Accused sex solicitor caught after Manzanita police chase

A police chase is a rarity in Tillamook County. But the end result of last week’s pursuit was something that could only happen in rural Oregon.

Max Kirkendall
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On Dec. 28, Oregon State Police (OSP) said the Manzanita Police Department received a call regarding a suspicious male subject going to trailers and allegedly soliciting sex at Nehalem Bay State Park in North Tillamook County. The suspect was 19-year-old Antonio Garcia Pardo from Portland according to the OSP incident report.

Shortly after Manzanita PD arrived at the park, OSP was called and later arrived on scene to investigate the subject.

“Manzanita PD arrived on scene prior to OSP and made initial contact with the subject,” Officer Joe Zepeda said in his incident report. “While Manzanita PD was contacting the subject, he got into his vehicle and fled the scene.”

Manzanita PD was involved in a short pursuit after Pardo attempted to flee the scene. However, his escape efforts did not last long as Pardo drove off the road and crashed his Nissan Altima into a large pile of horse feces, ending the pursuit.

With his vehicle stuck in the large pile of manure, Pardo had no way of escaping the police. Pardo then made a last-ditch effort to escape pending jail time and a long list of charges.

“According to Manzanita PD, the subject then poured gasoline on himself and lit himself on fire while seated in the vehicle,” Zepada said. “The driver managed to exit the vehicle and was taken into custody by Manzanita PD.”

Pardo was then transported by ambulance to the Tillamook Regional Medical Center, where he was later transported to Legacy Emanuel Medical Center that evening to treat his extensive injuries. The severity of his injuries and Pardo’s current condition are not known at this time.

Pardo’s vehicle, which sat burnt and damaged in the pile of manure, was later towed away by a local towing company.