Man charged in connection with chase

Sterling T. Stapleton faces a variety of charges in connection with a pursuit that ended in a crash.

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WALLA WALLA -- Formal charges have been filed against a man accused of leading a county sheriff's deputy on a vehicle chase near Waitsburg on Saturday evening.

Sterling T. Stapleton, 24, was charged Monday afternoon in Superior Court with attempting to elude a pursuing police vehicle, driving while under the influence of intoxicating liquor, second-degree driving while license suspended or revoked and driving in violation of an ignition interlock restriction.

Officials said the deputy initially contacted Stapleton after the vehicle Stapleton was driving stopped on the shoulder of Middle Waitsburg Road about 10:15 p.m. Saturday.

When the deputy returned to his patrol vehicle to run a routine driver's check, Stapleton allegedly sped off. The deputy pursued the vehicle -- which eventually traveled at speeds of about 80 mph -- north on Middle Waitsburg until Stapleton tried to negotiate the intersection with U.S. Highway 12 and crashed into an embankment, according to a Sheriff's Office report filed in court.

Stapleton, of 122 Heron Hollow Road, Prescott, was arrested and booked into the County Jail. Bail was set at $25,000.

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

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