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Jefferson County manhunt fails to find fugitive

By Wanda Moore
Published On: Mar 12 2014 12:14:36 AM CDT
Updated On: Mar 12 2014 10:02:09 PM CDT

NewsChannel21's Wanda Moore was on scene and spoke with residents and former friends of Fuller.

MADRAS, Ore. -

The rural area west of Madras is usually a quiet place, but that changed Tuesday night for some residents after a wanted man crashed his car into a pole and ran, prompting an extensive police manhunt.

Jefferson County sheriff's dispatchers got a call around 5:30 p.m. that a car had crashed into a telephone pole on Southwest Elk Drive, off Belmont Lane. When deputies arrived at the scene, no one was there.

They suspect that the driver was 24-year-old Tyler Fuller, who is wanted for violating parole. Earlier, he was convicted of assault and strangulation, and has a statewide felony warrant out for his arrest.

Fuller fled an earlier pursuit a couple of weeks ago. He is considered armed and dangerous.

"Stay away from him -- he's unpredictable," said Sheriff Jim Adkins. "He made threats to law enforcement and parole."

After the crash, deputies called in a search and rescue plane, Oregon State Police troopers and two Warm Springs Police tracking dogs.

The scene rattled neighbors' nerves.

"When I came home, I see the plane coming around," said Heidi McCool, who lives not far from the crash site. "And it just kept flying close down -- what is going on?"

Around 10 p.m., the power was shut off, because the telephone pole had to be replaced. In a neighborhood already on edge, the sudden darkness did not make residents feel any safer.

"I was scared! That was terrible timing for the lights to go out," said McCool.

Deputies searched into the night, but found no sign of Fuller.

"I consider him armed and dangerous, and if someone sees him, don't approach him, but call 911 immediately," Adkins said.

A former friend of Fuller, Andrea Plazola, said his addiction to drugs has changed him.

"It's really sad. I could call him a close family friend, and to see what drugs are doing to him -- it's just really sad," Plazola said. "I really hope he gets it together before it's too late."

Plazola said Fuller used to be good friends with her husband, but when Fuller started using drugs, they didn't want him around their children.

After Fuller was released from prison, he was on a good for a while, Plazola said. Then the drugs found him again. Now she has only one more thing to say to Fuller.

"Go turn yourself in," Plazola said. "He'll do better in prison than he's doing out here."

If you see Fuller, do not approach him but call 911 immediately. The sheriff's office said he is known to spend time both in Bend and Warm Springs.

Jefferson County Parole-Probation has been looking for Fuller for absconding post-prison supervision on two counts of failure to perform the duties of a driver and hindering prosecution.

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