Latenight carjacker gets 5 years prison

Latenight carjacker gets 5 years prison
Jeramey Ortega, 29 of Halsey

EUGENE, Ore. - A man who hid in the back seat of a car until two men got in, then threatened to shoot them unless they drove him around town was sentenced to 5 years prison on Monday.

Jeramey Paul Ortega, 28, pleaded guilty to two counts of second-degree robbery and one count of unauthorized use of a vehicle. Two counts of kidnapping were dismissed as part of a plea deal.

Police said that the incident started at around 2:30 the morning of Saturday, January 19.

The two men got into their car parked on Villard Street, leaving to pick up a friend. Ortega was hiding in the back seat of the car.

Eugene Police Lieutenant Doug Mozan said that Ortega surprised the men and threatened them with a gun shortly after they got inside the car.

Ortega ordered the driver to find a gas station to fill up the vehicle, but all the nearby gas stations were closed.

At some point the driver stopped at a convenience store, where one of the hostages escaped and called police.

Lt. Mozan said that while the man was describing what had happened over the phone to officers, Eugene Police dispatch said they received a second call from the driver of the car.

The driver told police that he overpowered his captor after stopping at a shopping center along Coburg Road.

"In a sudden turn of events the second victim got the upper hand and was able to punch the suspect, striking Mr. Ortega what he said was at least 20 times," Lt. Mozan said.

The victim told police that he stopped the car at a shopping center on Coburg Road and his captor became distracted, giving him the chance to attack.

Ortega then got out of the car and ran. Officers and a K-9 unit searched the area near the shopping center but were unable to find the suspect.

A short time later (around 6 a.m.) police got a call about a man sleeping in a car on Centennial Loop. The investigating officer found that the man asleep inside the vehicle matched the suspect description given for in the kidnapping incident.