Man steals, crashes Sunnyside woman’s mini-van

— A local man faces multiple charges after stealing a Sunnyside woman’s mini-van and crashing it.

Jose Ray Equihua, 24, is charged with theft of a motor vehicle, harassment, first-degree taking a motor vehicle without permission and third-degree assault, probable cause documents state.

He appeared in Yakima County Superior Court Wednesday, records show. He will be arraigned on Nov. 9.

He was arrested Tuesday after crashing and flipping over a mini-van he had stolen from a store parking lot in Zillah, records show. The vehicle’s owner had left the key in the ignition.

The crash occurred at 4510 Independence Road. A passing motorist stopped and attempted to call 911, but Equihua told her not to, records show. He then entered her vehicle and attempted to drive away, but she had taken the key out of the ignition.

A Yakima County Sheriff’s Office deputy drove Equihua to Yakima Memorial Hospital, records show. On the way he threatened to kill the deputy, assault his wife and child and hang his K9 partner.

Equihua also claimed to be a gang member and said he would find the deputy’s home, records show.

He also spat on the deputy’s face and continued the threats after he arrived at the hospital, records show.


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