An attempted murder suspect was arrested after a standoff with deputies late Wednesday at the Vernita Bridge, authorities said.
Noel Zuniga Rosas, 24, who was wanted in Kittitas County, apparently had climbed under the bridge and tried to hide in the bridge supports about mid-span, said Benton County sheriff's Lt. Chuck Jones.
Sheriff's deputies initially responded to the area at 5:50 p.m. Wednesday after getting a report about a suspicious person.
Deputies didn't find anyone, but did spot a red Toyota RAV4 at the nearby rest stop. The vehicle was wanted by Kittitas County sheriff's deputies in connection with a stabbing about three hours earlier, Jones said.
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Rosas of East Wenatchee was being sought for allegedly stabbing his ex-girlfriend at a Vantage gas station when they met for a child exchange, the Yakima Herald-Republic reported.
The former couple apparently argued before he chased her and stabbed her with a knife, the newspaper said.
Emily Van Osten, 21, of Yakima, was in serious condition Thursday at Harborview Medical Center in Seattle.
Rosas fled before Kittitas County sheriff's deputies arrived.
When his SUV was found at the Vantage rest area, about 15 miles southeast of Mattawa, a Benton County sheriff's police dog unit was called, Jones said.
The police dog tracked the suspect to underneath the bridge, and deputies found him on one of the bridge supports over the middle of the Columbia River, he said.
Rosas refused to surrender and threatened to jump, Jones said.
More units were called in to negotiate with him. Washington State Patrol troopers, Grant County sheriff's deputies, Columbia Basin Dive Rescue members, Hanford Patrol, Hanford fire, and Kittitas County sheriff's detectives all responded to the bridge.
Dive rescue members went out on a boat to stand by in case anyone fell into the water.
Highway 24 also was closed for about two hours during the negotiation, resulting in backup of about one mile.
During the negotiation, deputies wearing harnesses and safety gear went over the bridge railing to talk to Rosas, Jones said.
Rosas eventually agreed to surrender and was arrested at 10:07 p.m., Jones said. No one was hurt during the arrest. Rosas was booked into the Kittitas County jail.
Two children, ages 2 and 4, earlier were taken into child protective custody.
Hermiston man arrested after allegedly trying to start fight
A Hermiston man with a long criminal history was arrested late Wednesday after allegedly trying to start a fight with neighbors, yelling racial comments at officers and spitting in an officer's face.
Hermiston police were called twice to the apartment at 645 S.E. Fourth St. on the Fourth of July for complaints about a resident, said Chief Jason Edmiston.
Ivan Santoyo, 28, initially was contacted by police because of his loud music.
Santoyo reportedly was belligerent and confrontational, but he turned the music down, Edmiston said.
Officers gave Santoyo a warning after he agreed to stay inside his apartment for the rest of the night.
A short time later, however, officers were sent back to the apartments when Santoyo reportedly tried to start a fight with a neighbor.
He remained confrontational when police arrived and yelled racial comments at officers, Edmiston said.
When officers told Santoyo theywere arresting him for disorderly conduct, he tried to run inside his apartment, but he was caught.
Santoyo spit in an officer's face when they were putting him in the back of the patrol car, Edmiston said.
Santoyo was booked into the Umatilla County jail on suspicion of resisting arrest, second-degree disorderly conduct and harassment. He also was cited of possessing less than an ounce of marijuana.
Edmiston said Santoyo has been arrested 24 times now by Hermiston police with a total of 52 charges.
"Overall, the Fourth of July was relatively peaceful. Our agency responded to numerous noise complaints," the chief said. "It is unfortunate Mr. Santoyo did what he did as now we have an officer that must take specific medications for the next week in hopes of not contracting any potential disease from this out-of-control citizen."
-- Paula Horton: 582-1556; email@example.com