Trial set in Eastgate luring case

Fortino Venegas Garcia is accused of trying to get a teenager into his pickup last month.

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WALLA WALLA -- Trial is set to begin Dec. 19 for a man who allegedly ordered a 15-year-old girl he doesn't know to get into his pickup in Eastgate last month.

Fortino Venegas Garcia, 44, of 2300 Mill Creek Road, pleaded innocent Monday afternoon in Superior Court to the charge of luring.

Garcia 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 arrested.

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

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