The high-speed chase was very real, police say, but one man high on psychedelic drugs thought it was no more than a video game.
Police in Jackson County, Oregon, say they had arrested someone for a DUI on Saturday evening and were waiting for a tow truck to take away the vehicle when Anthony Clark, 23, walked up to the scene, according to OregonLive. Clark, who had no connection to the DUI, is accused of telling an officer that he planned to steal the 2003 Toyota Camry — and then did just that.
He found keys in the door of the car, police told OregonLive, and used them to steal the vehicle. Clark allegedly got away despite an officer opening the door and grabbing his shirt as the car started up.
Clark would later admit that he was high on LSD and thought he was just playing out a fantasy in 'Grand Theft Auto,' police told KDRV. Then came the 40-mile police chase through fences, over spike strips and down the wrong sides of various roads.
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After evading the nearby patrol cars, police say, Clark drove on the wrong side of Interstate 5 for a period before turning around and going the correct way. Then the 23-year-old went off an exit and barreled through chain link fences, police told KTVL.
The chase temporarily stopped because he entered a populated area, according to an arrest report obtained by KVAL. He was later spotted in a "downtown area" of Ashland — again driving on the wrong side of the road — before he turned around headed for the city of Talent, police say. An officer laid down strip spikes to stop Clark, police say, but he kept speeding ahead after his front tires deflated.
Police officers — from various county departments and the state of Oregon — blocked off various roads near the chase and managed to stop Clark on a highway, authorities told KTVL. After attempting to run into a police cruiser with his vehicle, Clark fled on foot, according to the arrest report. Police accuse him of running to a nearby mobile home park and trying to steal a second car before he was arrested.
No one suffered injuries during the chase, according to OregonLive.
Then came the alleged admission that he was on a psychedelic drug, police say, and that the chase seemed to be part of a violent video game. Clark was arrested by The Jackson County Sheriff's Office, the Ashland Police Department and the Oregon State Police, according to KVAL, and faces charges of attempting to elude an officer in a vehicle, driving under the influence of intoxicants, reckless driving, first degree criminal mischief and third degree escape, among others.