Sheriff seeks public aid to locate suspect who temporarily blinded deputy with pepper spray

May 13, 2019

The Columbia County Sheriff’s office is seeking help to find a man who allegedly blinded a deputy with pepper spray after a traffic stop and then made a getaway.

Columbia County Sheriff Roger Brandner said in a press release that at 12:13 a.m. Monday a Columbia County Sheriff’s deputy stopped a vehicle for speeding on Highway 60 at O’Connor Road in the town of Westpoint.

As the deputy approached the vehicle, the driver sprayed a liquid substance into the deputy’s face and eyes, disabling and temporarily blinding the deputy. Brandner said the substance might have been oleoresin capsicum, or pepper spray.

The deputy described the driver as a white male between 20 and 30 years of age with dark hair, scruffy facial hair and wearing a black T-shirt while holding a red sweatshirt.

Brandner said the driver fled the scene, and the deputy could not give pursuit.

Responding officers found the vehicle abandoned in the Westpoint subdivision of Sellwood. Brandner said it was later discovered the vehicle had been stolen prior to the traffic stop.

The suspect was last seen walking through yards toward Lake Wisconsin.

Brandner said anyone who has information about the crime or video footage of the suspect should call his office at 608-742-4166.

Citizens can also submit a tip to Columbia County Crime Stoppers at 1-800-293-8477 or visit the Columbia County Sheriff’s Office Facebook page to submit a tip on social media.