Ephrata — A second suspect is facing charges stemming from a robbery that led to a short pursuit and crash near downtown Moses Lake on Jan. 12.
Prosecutors charged Gabriel M. Vasquez, 21, of Moses Lake, with first-degree robbery and first-degree theft. Another suspect, Joseph M. Delacruz Kirkman, 18, of Moses Lake, was arrested following last week's crash and charged with first-degree robbery, second-degree assault, vehicular assault, second-degree taking a motor vehicle without permission, attempting to elude and DUI.
According to police reports, a 20-year-old man gave Delacruz Kirkman and Vasquez a ride to a Moses Lake apartment building near Castle Drive in Moses Lake Jan. 12. The man reportedly asked Vasquez and another person outside about a rival gang when Vasquez became angry. Delacruz Kirkman, who was inside the apartment, came outside to talk to Vasquez when the two returned to the vehicle with the victim.
At some point during the drive, Vasquez allegedly told the victim to pull over and started punching the victim in the face before Delacruz Kirkman exited the vehicle, opened the victim's door and pulled him out of the vehicle and drove off, according to police reports.
The victim reported the vehicle stolen and Moses Lake police later spotted the vehicle just before midnight driving away from a hotel on West Broadway Avenue. The officer went to turn around when he allegedly saw the driver, Delacruz Kirkman, swerve across all lanes of traffic on Broadway at a high rate of speed, according to police reports.
Delacruz Kirkman allegedly failed to pull over, headed onto Third Avenue and then into oncoming traffic and back onto Broadway. The officer was able to catch up to the vehicle, which collided with a fence near Big R when three unidentified people fled from the vehicle. Delacruz Kirkman began driving again, attempting to collide with the patrol vehicle before hitting an SUV and taking off the wrong way on Broadway. He hit a light pole head on, losing a tire and continuing to drive onto Marina Drive.
Delacruz Kirkman lost control on a turn on Sunset Drive, hitting a parked vehicle, police reports stated. Delacruz Kirkman allegedly took off running toward Gibby Street.
Vasquez was found unconscious on the center console in the vehicle and taken to a Tri-Cities hospital because of a potential brain injury. He was released the next day.
Delacruz Kirkman was found hiding in an open garage.
In an interview with police, Delacruz Kirkman initially said Vasquez held him at gunpoint during the pursuit, according to police reports.