YAKIMA, Wash. — A motorist who drove head-on at a state trooper during a high-speed chase in the Mabton area was sentenced Tuesday to nine months in jail.
Victor Alfonso Mendoza, 22, of Outlook received a sentence in the middle of the 6-12 month range for his guilty plea to felony charges of second-degree assault and attempting to elude.
The conviction stemmed from a chase on Feb. 6 that began when a state trooper tried to stop a motorist on State Route 22 for equipment violations.
The trooper said the driver turned onto Boundary Road and led him on a pursuit that hit speeds of nearly 100 mph.
During the chase, according to the trooper, the motorist pulled a U-turn at one point and forced the trooper off the road after driving at him head-on.
The trooper terminated the chase at that time, saying the driver had also forced another motorist off the road with a head-on manuever at 90 mph.
With help from Yakima County sheriff’s deputies, the owner of the suspect vehicle was located in Sunnyside and told police his sons had taken the car to work.
Victor Mendoza was subsequently identified by his brother as the driver. Police said Mendoza claimed his brother had been asleep in the back seat and that a hitchhiker he had picked up was the driver.
Deputy prosecutor Troy Clements said Mendoza’s plea to the second-degree assault charge stemmed from the reckless head-on manuever.
He said Mendoza had no criminal history but now has a strike under Washington’s three-strikes law to go with the nine-month jail sentence.
He also noted Mendoza is being held on a no-bail immigration detainer and faces deportation to Mexico after he finishes serving his jail sentence.