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Three teens arraigned in adult court on theft, assault charges

Three of the five teens Yakima County Sheriff's office detectives are investigating following a theft and assault at a gun shop located in the 300 block of South Lester Road in Outlook were arraigned in adult court Tuesday.

The young men were arrested Wednesday, Jan. 26, after they allegedly entered the gun shop and assaulted the 65-year-old shop owner.

They reportedly knocked the man to the ground and beat him in the head with a pipe. The shop owner was treated at Sunnyside Community Hospital for head injuries and was later released.

Fleeing the scene of the crime, the teens took several handguns, according to police records. A witness wrote down the license plate number of the car the teens left the scene in, which led police to the juveniles. They were arrested in the 3100 block of East Edison Avenue in Sunnyside.

According to Prosecuting Attorney Dwayne Knittle, the county is delaying filing charges against two of the teens, pending further investigation.

Arraigned in Yakima County Superior Court were 17-year-old Rodney Francis Jr., Gabriel Fernandez Jr., 16, and James Allen, 16.

They were each charged with first degree robbery, first degree assault, theft of a firearm and second degree unlawful possession of a firearm.

Allen was also charged with first degree unlawful possession of a firearm, said Knittle.

According to Knittle, the teens are being tried as adults because state statute dictates that juveniles charged with first degree robbery are tried by the adult court system.

The three suspects are each being held on $100,000 bail. The other 17-year-old Sunnyside man, who hasn't been charged yet, is being held on $25,000 bail.

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