.m. Officers from the Ashland Police Department were given information about a reportedly intoxicated driver in the area of S. Valley View Rd and Hwy 99. APD officers attempted to stop the driver (sole occupant), who refused to yield, fleeing northbound on Hwy 99 while driving extremely recklessly. APD Officers did not pursue the vehicle but continued to keep it in view as it continued toward Talent. Deputies from the Jackson County Sheriff’s Office and officers from the Talent and Phoenix Police Departments, as well as officers from APD contacted the driver and vehicle again after it stalled and came to a stop alongside Hwy 99 just south of the Talent city limits. Officers and deputies attempted to order the driver from the vehicle. The driver refused to comply and physically resisted attempts to remove him from the vehicle. During the struggle to remove the driver from the vehicle a conducted energy weapon (Taser) was deployed at the driver. After the driver was removed, he was found to have sustained several self-inflicted stab wounds to his neck. Medics from Fire District 5 and Ashland Fire & Rescue were immediately brought in to render aid. The man did not survive and was pronounced dead at the scene.
Though the driver died from self-inflicted wounds, his death is considered to have happened while in the custody of police officers given the circumstances. The MADIU team is responsible for investigating all in custody deaths. The Medford Police Department has been designated as the lead agency on this case. The driver’s identity is being withheld at this time pending notification to his family.
Several body worn cameras and in-car cameras recorded the entire event. All recording are being made part of this investigation.
This incident caused Hwy 99 between Arnos and Creel to be closed to traffic until approximately 8:00 a.m.
Chief Tighe O'Meara