At 7:25 p.m. on April 15, a Eugene driver in an SUV, later identified as Thomas Alexander De La Garza, age 35, went through a red light at the W. 11th Avenue and Beltline Highway intersection, nearly striking a Eugene Police sergeant’s vehicle. De La Garza continued eastbound at speeds estimated above 100 m.p.h., swerving to avoid multiple collisions with other vehicles in the area.
Bystanders flagged De La Garza’s location to officers as they searched for De La Garza. The sergeant and officers located the involved vehicle at the Bailey Hill Liquor Store minutes later and one officer spotted De La Garza hiding behind the store. De La Garza was taken into custody after resisting briefly. He was suspected of driving while intoxicated and further investigation was done. K9 team Officer Jake Thomas and Ayk arrived and Ayk found three items buried near De La Garza during a search including a key fob, loaded handgun magazine and a handgun holster. The firearm was not located.
De la Garza was transported to Lane County Jail on charges of Reckless Endangering, Unlawful Possession of a Firearm or Ammunition by Person Prohibited, DUII, Resisting Arrest, Tampering with Evidence, Reckless Driving, Attempting to Elude Vehicle. Case 23-05438