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High speed chase results in one arrest

Armando Chavez, 21, of Pasco was this past Monday night taken into custody on drug charges following a pursuit led by the driver of the vehicle he was in.

Chavez and two other individuals, say police, led Officer Justin Paganelli on a high speed pursuit following what was to be a routine traffic stop at South Sixth Street and East Lincoln Avenue Monday night just after 10:30 p.m.

Paganelli said he exited his police cruiser during the stop, but the driver of the vehicle, a 2011 Hyundai, accelerated from the scene at a high rate of speed.

The officer pursued the vehicle, which traversed Ninth Street, Franklin Avenue, 11th Street and Zillah Avenue before leaving the city limits on Scoon Road. At Scoon and Van Belle roads, officials said, the driver of the suspect vehicle failed to negotiate the intersection and the vehicle slid into a nearby ditch.

The occupants of the vehicle, say police, exited and fled the scene, but Paganelli was able to catch Chavez after a short foot pursuit.

Other officers arrived to assist with the search for the other two suspects, including K-9 Officer Helios and his handler.

A search of the area for the remaining two suspects was unsuccessful.

The vehicle, said officials, was reported stolen out of Kennewick.

Speeds during the pursuit, said Sunnyside Police Chief Ed Radder, were between 40 and 45 miles per hour in residential zones and reached up to 80 miles per hour on Zillah Avenue. The vehicle reached a speed of 100 miles per hour on Scoon Road.

Radder said Paganelli conducted a routine search of Chavez and found methamphetamine and marijuana in his possession.

"He was also held on several outstanding warrants for his arrest," said Radder.

The investigation of the incident is ongoing. Anyone with information regarding the whereabouts of the at-large suspects is urged to contact the Sunnyside Police Department at 836-6200.

In other Sunnyside police news, Tuesday was quiet until just after noon. The first call of the day shift was an accident at Yakima Valley Highway and Swan Road at 12:38 p.m. Officers assisted the Yakima County Sheriff's Office at the scene.

One theft, a shoplifting incident at Walmart, was also yesterday (Tuesday) reported to Sunnyside police.

Officers have also since yesterday responded to six automatic alarms, three animal complaints, a report of an assault, a controlled substance problem, two loud music calls, two parking problems, two runaway juvenile reports, a suspicious activity call, a report of threatening behavior, two traffic stops and three vandalism reports.

Officers also provided a welfare check, fielded three informational calls and served an arrest warrant and a court order.

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