Sunday evening Lincoln County Sheriff’s Deputy Cody Tadlock was working traffic enforcement in the city of Waldport. He spotted a black motorcycle make an illegal pass near the intersection of NW Hemlock Street and N. Bay Street. The motorcycle was traveling at an extremely high rate of speed. Deputy Tadlock attempted to stop the motorcycle, but the driver refused to yield. A high speed pursuit ensued up to milepost 6 on Alsea Highway. The pursuit was terminated due to the reckless nature of the driver, who was making illegal passes and driving into oncoming traffic.
While reviewing in-car video to identify clues of who was operating the motorcycle, it again passed Deputy Tadlock, this time going westbound. A short pursuit was initiated, but was again terminated due to the reckless driving of the motorcycle operator.
While reviewing video from local businesses, Deputies were able to get video and photograph stills of the driver involved in the pursuit. Additionally, it was found that the motorcycle operator had a riding partner, associated with a second motorcycle described as blue in color. During the investigation, multiple motorists on Highway 34 called in to report the two motorcycles were continuing to drive recklessly up the highway, putting lives at risk.
The two motorcycles were eventually located by a Benton County Deputy in Alsea, parked behind a house. Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office, Benton County Sheriff’s Office, Philomath Police, and Oregon State Police responded to the location of the recovered motorcycles. The operators of the motorcycles were located in a nearby house. Stephen Schoonover, age 29 of Sweet Home, was taken into custody and charged with reckless driving with a bail of $15,000. Matthew Short, age 30 of Albany, was taken into custody and charged with two counts of felony elude, reckless driving, reckless endangering, driving while suspended, and additional crimes with a total bail amount of $345,000.