WALLA WALLA — A bit of luck and bare feet helped deputies nab a suspect wanted in a high-speed eluding chase on Thursday.
According to a Walla Walla County Sheriff’s report, speeds reached up to 95 miles per hour while pursuing the suspect’s pickup at around 11:30 p.m.
The chase went south on Airport Way from U.S. Highway 12, east on to Mill Creek Road and then up a windy Blue Creek Road.
After navigating a hairpin turn on Blue Creek Road, the suspect drove off the road and struck a metal fence.
When deputies arrived at the wreckage, all they found was the suspect’s dog, unharmed, and two Nike sandals that apparently came off the suspect as he fled.
A 45-minute search, assisted by Walla Walla Police, failed to turn up the suspect; he was believed to have headed down into Blue Creek, barefoot.
A tow truck was called and contact was made with the registered owner, who said he was allowing Jacob J. Melchor, 28, to use his pickup.
About four hours later the investigating deputy realized he had forgotten to bag the sandals as evidence and went back to the scene to retrieve them.
While driving around the 5000 block of Mill Creek Road just after 4 a.m., the deputy came across a man walking along the road with no shoes and wet pants.
The deputy arrested Melchor on investigation of attempted eluding and driving under the influence.
He was booked into Walla Walla County Jail.