WALLA WALLA - A man accused of leading police on a chase after an attempted burglary on Ninth Avenue this month pleaded innocent Monday to three felony charges.
Alejandro Martinez, 18, of 532 N. Seventh Ave., is scheduled for trial May 18 in Walla Walla County Superior Court on one count each of attempting to elude a pursuing police vehicle, second-degree attempted burglary and second-degree malicious mischief.
Martinez is suspected of being the intended getaway driver in an attempted break-in about 3:10 a.m. March 6 at the Los Tapatios store, 114 S. Ninth.
A police officer in a patrol vehicle allegedly saw two men - including one who had a bandanna that had slipped down from around his face - at the business' front door. Then both men started running toward a car that apparently was waiting for them in the alley, according to a police report filed in court.
Martinez, the driver, took off in the vehicle and the officer started the pursuit, officials said.
The Martinez vehicle reportedly traveled to Rose Street and then onto 13th Avenue - which is closed for construction - before striking a new fire hydrant and getting high-centered. Martinez was arrested, but the other two men got away.
Martinez, who allegedly frequents a local gang, told police he doesn't know who the men are. He said, "They just showed up at my house and asked me if I wanted to go and get some money," according to the police report.