Albany police took two men into custody at gunpoint Monday morning after their car crashed into Willamette Community Bank in downtown Albany following a chase from Polk County.
The 1997 Honda Civic was traveling east on Fourth Avenue just before 11:30 a.m. when witnesses said it cut through the intersection at Lyon Street, careened off a Toyota and crashed into the bank's glass double front doors, knocking one of the doors half off its hinges. No one in the bank was injured.
Lt. Marv Hammersley of the Albany Police Department said the Honda contained a driver and a passenger, both men. Polk County sheriff's deputies took the driver into custody and medics transported the passenger to Samaritan Albany General Hospital for treatment of minor injuries. The passenger was released early Monday afternoon, but could also face charges, according to Polk County.
Hammersley said Albany's only role in the crash was to provide security and backup for the other agencies. Oregon State Police took over the crash and Polk County is handling the charges in the chase.
Capt. Jeff Isham of the Polk County Sheriff's Office gave this account of the chase:
Polk County received a report Monday morning from the south end of Polk County, near the Buena Vista area, about a man who appeared to be stacking up items by the side of the road, possibly for transport by car. The caller was concerned the items might be stolen and asked deputies to take a look.
Deputies in the area responded, and as they did, a Honda Civic came out of a nearby orchard. The car's registration had expired and the driver bore a resemblance to the description given by the earlier caller, so the deputies attempted to stop the Honda, Isham said.
The driver of the Civic sped away, and the Polk County deputies started pursuing it. Isham said the chase reached about 80 mph, but slowed to about 35 mph as the driver entered Albany.
After Albany police apprehended the men, Polk County took into custody the alleged driver, Bradley Husted, 28, of Keizer. Mychal Husted, 37, of Salem was taken to Samaritan Albany General Hospital.
Law enforcement agencies got a search warrant for the car and found stereos and women's jewelry inside. One of the Husteds had shaved keys in his pocket and the ignition of the car appeared to have undergone tampering, but it was not clear whether the car had been stolen.
Bradley Husted's charges as of Monday were reckless driving, attempting to elude a police officer, reckless endangerment, driving while suspended, second-degree criminal mischief, possession of a burglary tool or theft device, third-degree assault and unlawful possession of methamphetamine.
Isham said the original call, about the man loading up equipment, turned out not to be related to the chase and crash. In that situation, a man who had been camping in the area was piling up his items for easier transport out of the area by car.
"He wasn’t even involved," Isham said. "Then these guys popped up and were up to no good."
Albany police officers and deputies with both the Polk County and Benton County sheriff's offices responded to the crash.
Albany officers, weapons drawn, ordered the men out of the car one at a time as Polk County deputies stood by with their weapons out and pointed at the bank.
Medics then moved the driver of the Toyota, who was conscious and speaking, into a stretcher and then into the back of an Albany ambulance. Robert Flynn Magallion, 54, was transported to Samaritan Albany General Hospital with non-life-threatening injuries.
Officers closed Lyon at Fifth Avenue for about half an hour as they removed the two from the scene.
Denny Coelho of North Albany was on her way home, driving north in the west lane of Lyon, when the Honda flew past her and crashed into the Toyota in the lane next to her.
"He came flying down Fourth in front of me and hit the Toyota. He (the Toyota) was just a little bit ahead of me," she said.
Coelho said she hit the brakes hard and saw the Honda spin off the Toyota and into the bank's entrance.
"I had stuff on my seat and it just went flying. I'm like, oh my God, is this happening?" she said. "I feel so lucky that I didn't get hit. He hit them so hard. He was so close to the front of my car, it just scared the crap out of me."
— This story has been updated from the printed version to include the information about the driver of the Toyota, which Oregon State Police provided Tuesday.