Inmate accused of attempted murder steals car and escapes from Oregon psychiatric hospital in shackles

An “extremely dangerous” offender accused of attempted murder escaped from an Oregon psychiatric hospital Wednesday night after commandeering an employee’s car in shackles and slippers.

Christopher Lee Pray, 39, was being driven by medical personnel to Oregon State Hospital in Salem when he took control of the vehicle and accelerated at 10:30 p.m., a hospital spokesperson told The Oregonian.

Pray led state troopers on a high-speed car chase on southbound Interstate 5 for some time, but officers eventually backed off for safety reasons, the local newspaper reported.

“Prayer is considered extremely dangerous and should not be approached,” Oregon State Police said in a statement, asking anyone who sees it to immediately dial 911.

The inmate faces charges of first degree robbery, aggravated attempted murder, assault and felony possession of a firearm in connection with an armed robbery and shooting in which he is accused of nearly killing a woman in Multnomah County, according to Oregon Public Broadcasting. .

Authorities warn that Christopher Lee Pray is “extremely dangerous” and that anyone who sees him should contact police. Oregon State Police

He has served time behind bars before and has at least 16 felony convictions on his record for charges including first-degree robbery, being an inmate with a weapon, smuggling contraband into prison and resisting arrest, according to the Oregonian.

It is unclear how Pray was able to grab the steering wheel from the hospital worker while wearing handcuffs connected to leg shackles and a belly chain.

One of the employees was injured in the process, police said.

Pray escaped from the Oregon State Hospital in Salem and is considered dangerous.Pray escaped from the Oregon State Hospital in Salem and is considered dangerous.AP
PrayPray was last seen fleeing in a stolen white 2016 Dodge Caravan.Oregon State Police

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Before his daring escape, the suspect had had an “altercation” with another patient at the state hospital and needed medical attention. He was taken to a local emergency room and was heading back when he forced his way into the driver’s seat and stole the white minivan, the local newspaper reported.

He was last seen driving the state vehicle, a white 2016 Dodge Caravan, with Oregon license plate E265614, southbound on Interstate 5 and has ties to greater Portland, state police said.

He was last seen wearing a white shirt, sweatpants and rubber slippers.

Pray was behind bars at the Multnomah County Jail before being booked into the state hospital early Wednesday.

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