Burbank man charged in high-speed chase

Joel Vasquez faces eluding, weapon and protection-order violation charges in connection with an pursuit Wednesday.

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PRESCOTT -- A man who allegedly led authorities on a high-speed vehicle chase in the western part of Walla Walla County into Franklin County this week has been formally charged in Walla Walla County Superior Court.

Joel Vasquez, 29, of 144 Ash St. in Burbank, is accused of attempting to elude a pursuing police vehicle and first-degree unlawful possession of a firearm, both felonies, and violation of a protection/no contact order, a gross misdemeanor. The charges were filed Thursday afternoon.

Officials said Wednesday's pursuit began following a report shortly after 5 p.m. that 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.

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, officials said.

Vasquez allegedly accelerated and eventually headed west on U.S. 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 authorities. The vehicle reportedly spun out and struck a traffic sign at Eltopia West Road.

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

Vasquez was booked into the Walla Walla County Jail. Bail has been set at $25,000.

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

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