When a black GMC pickup swerved through traffic and blew through a stop sign, a self-appointed local hero gave chase. It was a Tuesday evening in rural Clackamas County, Oregon, and the self-appointed hero floored the accelerator as he sped after the pickup, dialing 911 and doing his damned best to get a good look at the license plate number.
At some point, the driver of the GMC noticed he was being followed. He slammed on the brakes, skidded the pickup to a stop and blocked the roadway. Then, according to news reports, he pulled a gun and aimed it out of the open driver’s side window. He proceeded to squeeze off a few rounds at the self-appointed hero, who dove for cover.
The shots missed him. And since it was rural Oregon, when the self-appointed hero popped back up, he had a rifle in his hands.
He took aim and returned fire. The two vehicles were now in a full-on shootout. Neither driver, however, was hit by the gunfire, and eventually, the black GMC sped off.
Police would later confirm the obvious: The pickup had been stolen. According to police, the driver was 25-year-old Alexis Ibarra Gomez. An Oregon SWAT team would ultimately find him trying to make his getaway on bicycle with two flat tires while wearing a Ricky Bobby costume, as in, the Will Ferrell character from Talladega Nights — but first he had to finish the rest of his crime spree.
To that end, it wasn’t long after the backwoods shootout that local sheriff’s deputies spotted the same black GMC driving erratically, headed north on highway 213, straight into oncoming traffic, per local media reports.
The deputies sprung into action and chased after the pickup. The officers also radioed ahead to set up a trap for the fleeing truck. Cops down the highway had spike strips in place when the GMC came roaring into view. But Gomez evaded the strips, forcing the cops to continue their chase down a rural road. Soon, the officers discovered the truck had crashed into a detached garage. Witnesses told police that Gomez had already fled the scene — same for his female passenger. Turns out, Gomez wasn’t alone that evening.
Gomez hopped a fence and ran off into the surrounding woods. Meanwhile, the woman with him tried to casually walk away from the crash scene. Police easily found her, interviewed her and later released her from custody.
At the same time, Oregon resident Paul Wilie got a notification from his home security app — there’d been a break-in at his house. Luckily, neither he nor his wife and two daughters were home while the suspect rampaged through their residence. Instead, Wilie watched from his various security cameras and reported Gomez’s moves to police — who were gathered outside, positioning themselves to arrest Gomez — in real time.
Back inside the home, Gomez changed out of his shorts and put on a Ricky Bobby costume he found. He also loaded up a suitcase with jewelry and other valuables before trying to make his next escape on a bicycle with two flat tires. This time, though, he didn’t get very far, and the assembled SWAT team quickly apprehended him. “Out of anything to choose from in the home, he found my Halloween outfit — the full jumpsuit with the hat,” Wilie told the local news. “He takes that and my bicycle with two flat tires and tries to escape. Apparently that didn’t work too well.”
Gomez was booked at the Clackamas County Jail on a laundry list of charges that included attempted assault, attempt to elude a police officer, burglary and many driving violations. He also had outstanding warrants.
If you’re wondering, yes, Wilie did get his Ricky Bobby costume back. Thankfully, it, too, was unharmed.