A 33-year-old Richland man trying to run from police Friday jumped in the Yakima River, but he was arrested after the frigid water quickly forced him back to shore.
Richland police were investigating Jarrod Torres in connection with several storage unit burglaries in the area and also knew he had warrants for his arrest, including a felony warrant from the state Department of Corrections, Capt. Mike Cobb said.
Officers learned Torres was armed with a gun earlier this week, so the Tri-City Regional SWAT team was called Friday morning to help arrest him, Cobb said.
Richland's Proactive Anti-Crime team watched Torres' apartment at 2550 Duportail St. while waiting for SWAT members to arrive, and that's when they saw Torres, wearing flannel pajama pants and flip-flops, walk out to dump his garbage, Cobb said.
Never miss a local story.
Officers knew two young children were inside the home and wanted to keep him away from the kids, so they moved in and ordered Torres to the ground, Cobb said.
Torres instead ran, losing his flip-flops along the way, he said.
He ran barefoot out of the apartment complex, onto Duportail Street and down toward the river where he dove into some bushes and hid, Cobb said.
Responding SWAT team and patrol officers surrounded the area and a police dog from Benton County Sheriff's Office was also called to help.
"As we began closing in on the location of Mr. Torres, he jumped up and ran into the Yakima River," Cobb said, adding that he waded in until the water was about waist deep. "After several minutes in the cold water and repeated orders from law enforcement officers to get out of the river, he decided to comply," Cobb said.
Torres continued to resist arrest once he got to the shore, but eventually was handcuffed.
He was checked by Richland Fire Department paramedics because of his exposure to the cold water, then booked into the Benton County jail on the no-bail DOC warrant and two misdemeanor warrants from Chelan County.
Officers will send their report to prosecutors to consider additional charges of burglary, felon in possession of a gun, felony violation of a restraining order and resisting arrest, Cobb said.
Crime Stoppers honors Steve Lowe for efforts
Tri-Cities Crime Stoppers recognized outgoing Franklin County Prosecutor Steve Lowe for his efforts working with Crime Stoppers to catch fugitives.
During his time as prosecutor, Lowe said one of his goals was to reduce the number of outstanding warrants and partnered with Crime Stoppers, said Mike Blatman, the law enforcement coordinator for Crime Stoppers.
Lowe was given a plaque thanking him for his "contribution toward making Franklin County and the entire region a safer place by putting bad guys in jail and holding them accountable," Blatman said.
Crime Stoppers officials also plan to give outgoing Benton County Sheriff Larry Taylor a thank-you plaque for his efforts during his time as sheriff.
Pasco man featured in Herald story arrested
A Pasco man featured in a Tri-City Herald story Thursday was arrested by police Friday on an outstanding warrant for failing to pay his court fines.
Trevor Nation and his fiancee, Angela Sanchez, were living in a minivan that broke down, but had it repaired for free by students in the Columbia Basin College Automotive Club for Christmas.
The couple and their four children were referred to automotive students by the Benton Franklin Community Action Committee, who had helped put them in a motel.
After the story ran Thursday, Pasco police officers saw Nation's photo and realized he had a warrant out for his arrest, said Pasco police Capt. Jim Raymond.
Officers found him Friday morning at the Tahitian motel and booked him into the Franklin County jail.
"He jumped out the window trying to run, but they were waiting there with open arms," Raymond said.
Nation was wanted for not paying his fines on 2005 conviction for delivery of a controlled substance. He appeared in Franklin County Superior Court on Friday afternoon and made an agreement to pay $150 and get his payments back on track by his next court date in February, Sanchez said.
Nation was then released from jail.
Frank Murray, CBC spokesman, said college officials had no idea Nation had a warrant for his arrest and initially didn't know Nation was engaged to Sanchez. He said they thought they were helping a single mother with four children.
The legal issues Nation may have doesn't take away from the good intent students had to help a family in need this Christmas, he said.
"We're still talking about four very needy kids here who are going to do better now that they have a mode of transportation and something nice for Christmas," Murray said. "And maybe it puts Trevor on the right path."