A Richland woman died after apparently being hit by a truck that was found driving backward in circles, officials said.
Melissa T. Moone, 34, was found lying on the ground in the parking lot of the Gesa Credit Union on Goethals Drive in Richland and died after being taken to Kadlec Regional Medical Center, said Richland police Sgt. Mike Harrison.
Officers were called around 10 p.m. Tuesday when three Gesa employees who were working late saw a truck going in circles in the parking lot, Harrison said.
When officers arrived they found an empty 1978 Ford pickup truck in reverse, he said.
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"We had to stop it with a patrol car," he said.
More officers were called out to investigate and reconstruct the incident, which appears to be an accident, he said.
Moone had borrowed the truck from friends, but was believed to be alone at the time of the accident.
Benton County Coroner John Hansens said Moone suffered chest injuries and her death was accidental.
Richland police, however, are investigating the death to try to figure out what happened.
Harrison said they don't know why Moone was at Gesa and will check the ATM to see if she used it. They also are going to look into the mechanical condition of the truck and review security videos from the area.
Man jailed in alleged assault on fiancee
A 30-year-old Pasco man was jailed Tuesday for allegedly threatening and assaulting his fiancee after accusing her of cheating, authorities said.
Christopher Scott Eubanks reportedly became enraged over the weekend when he got a call from his fiancee'sex-boyfriend who claimed to have had sex with the victim, said Benton County sheriff's Deputy Joe Lusignan.
Eubanks was driving in his truck with the victim and began hitting her while he drove and threatened to take her to a remote area, Lusignan said.
The victim feared for her safety, and they started fighting in the truck, he said. At one point, she pulled out a folding knife to protect herself and Eubanks was cut on the neck, Lusignan said.
The victim was able to run away when Eubanks stopped the truck on Weber Road south of Badger Road. He then got out and ran into an orchard, but eventually was tracked down by a police dog unit, Lusignan said.
Eubanks was taken to Kadlec Regional Medical Center in Richland, where he was kept under guard while being treated. He was booked Tuesday into the Benton County jail on suspicion of first-degree kidnapping, felony harassment and fourth-degree domestic violence assault.
Walla Walla police seek suspect in robbery
Walla Walla police are searching for a suspect who robbed a convenience store around 7:30 a.m. Wednesday.
The man entered the Taj Food Mart, 5 W. Morton St., with a bandanna covering his face and got away with an undisclosed amount of cash, said Sgt. Matt Wood.
He was seen running away from the store toward Second Street, and then is believed to have ridden away on a bicycle, Wood said.
Witnesses described the robber as being in his 20s, about 6-foot-2 and wearing a navy blue coat with a hood.
Anyone with information about the suspect or robbery is asked to call the Walla Walla police at 509-527-1960 or 509-527-4434.
Man jailed in alleged assault on deputies
A 35-year-old Pasco man suspected of driving under the influence of alcohol is being held in jail after allegedly assaulting two deputies who tried to arrest him.
Benton County sheriff's deputies stopped Travis Lee Hackett on Tuesday evening at First Avenue and Dayton Street in Kennewick. During the traffic stop, they found he had a suspended license and believed he was intoxicated, said Deputy Joe Lusignan.
Hackett was told to step out of his vehicle, but he refused. When they tried to get him out, he resisted and tried to run away, Lusignan said.
It took deputies several minutes to get Hackett into custody, he said.
After being checked at Kennewick General Hospital, Hackett was booked into the Benton County jail on suspicion of two counts of third-degree assault.
Royal City officer who shot man reportedly was being chased
A Royal City police officer was being chased by a suspect with a shovel when he fatally shot the man Monday, officials said.
Officer Rey Rodriguez fired six shots at Pedro Salgado Ceja, 45, of Royal City, said Kyle Foreman, spokesman for the Columbia Basin Investigative Team.
Ceja died from gunshot wounds to his torso, Grant County Coroner Craig Morrison said Wednesday.
Ceja and Rodriguez's names also were released Wednesday.
Foreman said Rodriguez responded to a call about a possible domestic violence assault at 5:10 p.m. Monday and tried to arrest Ceja for assault and unlawful imprisonment.
Ceja pulled away from Rodriguez, grabbed a flat-bottom shovel that was on the ground and went after Rodriguez, Foreman said.
Rodriguez tried to use two less-lethal options, but was unable to deploy them, Foreman said. He didn't say what the two options were.
As Ceja was chasing Rodriguez, the officer was able to get at least 150 feet away while repeatedly ordering Ceja to drop the shovel, Foreman said.
Witnesses told investigators that Ceja didn't follow the orders and continued to get closer to Rodriguez. That's when Rodriguez fired his gun six times, Foreman said.
At 5:18 p.m., Rodriguez radioed for help. Officers and deputies from several agencies responded, along with firefighters/EMTs from Grant Fire District 10.
Ceja was declared dead at the scene.
The officer-involved shooting is being investigated by the Columbia Basin Investigative Team. Once completed, the case will be reviewed by the Grant County prosecutor to decide if the shooting was justified.
Rodriguez is on paid-administrative leave, which is standard practice in officer-involved shootings. He has worked for the Royal City Police Department for two years, Foreman said.