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High speed chase ends with capture in corn field

A Yakima man is cooling his heels this morning (Monday) in the Sunnyside jail after leading Lower Valley law enforcement officers on a late Friday night high speed chase. The pursuit, which started in Sunnyside, ended in a corn field near Boundary Road just outside of Mabton, when the suspect abandoned his vehicle and managed to temporarily avoid arrest.

Even though the suspect managed to evade Sunnyside police officers and Yakima County Sheriff's Office deputies for several hours, the man was finally taken into custody early Saturday morning, with the aid of a Sheriff's canine unit.

Arrested was Jose Francisco Juarez Jr., 31, of Yakima, according to Sunnyside Police Chief Ed Radder. Radder said Juarez's arrest was the result of the combined effort of the Sheriff's deputies, Washington State Patrol officers, Mabton police and the Sunnyside police officers.

"Items, which appeared to be drugs, were recovered from the suspect's car," Radder said this morning.

The pursuit started just after midnight last Friday night when Sunnyside police pursued Juarez's vehicle through Sunnyside to Mabton. Radder said the Yakima Sheriff's deputies joined the pursuit as Juarez continued to evade police through Mabton and into the county south of Mabton.

For a time it appeared that the suspect would be taken into custody, but he managed to escape a Yakima Sheriff's deputy and disappeared into a nearby corn field.

Officers continued to hunt for the suspect until nearly 4 a.m., at which time the search was called off. A call from a citizen in the area who reported sighting the suspect caused the search party to resume at 8:45 a.m., according to Carl Hendrickson of the Sheriff's office.

Hendrickson said deputies called in the canine unit team twice to aid in the search.

Juarez was eventually found hiding in a corn field by the dog, and taken into custody nearly three hours later, Hendrickson said.

He was then transported to Sunnyside Community Hospital, where he was treated for minor injuries sustained during the arrest process. He was released into Sunnyside police custody, and he is now being investigated on charges of felony eluding, Radder said.

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