WALLA WALLA - An area man has been charged with attempting to elude police following a reported burglary attempt.
Alejandro Martinez, 18, of 532 N. Seventh Ave., was charged in Walla Walla County Superior Court Monday with second-degree attempted burglary, second-degree malicious mischief, and attempting to elude a pursuing police vehicle, all felonies. Martinez is being held on $15,000 bail.
According to a news release from Walla Walla Police, the pursuit of Martinez began Saturday morning when a night shift patrol officer noticed two people attempting to break into the Los Tapatios store at 114 S. Ninth Ave.
The officer chased the two suspects from his patrol vehicle, and saw them run down an alley. The suspects appeared to run toward a waiting vehicle that took off before the suspects could get in. The original suspects disappeared within the neighborhood, but the driver, later identified as Martinez, took off down Rose Street, running stop signs, and driving onto 13th Avenue and into a construction zone.
According to the release, Martinez drove through barricades in the construction area before striking a newly installed fire hydrant and getting high-centered on it.
Unable to accelerate the vehicle off the hydrant, Martinez was taken into custody and booked into Walla Walla County Jail.
Martinez is believed to frequent a local gang, according to a police report filed in court. The report notes that when an arresting officer asked Martinez where his two friends were, he said: "I don't know who they are." Martinez also said, "They just showed up at my house and asked me if I wanted to go and get some money." According to the report, Martinez said that when they got to the store the two suspects told him to wait in the alley and they would be back soon.