High-speed chase ends in arrest

Officials say Joel Vasquez was violating a protection order and had a gun when he fled officers.

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PRESCOTT -- A man led authorities on a high-speed vehicle chase in the western part of Walla Walla County on Wednesday, eventually spinning out in Franklin County where he was taken into custody, officials said.

The pursuit began following a report shortly after 5 p.m. that Joel Vasquez, 29, was violating a protection order in the 200 block of Coyote Loop in the Prescott area and had a handgun in his possession, according to Walla Walla County sheriff's Capt. Bill White.

A responding deputy spotted Vasquez's Chevrolet Impala heading west on state Route 124, about 5 miles east of Burbank, and saw the vehicle pass several others on the right and left near Monument Drive, White said.

Vasquez allegedly accelerated to more than 100 mph in the 60-mph speed zone and headed west on Highway 12 over the bridge into Pasco where Washington State Patrol and Pasco police units joined the pursuit.

Vasquez continued west at speeds exceeding 120 mph and proceeded north onto Highway 395, according to White. The vehicle spun out and struck a traffic sign when Vasquez tried to turn at Eltopia West Road, White said.

No injuries were reported. Officials allegedly recovered a handgun on the floorboard of the vehicle.

Vasquez, whose last known address was in Burbank, was booked into the Walla Walla County Jail on investigation of attempting to elude a pursuing police vehicle, unlawful possession of a firearm and violation of an order of protection.

Bail was set this morning at $25,000.

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

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