Trial delayed in Walla Walla luring case

Fortino Venegas Garcia is accused of ordering a girl into his pickup in the fall.

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WALLA WALLA -- A trial set to begin this week for a man who allegedly ordered a 15-year-old girl he doesn't know to get into his pickup in Eastgate in the fall has been postponed.

Fortino Venegas Garcia, 44, of 2300 Mill Creek Road, now is scheduled for trial beginning Feb. 21 in Walla Walla County Superior Court. The initial start date had been set for Monday.

Garcia has pleaded innocent to the charge of luring.

He was arrested the afternoon of Oct. 15 at the Chevron gas station, 1916 Isaacs Ave., after confronting the girl in the alley behind the building, officials said.

The girl was walking east when Garcia -- who was driving west -- passed her and said, "Hi," according to a police report filed in court.

Garcia then allegedly stopped the truck, stepped out, stood with the door open and twice told the girl to get in.

She became frightened, used a cellphone to call her father who works nearby, and left the immediate area, the police report says. Meanwhile, Garcia pulled up next to a gas pump at the station where he was located and taken into custody.

He was ordered released from the County Jail on Dec. 15 and placed on a curfew pending the outcome of his case.

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

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