Ex-football player tackles suspected drunk driver after crash

Ex-football player tackles suspected drunk driver after crash

ALOHA, Ore. – Jeremiah Jennings was a high school athlete in multiple sports 10 years ago. So he had the skills to tackle and hold down a suspected drunken driver whom police say hit a girl and then tried to flee the scene on foot.

"I just kind of lowered my shoulder and went on top of him – so, just to keep him down," Jennings said the day after the incident in the parking lot where he took down 25-year-old Bradley Gray of Beaverton.

Police say Gray was driving drunk when he hit a 17-year-old Westview High School girl just after 4 p.m. Thursday at 185th and Farmington with his 2008 BMW.

The impact left the girl, Janae Doby, with a broken leg and other non-life-threatening injuries. She was listed in serious condition Friday night at Oregon Health & Science University and was moved out of the intensive care unit.

Jennings, who played football and wrestled at Aloha High School, saw the crash and the girl fly into the air after hitting the car’s hood and windshield. He saw other people at her side. So he went to the driver who was still by the BMW.

"I didn't know how I could help in that sense, but if I stayed with the suspect and made sure he didn't do nothing stupid, that would be my way of helping," he said.

Jennings counts running away from a crash as stupid, especially with someone like him on his tail.

Jennings said he did have some help in the takedown from the driver himself. He said he seemed so drunk that as he was running across the street and into the parking lot, he stumbled and fell. That gave Jennings time to get to Gray and tackle him.
He held the suspect down until police arrived.

Gray faces DUII and hit-and-run charges as well as others.

A background check into Gray revealed he was arrested last year for disorderly conduct. And in 2006, he was arrested for misdemeanor theft and marijuana possession.