Richland police seek suspects in 2 separate attacks

By Michelle Dupler, Tri-City HeraldJanuary 3, 2013 

Richland police are looking for the attacker fought off by a woman outside her Potter Avenue home early Wednesday.

The suspect is described as a 30- to 40-year-old white male, 5-feet 9-inches to 5-feet 11-inches and weighing 190 to 200 pounds.

He grabbed the woman in the 1000 block of Potter Avenue as she was about to enter her car to go to work about 4:30 a.m., said police Capt. Mike Cobb.

He tried to force the woman into her vehicle, and shocked her twice with a stun gun when she fought back.

The woman was able to hit the panic button on her car key fob, which set off the car alarm and brought family members outside. They chased the man for about two blocks before losing sight of him on Perkins Avenue, Cobb said.

"She did the best she could and survived the encounter, which shows a lot of courage," Cobb said. "Using the panic feature on her key fob I think was very inspired under extreme stress."

The man was last seen wearing a dark shirt, white undershirt and blue jeans.

Richland police also are looking for a man alleged to have shot at his ex-girlfriend outside of her parents' home on Thayer Drive on Tuesday.

Richard "Steve" Linderman, 41, whose last known address was in Pasco, reportedly pulled up outside of the home in the 400 block of Thayer about 4:30 p.m., and walked toward the car where his ex-girlfriend and a male passenger were parked, Cobb said.

The woman told police that Linderman pulled out what looked like a dark-colored semi-automatic handgun and pointed it at her car.

She threw the car into reverse and tried to leave while Linderman fired. The woman and other witnesses reported at least one shot, Cobb said.

Linderman then took off in the car he was driving, which Cobb said belonged to a friend of his.

No one was injured in the shooting.

Linderman is described as 5-feet 8-inches tall and weighing 220 pounds. He has a shaved head and a brown beard, Cobb said.

Anyone with information about either incident is asked to call non-emergency dispatch at 628-0333.

Teens injured in crash released from hospital

Two Yakima teenagers injured Saturday on Interstate 82 near Benton City were discharged from Kadlec Regional Medical Center the following day, the Yakima Herald Republic reported.

Nathaniel Banks, 18, was riding in a Nissan Sentra driven by Ana Ventura, 17, when the car went off the road into the median at 4:18 p.m. three miles west of Benton City. Snow was falling in much of the Mid-Columbia at the time.

Banks and the Sentra were hit by a Nissan Xterra driven by Rosa Mendoza, 45, of Pasco, who lost control of her car, according to the state patrol.

Man killed by police was from Hermiston

Gregory Shafer, 55, of Hermiston, has been identified by the Umatilla County District Attorney as the suspected bank robber shot and killed by police Monday.

Shafer reportedly robbed Community Bank on Highway 395 on Monday afternoon, then fled to a nearby liquor store.

When confronted by officers in the liquor store, Shafer reportedly pulled out what appeared to be a black semi-automatic handgun and pointed it at the officers, witnesses said. The officers fired their weapons in response, according to a news release.

Shafer was taken to Good Shepherd Medical Center in Hermiston, where he died at 7 p.m. An autopsy has not been scheduled yet by the Oregon state medical examiner's office.

The Umatilla/Morrow Ma-jor Crimes Team is investigating the robbery and shooting. Numerous state and local law enforcement agencies will assist in the investigation.

Crime Stoppers seek man wanted for assault

Pasco police and Tri-Cities Crime Stoppers want the public's help in finding a 23-year-old man wanted for first-degree assault.

Ramon Morfin Jr. was last known to be living on West 10th Avenue in Kennewick, according to a Crime Stoppers bulletin. Morfin is 5-foot-10, weighs 200 pounds and has black hair and brown eyes.

Tri-Cities Crime Stoppers pays up to $1,000 cash for information resulting in a felony arrest.

Anyone with information on felony crimes or suspects can call 586-TIPS or 800-222-TIPS or go to www.tricitiescrime All calls are confidential.

-- Michelle Dupler: 582-1543;

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