A wanted man from Oregon, who was reportedly driving a car stolen in Missoula, Montana, was arrested Thursday evening, May 28, in College Place after a brief pursuit by local police.
Jonathon R. Romine, 40, of Halfway, Oregon, had a warrant for his arrest out of Baker County, Oregon, according to a release from the College Place Police Department.
Romine had his first appearance in Walla Walla County Superior Court on Friday and was booked into the Walla Walla County Jail with a $20,000 bond.
Prosecutors filed charges on two counts — stolen vehicle possession and third-degree driving with a suspended license — out of several charges presented by police, according to court documents.
According to the release, police interaction with Romine began when dispatchers were notified of a vehicle driving erratically on U.S. Highway 12 around 4:30 p.m. Thursday.
College Place officers spotted the vehicle, a Subaru Legacy, heading south on Northeast Myra Road and followed it.
The driver allegedly ran a stop sign while police were trying to catch up. The driver then stopped the car on Northeast Cargill Avenue.
Romine left the vehicle and ran away when officers got out to talk to him. The man eventually stopped in the backyard of a house in the 100 block of Northeast Rose Street, and he was arrested “without further issue,” according to the release.
Officers entered the license plate numbers in their database, but they didn’t match the vehicle description. They learned the car was listed as stolen out of Missoula the night before, the release noted.
Walla Walla County Prosecuting Attorney Jim Nagle said he expected arraignment on the local charges to happen June 14.
Romine has multiple pending charges in Baker County, including stolen vehicle possession, plus charges on another case involving illicit guns and drugs and illegal burning.
According to the Baker City Herald, Romine was convicted in 2018 of starting a fire that burned 800 acres and was accused of illegal burning again in September 2020.
He reportedly missed a court date in October, which is why a warrant was issued for his arrest.