Crime

Tri-Cities man threatened to kill his wife and himself at a Richland restaurant, say police

A 34-year-old Tri-City man is in the Benton County jail accused of threatening to kill his estranged wife and himself with a pistol while the couple were eating at a Richland restaurant.
A 34-year-old Tri-City man is in the Benton County jail accused of threatening to kill his estranged wife and himself with a pistol while the couple were eating at a Richland restaurant. Tri-City Herald

A Tri-Cities man allegedly threatened to kill his estranged wife and himself with a gun while the couple were eating lunch with their toddler at a Richland restaurant.

Victor M. Ulloa, 34, pleaded innocent Friday in Benton County Superior Court to three felony charges.

The couple have been married 15 years and have four children, but currently do not live together.

Last year, Ulloa was ordered by a Superior Court judge on a 2018 case to have no contact with his wife.

Protection order still active

That court order was still active in January when his wife saw Ulloa following her car on Queensgate Drive.

She turned onto Duportail Street and then back onto Queensgate in an attempt to get rid of him, but it didn’t work, court documents said. Their 1-year-old son was in her car at the time.

She eventually stopped at the Sterling’s restaurant on Queensgate, and Ulloa allegedly approached her car and grabbed his son.

Ulloa said he wanted to have lunch, and she gave in, documents said.

They were eating in Sterling’s when Ulloa moved to her side of the booth.

Ulloa then demanded she “move back in with him or he was going to shoot her and shoot himself,” court documents said.

He pulled out a pistol and placed it against her ribs, documents said.

His wife said she forced herself to remain calm so she wouldn’t upset him.

Hiding in the restroom

When Ulloa got up to pay the bill at the front counter, his wife grabbed the boy, ran into the bathroom and locked the door, court documents said. She called 911 as her husband banged on the locked restroom door.

A restaurant employee told police he saw the couple eating together in the booth and “thought the situation was odd because (Ulloa) kept looking down and trying to hide his face,” documents said.

Ulloa left before officers arrived at Sterling’s.

He was charged Jan. 18 and arrested this week on the new charges and a failure to comply in the 2018 case.

Bail is set at $50,000 bail.

His trial for violating a protection order, harassment and second-degree assault is set for April 1.

All three counts include allegations of domestic violence and the aggravating circumstance that the crimes happened within sight or sound of a minor child.

Kristin M. Kraemer covers the judicial system and crime issues for the Tri-City Herald. She has been a journalist for more than 20 years in Washington and California.


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