Central Oregon DailyOregon State Hospital patient who escaped in shackles found, rescued from mud

Oregon State Hospital patient who escaped in shackles found, rescued from mud

Oregon State Hospital patient who escaped in shackles found, rescued from mud

Christopher Lee Pray

A man who was charged with attempted murder and escaped from Oregon State Hospital and drove away while fully shackled was rescued from a muddy pond Friday morning, according to Oregon State Police.

OSP said they were notified Wednesday night of Christopher Pray’s escape. He “eluded law enforcement southbound on Interstate 5,” the state police said, without specifying how he managed to escape despite being “fully restrained with leg shackles, a belly chain, handcuffs, and a restraint connecting all three together.”

OSP said Friday morning that Portland police and fire departments were dispatched to a report of a “potentially deceased person” in a pond in Portland. Rescuers arrived and were able to communicate with someone in need of assistance.

“The patient was stuck in the mud, approximately 75 feet from firm ground, and was buried up to their armpits,” OSP said. “The rescue required a rope and ladder in order to remove the patient.  The rescue took approximately 1 hour to complete.”

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It turns out the patient was Pray, according to OSP. Although he allegedly provided a fake name, an employee at the hospital he was taken to recognized him.

Oregon State Hospital spokesperson Amber Shoebridge said Pray had “an altercation with another patient” shortly after he was admitted and needed to be taken away for treatment, Oregon Public Broadcasting reported. When he was brought back to the Oregon State Hospital that night, Pray was “able to gain control of the van and drive away,” OPB reported.

Pray faced charges including attempted murder, robbery, assault and felon in possession of a firearm in Multnomah County Circuit Court, where Portland is located, but was sent on Wednesday to the Oregon State Hospital in Salem after he was found unfit to proceed with trial, according to court records.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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