WALLA WALLA:  Suspect rams cars during pursuit

WALLA WALLA: Suspect rams cars during pursuit

On August 10 at around 10:00 p.m., Walla Walla Police Officers were involved in a pursuit that resulted in the suspect ramming multiple patrol vehicles. As a result, 58-year-old Tomas F. Franco was arrested on four counts of Assault in the 1st degree, three counts of Malicious Mischief in the 2nd degree, one count of Assault in the 3rd degree, and one count of attempting to elude a police vehicle.
At around 5:30 p.m., a Walla Walla Police Officer in the area of S. 6th Avenue near W. Main Street was making an arrest on an unrelated subject for a warrant. Franco observed the officer and began circling the block in his truck, blowing a trumpet, and yelling at the officer. Franco then threatened to harm the officer. The officer threatened by Franco recently testified in a trial against him, and Franco was currently out of jail awaiting sentencing. Franco was directed to leave the area or be arrested.
At around 10:00 p.m., officers were dispatched to the 400 block of W. Alder Street for a report of an intoxicated male being violent towards elders in the area. Officers arrived in the area and observed Franco flee the area in his truck at a high rate of speed. Officers attempted to stop Franco, but he failed to yield, ultimately leading officers in a pursuit.
The pursuit led down numerous roadways in and around Walla Walla. Several times while being pursued, Franco would rapidly stop his vehicles in what appeared to be an attempt to cause patrol vehicles to rear-end him.
A Walla Walla Police Sergeant was parked on the eastbound side of the roadway on Bryant Street, with emergency lights off, waiting for the pursuit to pass. Franco, who was traveling westbound at the time, crossed over the roadway to strike the stationary patrol vehicle. The vehicle driven by Franco rammed the driver’s side of the patrol vehicle causing minor injury to the Sergeant.
The pursuit reached the area of Taumarson Road near Bliss Lane where Franco swerved towards a College Place Fire Truck causing the driver to veer onto the sidewalk. Franco then turned onto Highway 125 from Taumarson Road where he began traveling northbound in the southbound lane of travel.
Franco stopped when he lost control of his vehicle after striking a chain-link fence in the area of Orchard Street at S. 9th Avenue. As officers stopped their patrol cars behind Franco, he shifted into reverse, accelerated, and rammed the front of a patrol car with the rear of his vehicle causing injury to the officer as a result of the impact. Franco then shifted the car into drive and accelerated into the front bumper of a third patrol vehicle. This officer received a minor injury as a result of the impact.
Franco was subdued after a taser deployment, handcuffed, and taken into custody. While escorting Franco to a patrol car, he attempted to bite an officer. Franco was evaluated by medical staff and transported to Walla Walla County Jail.