A Kennewick man faces trial May 25 for allegedly leading police on a high-speed chase through Pasco, eventually bailing out of his car while it still was in gear.
Juan R. Sanchez, 30, pleaded innocent to attempting to elude police, a felony, and first-degree driving with a suspended or revoked license, a gross misdemeanor. He is in jail on $10,000 bail.
According to court documents, Pasco Officer Matt Nelson first saw Sanchez's car at 2:51 a.m. April 6 stopped on the exit ramp from eastbound Interstate 182 to Fourth Avenue. The car had a green signal light but was stopped with the passenger side door open, documents said.
The passenger then closed the door, and the car proceeded north on Fourth from the highway. That's when Nelson attempted to stop the car by activating the overhead lights on his patrol car, but the car took off after briefly pulling into a lot, documents said.
Nelson reportedly then turned on his siren as the car drove about 70 mph in a 35 mph zone. The car allegedly made a wide turn onto Ruby Street and almost struck a sign post and a building.
The driver, later identified as Sanchez, then bailed out of the car, leaving it to roll into a garbage can and a chain-link fence, causing minor damage to the fence and car, court documents said.
Officers arrested Sanchez after a short foot chase, documents said.