Man flees police in HR, falls to death from cliff

A 20-year-old Goldendale man suspected of shoplifting from Walmart fell to his death April 23 after trying to evade authorities, Hood River Police reported Tuesday evening.

Edwin Charge Jr., fell off a ledge near Westcliff Drive shortly before 6 p.m. The fall was ruled accidental.

On Sunday, Hood River Police officers responded to Walmart on Cascade Avenue to investigate a report of theft involving three people. Two of the suspects involved were arrested and lodged at Northern Oregon Regional Correctional Facility in The Dalles.

However, Charge ran across Interstate 84 toward Westcliff Drive. A Westcliff resident advised police that a male matching Charge’s description had gone on his property and was last seen running eastbound.

Hood River Police Sgt. Don Cheli said police didn’t pursue the suspect at a certain point because they knew the layout of the area, which was “dangerous back there as far as terrain goes.”

The next morning, a Union Pacific Railroad employee discovered the body in the 3800 block of Westcliff Drive, the riverside area east of the Westcliff/Highway 30 intersection.

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