Man arrested after police pursuit, crash in Milton-Freewater

By on Thursday, June 23rd, 2022 in Columbia Basin News More Top Stories

MILTON-FREEWATER – Police arrested a man after he lost control in an open field while fleeing from officers Wednesday afternoon.

Milton-Freewater police were patrolling near Cowl Street and Northeast Eleventh Avenue at 4:25 p.m. when they spotted Thomas Dee Payant, 28, driving a brown Ford Ranger pickup. Officers had previous knowledge of a county probation violation warrant for his arrest, as well as multiple local MFPD charges from recent past cases/incidents involving him.

According to police, Payant saw the officers and took off driving at a high rate of speed. Officers followed and as Payant turned northbound onto North Main Street, he was unable to keep his vehicle on the roadway, lost control and drove into an open field. He was taken into custody as he attempted to run from the vehicle, but not before resisting arrest. Due to his resistance, an officer deployed a taser.

Payant was transported to the Umatilla County Jail and lodged on charges of probation violation, three counts of eluding police, two counts of reckless driving, attempted assault on a police officer, resisting arrest, and unauthorized use of a motor vehicle.