A 22-year-old Pasco man involved in a stand-off with Pasco police and the SWAT team last week now is being accused of four home break-ins since January.
Josue Enrique Contreras pleaded innocent Tuesday in Franklin County Superior Court to four counts of residential burglary and one count of second-degree unlawful possession of a firearm.
His trial was set for May 16.
Contreras has been in the Franklin County jail since his March 20 arrest. His bail is set at $50,000, but defense attorney Jim Egan requested it be lowered to $20,000.
"The purpose of $50,000 bail is to ensure Mr. Contreras does not get out of jail. To be frank, that's what it is all about -- to put the price of pretrial release out of his ability to pay," Egan told Judge Craig Matheson. "The purpose is to set conditions so he can be released, not so he can be held in jail and not get out."
Deputy Prosecutor Brian Hultgrenn said Contreras has a history of failing to appear in court, but the more important factor supporting the higher bail is the risk to the community.
"He fled from police officers on foot, ran to his house and armed himself," Hultgrenn said, adding that when officers went into the home "he put a rifle to his own head and threatened to injure himself."
Judge Matheson kept the bail at $50,000 after reading the allegations in the charging documents.
"It involved firearms and he also ran from police after they attempted to arrest him. All those things seem to be high risk behavior," he said.
Contreras is accused of breaking into a home at 201 N. Second Ave. twice -- on Jan. 22 and again March 9, court documents said.
He also reportedly broke into the home at 413 N. Third Ave., on March 20, before going to 323 N. Second Ave. and slipping into the home through a basement window.
A motorist called Pasco police at 10:30 a.m. to report seeing a suspicious person pacing in front of the home, then jumping the fence, documents said.
When officers arrived, they found the basement window open and the screen removed. As they surrounded the house, the window closed and a person later identified as Contreras was seen peeking out before closing the blinds, documents said.
Officers yelled to Contreras to come outside, and he did exit out of side door with his hands up. Officers had Contreras at gunpoint and were about to arrest him, when he took off running, documents said.
He jumped fences from yard to yard until he reached his home a couple blocks away at 205 W. Bonneville St.
Contreras later told police he changed his clothes and thought officers wouldn't come after him, documents said.
Pasco police got a warrant to search the home and when they entered, Contreras stepped out of another room with a .22-caliber rifle pointed at his head. Officers quickly backed out of the house.
Contreras eventually surrendered after the Tri-City Regional SWAT team was called out.
Woman who claims kleptomania faces June 6 trial for shoplifting
PASCO -- A 31-year-old Pasco woman who told police she has been diagnosed as a kleptomaniac faces a June 6 trial for allegedly shoplifting from Walmart.
Chartara Burts pleaded innocent Tuesday in Franklin County Superior Court to second-degree burglary.
Burts was arrested March 4 by Pasco police after she was stopped by security personnel at Walmart, who said she had been permanently banned from the store.
Burts reportedly paid for a cellphone, then took several items and put them in her bag, documents said. The items were valued at $51.90.
Burts told police she had money to paid for the items, but that she was mental issues and is a kleptomaniac, documents said.
-- Paula Horton: 582-1556; firstname.lastname@example.org