Hermiston man arrested after police chase on I-84

December 31, 2013 

A Hermiston man was arrested Tuesday after reportedly swerving in and out of traffic at high speeds and with hazards flashing on Interstate 84, police said.

Adolfo Martin Mendez-Lopez, 32, was stopped near the Morrow and Gilliam county line when his vehicle drove over police spike strips, the Morrow County Sheriff’s Office said in a news release.

He claimed to have a bomb in his vehicle, but investigators instead found a loaded handgun, a machete and a large kitchen knife, the release said.

He also appeared to wearing a mask and a dark-colored hoodie when spotted at the junction of Highway 730.

The sheriff’s office first heard the report about a light blue Ford utility vehicle driving west on I-84 near the Morrow and Umatilla county line about 3 p.m, the release said.

Sheriff’s deputies and Boardman police tried to stop the vehicle as it approached Boardman. The suspect began to wave his hands in the air and honk his horn but did not yield, the release said.

Gilliam and Morrow county sheriff’s deputies set up spike traps in the westbound lanes of I-84 near the county line. Mendez-Lopez drove over the strips and stopped with two flat front tires a half mile later, the release said.

He was booked at the Umatilla County jail on suspicion of reckless driving and attempting to elude a police officer.

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