Man in pursuit, injury crash back in custody

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WALLA WALLA — A man who suffered a severe head injury in a vehicle crash after leading police on a high-speed chase through the city in February was taken into custody Wednesday in Walla Walla.

Vernon Ray Johnson, 31, had been hospitalized and in rehabilitation — apparently in facilities outside our area — since the wreck. But he reportedly left from wherever he was being treated recently and was apprehended in the 500 block of Catherine Street mid-afternoon Wednesday, according to Walla Walla police Detective Saul Reyna.

Reyna said this morning that DOC officials received a tip that Johnson had been staying at an apartment house in the area and nabbed him when he arrived as a passenger in a vehicle also occupied by two females.

Johnson was not listed as an inmate on the Walla Walla County Jail online roster this morning and DOC officials didn’t immediately return phone calls to provide information about his current location or other details.

Johnson was driving a stolen Honda Accord when he led police on the Feb. 19 chase before plowing into a pickup at Bryant Avenue and Howard Street, police said.

The pickup’s driver, Jeffrey H. Callow, 62, was hospitalized for treatment of his injuries.

Johnson hasn’t yet been charged in court with crimes related to the chase and crash.

His passenger, Myranda R. York, 23, pleaded guilty in April to being an accomplice to attempting to elude a pursuing police vehicle, an accomplice to vehicular assault and to possessing methamphetamine found in the vehicle.

But earlier this month, she allegedly aborted a six-month, inpatient drug-offender treatment program she was ordered to undergo as part of her sentence.

She was not with Johnson when he was apprehended Wednesday and is still at large, Reyna said.

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