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Two men flee after car chase

Fri., July 31, 2009

Deputy who fired weapon is on leave

An Adams County sheriff’s deputy was placed on paid administrative leave after shooting at an armed and fleeing man suspected of assault Wednesday in Othello.

Sheriff’s deputies tried to stop the man’s SUV after the assault, which occurred about 8 p.m., but the driver crashed through a locked chain-link fence and jumped a small irrigation canal, Sheriff Doug Barger said in a news release.

The chase continued south on state Highway 17 and across farm roads east of Othello. The driver rolled the SUV in a wheat field off Lee Road near Lemaster Road.

As deputies approached, one of two people in the vehicle fired a shot that broke out a window. Two men left the vehicle, and one of them pointed a handgun at the deputy, who fired at the gunman. It was not known whether the shot struck the suspect.

Deputies and other officers mounted a search, but the men escaped in the falling darkness. A Columbia Basin Investigation Team, with officers from Grant and Adams counties and the Washington State Patrol, will investigate the incident.

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