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Fleeing suspect puts wrong fuel in car, gets arrested after tow truck arrives, Oregon police say

Jeremy Hotha Thomas, 34, facing several charges

Jeremy Hotha Thomas, 34, was arrested after fleeing a domestic disturbance situation and putting diesel fuel in his getaway car, causing it to break down. (Deschutes County Sheriff’s Office)
Jeremy Hotha Thomas, 34, was arrested after fleeing a domestic disturbance situation and putting diesel fuel in his getaway car, causing it to break down. (Deschutes County Sheriff’s Office)


CROOKED RIVER RANCH, Ore. – A man who fled a domestic disturbance situation Saturday morning was arrested after he put the wrong kind of fuel in his getaway car, causing it to break down, according to the Deschutes County Sheriff’s Office.

Jeremy Hotha Thomas, 34, is charged with menacing, pointing a firearm at another, unlawful use of a weapon, second-degree burglary, third-degree theft and being a felon in possession of a firearm.

It was about 5 a.m. when Thomas' stepfather called authorities to report that his stepson was threatening to shoot him, police said. The stepfather said that Thomas had pointed a gun at him and fired the gun in his home.

Thomas, along with his girlfriend and their 3-year-old child, fled the scene in a Chevrolet hatchback before deputies arrived, the sheriff's office told the Bend Bulletin. Multiple agencies in the area put out a call with a description of the vehicle, hoping to locate Thomas.

About 8 a.m., a tow truck driver responding to a dead battery call tipped off an Oregon state trooper that the car had been located, according to police.

Deputies and state troopers arrived at the location of the disabled vehicle with guns drawn and arrested Thomas without incident, the sheriff's office told KOMO News. His girlfriend and their child were uninjured and a loaded handgun was found inside the car.

After authorities detained Thomas, they learned that the car's battery wasn't actually dead. Thomas had reportedly pulled over after running low on fuel with the intention of stealing gasoline. He had taken a gas can from a nearby barn and unwittingly filled it with diesel from a fuel tank, police said. His car became disabled once he tried to start it.

Thomas is being held without bail in the Deschutes County Jail.


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