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Driver who led police on chase in court

Turned off lights, drove wrong way

— A local man appeared in Yakima County Superior Court yesterday to face a charge from a high-speed chase that occurred last month in Sunnyside.

Angel Manuel Mendez, 26, was charged with eluding before Judge Michael G. McCarthy.

According to court records, Mendez led Sunnyside police on a 20-minute chase at speeds topping 110 mph before crashing on Gap Road west of the city at 2 a.m. Oct. 29.

Police began the chase in the 1100 block of Yakima Valley Highway after an officer witnessed Mendez spinning his squealing tires and hitting another vehicle at the 11th Street intersection, court records show.

Mendez fled the scene, with police in pursuit, court records show. His girlfriend, 26-year-old Marta DeLara was in the passenger seat.

Court records show Mendez shut off his lights and drove in oncoming lanes during the early morning chase.

He lost control of his vehicle on Gap Road, near West Sunnyside Road, and crashed, court records show.

Police chasing the vehicle held Mendez and DeLara at gunpoint until backup arrived, court records show, noting Mendez also had to be removed from the vehicle by force.

At the time of the chase, police said Mendez wreaked of alcohol, court records show. Mendez refused to take the blood-alcohol test, so police obtained a search warrant to draw blood from the suspect.

Court records show DeLara said she feared for her life and begged Mendez to halt the chase.

Mendez was being held in the Yakima County Jail without bail.

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