WALLA WALLA -- A man in a stolen Jeep led police on a pursuit from the west end of Walla Walla into Milton-Freewater on Wednesday afternoon, officials said.
The man ended up abandoning the Jeep in the Milton-Freewater area following the chase and had not been found as of this morning.
Police have released the name and photo of a suspect, and are asking the public's help in locating him. He's identified as Alejandro Adrian Ureno Alvarez, 29, whose last known address was in Weston.
A woman passenger, who apparently had exited the moving vehicle near Fifth Avenue and Hill Street in Milton-Freewater, was located hiding in some bushes behind a residence and was questioned by authorities. She then was released pending possible charges in Oregon.
The chase reportedly began about 3:50 p.m. after a Walla Walla police officer spotted a vehicle heading south on Myra Road matching the description of the Jeep that had been reported stolen.
The driver failed to stop for the officer and turned onto state Route 125 toward College Place and Milton-Freewater, officials said. Near the state line, the Jeep -- which was traveling about 60 mph -- was passing vehicles on the left and right, nearly hit the rear end of another vehicle and swerved into oncoming traffic and the patrol car.
Two other patrol units joined the pursuit after the driver of the Jeep turned west on Ballou Road, south onto the Old Milton Highway and headed into Milton-Freewater.
After slowing down for the passenger to jump out, the man drove the Jeep from the area. The vehicle, which recently had been reported stolen from the 3000 block of Canberra Drive in Walla Walla County, was located later.
Anyone with information on Alvarez's whereabouts is asked to call Walla Walla city-county dispatch at 527-1960.
Terry McConn can be reached at email@example.com or 526-8319.