Evaluation ordered for Plaza Safeway robbery, assault suspect

Chet T. Volkman is accused of a variety of crimes stemming from an incident at Plaza Safeway last month.

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WALLA WALLA -- A man facing a variety of charges stemming from a confrontation at the Plaza Safeway store last month has been ordered to undergo a mental health evaluation.

Chet T. Volkman, 20, is charged in Superior Court with second-degree robbery and second-degree assault. He also is accused of intimidating a public servant, resisting arrest, third-degree theft, and minor in possession or consumption of liquor.

Judge John Lohrmann on Friday signed the order for the evaluation, which will be conducted by Eastern State Hospital personnel.

Officials said Volkman entered Safeway at 1600 Plaza Way about 1 a.m. March 26 and attempted to leave with two packs of beer. He allegedly tried to hit and punch an employee when confronted at the exterior doors, which had been locked, then head-butted another employee as he was being subdued.

Volkman was able to flee when staff unlocked the doors for law enforcement, but was struck by a Taser in the parking lot, police said. He also allegedly threatened to shoot officers who were at the scene.

Terry McConn can be reached at terrymcconn@wwub.com or 526-8319.

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