Zillah man being held on $5,000 bail for eluding deputies

A road sign at Parker Bridge and North Track roads is downed by a vehicle allegedly driven by Manuel Zapien Jr. of Zillah last Tuesday.

Credit: Yakima County Sheriff’s Office
A road sign at Parker Bridge and North Track roads is downed by a vehicle allegedly driven by Manuel Zapien Jr. of Zillah last Tuesday.

— Booked into Yakima County Jail last Tuesday after allegedly attempting to elude Yakima County Sheriff’s deputies, a Zillah man was initially held on $15,000 bail pending a preliminary hearing.

The hearing for Jimmy Manuel Zapien Jr., 22, was set for Wednesday, Dec. 5, but he was sick. He was then scheduled to appear the following day before Yakima County Superior Court Judge Michael G. McCarthy.

Again, the hearing was postponed. Yakima County Superior Court Judge David A. Elofson on Friday found there was probable cause to move forward in a Dec. 19 arraignment at which Zapien will face charges for eluding, hit-and-run unattended, resisting arrest and obstructing officers.

The judge also reduced bail to $5,000.

At about 6:30 a.m. Dec. 4, a deputy on patrol saw a vehicle parked in a high crime area on Thorp Road, Yakima County Sheriff’s Office Public Information Officer Casey Schilperoort said in a press release.

The deputy contacted an occupant of the car, whom he recognized as Zapien. There was a known warrant for Zapien, and the deputy requested he get out of the car, Schilperoort said.

Court documents provided to McCarthy said Zapien rolled up the window and locked the doors, keeping the deputy from further investigation. He also allegedly pushed the female driver from her seat and got behind the wheel before speeding away.

The deputy jumped into his patrol vehicle and pursued the car, records show.

The pursuit reached speeds in excess of 120 mph on Interstate 82 eastbound.

At exit 44, Zapien drove off the freeway and headed westbound on Donald Wapato Road near Wapato. He passed several vehicles “… and went head on with other vehicles,” court documents state.

The chase didn’t stop once the vehicles reached Wapato, and Zapien, according to the deputy, drove at speeds exceeding 60 mph through town.

At U.S. 97, Zapien continued northbound and accelerated to more than 100 mph, passing vehicles on the right shoulder, records show.

Attempts to lay spikes at the Parker exit were unsuccessful because Zapien allegedly turned east on Parker Bridge Road. He turned north on North Track Road but failed to negotiate the turn. The vehicle slid through the intersection and crashed into a road sign before Zapien fled the vehicle on foot, records show.

Reaching a large stack of pallets, the deputy exited his vehicle to pursue Zapien on foot, documents state.

Back-up arrived and Zapien was captured. He was arrested and taken to the county jail.

The felony warrant stems from a 2017 case for which he was sentenced to two months jail time and 12 months of probation in October 2018.


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