A high-speed pursuit Saturday night throughout Walla Walla ended in officers being mildly injured, patrol cars being damaged, and the arrest of a man.

About 5:30 p.m., an officer was making an arrest in an unrelated incident near Sixth Avenue and Main Street, according to police. Tomas F. Franco, 58, saw the arrest happening and began circling the block, blowing a trumpet and yelling at the officer, the release stated.

The officer had recently testified in a trial against Franco, who was out of jail awaiting sentencing. Franco was told to leave the area or he would be arrested, the release stated.

Several hours later, at about 10 p.m., officers responded to the 400 block of West Alder Street for a man allegedly being violent toward elderly people nearby. Officers saw Franco speed away in his truck and tried stopping him, but he kept fleeing, police said. The pursuit continued throughout Walla Walla, with Franco allegedly stopping to try to cause patrol cars to rear-end him, the release stated.

An officer parked on Bryant Street was waiting for the pursuit to pass, and Franco allegedly crossed over the road, striking the driver’s side of the patrol vehicle and causing minor injuries to the officer.

The chase went to Tamaurson Road and Bliss Lane, where Franco allegedly swerved toward a College Place fire truck, causing the truck to veer onto the sidewalk, the release stated. He then turned onto state Route 125 from Tamaurson Road and began traveling north in the southbound lane.

Franco stopped when he hit a chain-link fence at Orchard Street and Ninth Avenue, according to police. When officers stopped behind Franco, he allegedly accelerated backward into the front of a patrol car and injured the officer. Franco then allegedly drove into the front of another police car and caused minor injuries to the officer.

Franco was shot with a Taser, and, while being taken to a police car, he tried biting an officer, the release stated. 

He was evaluated by medics and taken to Walla Walla County Jail for investigation of four counts of first-degree assault, three counts of second-degree malicious mischief, one count of third-degree assault, and one count of attempting to elude a police vehicle.

 

Emily Thornton can be reached at emilythornton@wwub.com or 509-526-8325.

Emily Thornton covers courts and emergency services, as well as other various stories. She has been in the newspaper industry off and on since roughly 1999 and lived primarily on the West Coast, but also Florida and Europe.

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