LINCOLN CITY — A man was arrested Tuesday night after instigating a standoff and vehicle chase with law enforcement officers when he refused to allow his two children, who were not supposed to be with him, to be taken into protective custody.
A police affidavit filed Wednesday identified the man as Samuel Levi Jemmett, 36, of Oregon City. He is currently housed in the Lincoln County Jail on charges relating to endangering minors and custodial interference.
According to the affidavit, the incident began around 10 p.m. when officers responded to a report that a man had been walking around a vehicle and hitting it with a baseball bat in the parking lot of the Lincoln City Safeway. Officers arrived on the scene and made contact with Jemmett, who was sitting in the driver’s seat of the described vehicle.
At that time, officers noticed two juveniles who seemed to be hiding inside the cluttered interior of the vehicle. The juveniles were soon identified as Jemmett’s children, girls age 7 and 9, and the officers found that there were dependency warrants for them to be turned over to the police to be taken into protective custody. It was also found that Jemmett had unlawfully taken them and fled two months prior.
According to the affidavit, Jemmett became argumentative when he was confronted about the children and was asked to turn them over to the police. He quickly resorted to locking himself and the two children inside the vehicle.
It was at that point officers noticed a large hunting knife on the vehicle’s dashboard, and a lengthy standoff with Jemmett followed. Police attempted to negotiate with him, but ultimately he started his vehicle and attempted to flee.
During that time, officers had placed spike strips in front of the vehicle’s wheels in an attempt to prevent a vehicle pursuit, but Jemmett ran over the spikes and fled by exiting the parking lot onto Logan Road and turning northbound onto Highway 101.
The affidavit states that in addition to the vehicle having flat tires, the interior was so cluttered with items and the windows were so obscured with condensation that Jemmett almost struck several occupied patrol vehicles while exiting the parking lot.
As Jemmett drove the vehicle down Highway 101, Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office deputies engaged their lights and sirens to attempt to stop him, to no avail. Deputies eventually pulled in front of the vehicle to force it to stop, but Jemmett repeatedly rammed the rear end of the blocking patrol car.
Eventually, Jemmett’s vehicle came to a stop near Northeast West Devils Lake Road, but when police arrived, Jemmett refused to follow their orders to exit the vehicle, and he instead crawled into the back seat with the two juveniles.
Officers then attempted to extract Jemmett through the rear passenger window, with Jemmett struggling; punching and kicking officers and latching onto one of the juveniles. At one point, an officer attempted to use a Taser on Jemmett, who tried to grab it out of his hand. Jemmett was eventually pulled from the vehicle and handcuffed.
The children were immediately taken into protective custody. They were first taken to Samaritan North Lincoln Hospital for medical evaluation before being turned over to DHS Child Protective Service personnel.
After Jemmett was in custody, officers searched the vehicle and found a loaded handgun, which the affidavit states Jemmett should not have been in possession of due to past felony convictions. They also found multiple used syringes.
After being cleared at the hospital, Jemmett was lodged in the jail on charges of custodial interference, endangering the welfare of a minor, reckless endangering, felony attempt to elude, felon in possession of a firearm, resisting arrest, attempting to assault a police officer and interfering with police. The investigation is still open and additional charges may be filed.