Suspect jailed after calling 911 during police chase

By Paula Horton, Tri-City HeraldMay 11, 2012 

A Moses Lake man who led Grant County sheriff's deputies on an hourlong chase Wednesday night called 911 and asked to speak to a supervisor during the chase, authorities said.

Chief Deputy Ken Jones called the driver and was on the phone with him throughout most of the pursuit, urging him to stop, said Kyle Foreman, a Grant County spokesman.

During the chase, Michael J. Mendoza, 25, reportedly almost struck a pursuing sheriff's patrol car, but he eventually stopped at 9:50 p.m. and was arrested.

The incident started at 8:40 p.m. when deputies got a call about a possible theft of an off-road vehicle. A citizen called 911 after seeing a pickup towing a trailer with the suspected ORV in the 9700 block of County Road H.1-Northeast, about five miles north of Moses Lake, Foreman said.

Deputies found the truck and tried to pull it over, but Mendoza took off, starting the 20-mile chase with speeds over 60 mph.

The chase went down Stratford Road, through the Larson Housing area and a field, back onto Stratford Road, then into and through the city of Moses Lake.

It continued east on Interstate 90, off a freeway exit and through the Moses Lake Sand Dunes before Mendoza finally stopped on Division Street in Moses Lake.

Sheriff's deputies, Moses Lake police and Washington State Patrol troopers were involved in the pursuit.

Once Mendoza stopped, investigators confirmed the $6,000 Artic Cat ORV on the trailer had been stolen from Skone and Connors Produce, Foreman said.

Mendoza was arrested and booked into the Grant County jail on suspicion of second-degree assault with a vehicle, two counts of possession of stolen property, attempting to elude police, driving with a suspended license and violation of an ignition interlock requirement.

A passenger in the truck, Tiffany M. Olivera, 25, of Moses Lake, was arrested on a warrant for failing to appear in court on a theft charge.

Dispatchers help nab suspected teen burglars in Walla Walla

Three Walla Walla emergency dispatchers helped officers catch three teens early Thursday when they watched them breaking into a convenience store across the street, authorities said.

Dispatchers were at work when they saw the teens go to Singer's Chevron at 12:10 a.m. and were able to provide real-time information to officers as the burglary unfolded, said Walla Walla police Officer Tim Bennett.

A 15-year-old boy reportedly smashed the window with a flashlight and a 14-year-old girl reached inside, grabbing six packages of cigars, Bennett said. The girl cut her hands on the broken glass during the process.

A 17-year-old girl later told officers that she reached into the store through the window, but didn't take anything, he said.

The three teens fled down an alley north of the gas station, but they were quickly caught by officers.

The 14-year-old girl had her cuts treated by paramedics.

The three teens were then booked into the juvenile justice center on suspicion of second-degree burglary. The boy is also being held on suspicion of second-degree malicious mischief.

Damage to the window was estimated at $750.

Walla Walla detectives find brass knuckles, loaded gun in car

Brass knuckles and a loaded semi-automatic gun were found in the trunk of a car searched by Walla Walla police gang detectives, authorities said.

Two gang members also were arrested after officers got a call at 12:45 p.m. Wednesday about gang members trying to start a fight in the 900 block of West Birch Avenue, said Walla Walla police Officer Tim Bennett.

The suspects had left in three vehicles when officers arrived.

A short time later, however, a Walla Walla County sheriff's deputy saw a car with two suspects who had been involved in the earlier incident, he said.

The deputy contacted them after they parked their car and both had warrants for their arrest.

Abel Valdez, 19, was booked into the Walla Walla County jail on the warrant and for investigation of possessing drug paraphernalia.

The second suspect, a teen, was taken to the juvenile justice center.

After the brass knuckles and gun were discovered, the teen claimed the gun was his, Bennett said. The teen is a convicted felon and gang member, and is now being held on investigation of being a felon in possession of a gun.

-- Paula Horton: 582-1556;

Tri-City Herald is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere in the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

Commenting FAQs | Terms of Service