The soggy turf inside Ladd’s Circle was too much for three Portland Police Bureau patrol cars, which got stuck in the mud during the Friday morning pursuit of a stolen tow truck. 

One person is in custody and another on the run in Southeast Portland following a pursuit Friday morning by Portland police of a stolen tow truck.

Sgt. Pete Simpson, a Portland Police Bureau spokesman, said the pursuit began at Southeast 108th Avenue and Burnside Street at 5:30 a.m. and ended in the Ladd’s Addition neighborhood at Southeast 16th Avenue and Holly Street.

The tow truck was stopped after it traveled through the center of Ladd’s Circle with police in pursuit. Three police cars became bogged down in the soggy grass.

Police arrested 45-year-old Shawn Carter and booked him into the Justice Center jail on accusations of unlawful use of a motor vehicle.

Shawn Carter, 45. 

A Retriever Towing employee said the truck, which was equipped with a GPS tracking device, was stolen from Southeast 122nd Avenue and Powell Boulevard.

Police used spike strips to disable the Retriever Towing truck, blowing out the right rear dual tires and a front left tire. The tow truck continued another several blocks, traveling north through the Southeast 16th Avenue traffic circle before the driver stopped and bailed out in the 1600 block of Southeast 16th Avenue. 

“I could see an entourage of cops coming around the circle and hear a huge symphony of sirens,” said resident Mike Smith.

Damage to the park was limited to the circle’s shrubbery and sod.

Police continue to search for a second suspect. 

— Stuart Tomlinson

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