Man charged in Touchet Mercantile attack

Luis A. Ballesteros had been released from prison the day of the alleged assault.

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WALLA WALLA -- A man jailed in connection with an attack on a delivery man in Touchet last week has been formally charged in Walla Walla County Superior Court.

Luis A. Ballesteros, 19, is accused of first-degree burglary, second-degree assault and third-degree attempted theft. The charges were filed Monday afternoon.

Ballesteros had been released from the Washington State Penitentiary early Thursday and reportedly was on a Grape Line bus that stopped at the Touchet Mercantile. Ballesteros entered the store and walked into a storage room, officials said.

The delivery man, Joseph D. Hunt of Kennewick, went into the room about 7 a.m. to drop off products and was confronted inside by Ballesteros, who closed the door and started attacking Hunt, according to a Sheriff's Office report filed in court.

Hunt overpowered Ballesteros and helped subdue him until law enforcement arrived, officials said. Hunt wasn't injured.

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

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