3 arrested in Pasco altercation

Kristin M. Kraemer, Tri-City HeraldJuly 7, 2014 

Three Basin residents were arrested early Sunday after they were asked to leave a Pasco property because the homeowner didn't know them.

A large group of people had converged on the homeowner's driveway without explanation. Some left peacefully, but a number reportedly started arguing and using profanity towards a resident who was calling 911.

There were seven vehicles still in the driveway when Franklin County sheriff's deputies arrived at the West Court Street home just after 2 a.m. Initial reports were as many as 10 vehicles.

Deputy C.J. Conner said the details are still sketchy because the apparent partygoers "were less than cooperative" in explaining why they were on the property. Deputies couldn't determine if the people had the wrong address or maybe were going to a nearby home and were using the homeowner's driveway between Roads 44 and 48 as a parking lot.

"We never got their reason to be there, but everybody found their way there," Conner told the Herald on Monday.

Seven deputies responded to the incident, with assistance from Pasco police.

Francis Martinez, 24, was arrested on suspicion of second-degree assault for allegedly hitting a resident with her SUV as she was leaving. The victim was not injured, but she reportedly was "visibly upset and shaken by the event."

Mondo Luis Flores, 25, sped away as the first deputy on scene approached him, and led that deputy on a high-speed chase before stopping in a business parking lot after driving over a sidewalk and through a flower bed. He was booked into the Franklin County jail on suspicion of attempting to elude police, a felony, and driving under the influence, a gross misdemeanor.

Another man was arrested on suspicion of obstructing a law enforcement officer for allegedly refusing to get out of the car after the high-risk stop.

His name was not available Monday, but jail records show Francisco Alonso Ramirez, 31, was booked into the jail by Conner for obstruction around the same time as Flores and Martinez.

Martinez and Flores had preliminary court appearances Monday in Franklin County Superior Court. Judge Carrie Runge found probable cause to hold both of them on the allegations, setting $5,000 bail for Martinez and $7,500 for Flores.

Martinez is believed to be from Othello and Flores from Warden, according to their addresses on jail records.

Prosecutors have until Wednesday afternoon to charge them, or release them from jail if they're still in custody. If charged with felonies, they will return to Superior Court on July 15.

Ramirez, of Othello, bonded out of jail later Sunday, records show. That gives prosecutors additional time to consider pursuing charges.

A resident in the West Court Street home called for help in getting the vehicles off the property because some of the people weren't listening to their requests to leave, according to Conner and court documents.

When Conner arrived, an SUV and a car were leaving, so he blocked the driveway to prevent the five remaining vehicles from getting out before the occupants were questioned, he said.

A 32-year-old resident told Conner she had been hit by a GMC Yukon as it pulled out just before the deputy arrived. Conner immediately searched the area for the GMC but couldn't find it, so he returned to talk further with the victim.

She recalled seeing the headlights coming towards her and tried to move before the SUV struck her on the lower body/upper leg area, Conner said.

The woman was on the phone trying to give the license plate to dispatch when a female passenger "yelled out the window and said they knew who I was, and threatened me and said that they would be back," she told Conner.

The deputy found the GMC with matching plates in a parking lot at Court Street and Road 44. Martinez was in the driver's seat, and the occupants reportedly confirmed that she was behind the wheel when they pulled out of the driveway.

Conner doesn't know if the assault was an intentional act, he said. The GMC occupants explained they left the scene because they had been told to leave, not because they did something wrong.

Flores allegedly almost hit a deputy who was coming up to talk to him in the driveway.

Flores' vehicle reached speeds of about 75 mph as he traveled east on Court Street, court documents said. He tried to make a right turn at Road 34 with the deputy just behind his vehicle, but missed the turn because of his high speed.

Deputies noticed bloodshot and watery eyes, slurred speech and a strong odor of intoxicants on Flores' breath when he was detained, court documents said.

His blood-alcohol level registered at 0.240 percent and 0.239 percent, documents said. The legal limit in Washington is 0.08.

-- Kristin M. Kraemer: 509-582-1531; kkraemer@tricityherald.com; Twitter: @KristinMKraemer

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