A Moses Lake man was arrested after he briefly evaded Grant County Sheriff’s deputies Saturday night. The situation is relatively rare given changes to state laws associated with when a law enforcement officer may pursue a vehicle.
Staff Writer | January 30, 2023 5:21 PM
MOSES LAKE — A Moses Lake man was arrested early Satuday on suspicion of felony eluding a police vehicle after he drove through a ditch, then abandoned his car in an orchard north of Moses Lake in an attempt to avoid law enforcement.
Rafael Romero, 31, was arrested shortly after he abandoned his car, according to a statement from the Grant County Sheriff’s Office.
“The deputy saw him traveling in excess of the speed limit and on the wrong side of the road and traveling between lanes,” said Kyle Foreman, GCSO public information officer.
Romero was reportedly was traveling about 76 miles per hour in a 50-mph zone, the statement said. Given the excessive speed and other factors, officers were able to pursue the vehicle, Foreman said.
“It raises suspicions that this person is impaired because they’re driving so poorly,” he said.
“There has to be a reason to pursue. In some cases you have to call the supervisor.”
Law enforcement officers went after Romero and executed a “pursuit intervention technique” that caused Romero to slide into the ditch. Foreman said that normally ends a pursuit.
“(Law enforcement officers) attempted to get bumpers on the car to keep it from going anywhere,” Foreman said, but Romero drove away before officers could get close enough.
He abandoned the car in an orchard near the intersection of McConihe Road and Road D.5 Northeast, fled on foot and was apprehended.
Foreman said other charges against Romero may be pending.
Cheryl Schweizer can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.