Hermiston Police News: Fleeing subject tosses shotgun

Release Date: 
04/29/2013

On the 27th of April 2013, at approximately 11:20 AM, Hermiston Police Department motor officer Victor Gutierrez observed two males crossing (walking) Highway 395 with little disregard for traffic as designated crosswalks were not utilized in two separate locations.  Officer Gutierrez contacted the duo and advised them of the enforceable violation.

Ofc. Gutierrez recognized one of the subjects as Pedro Munoz, 34 years of age, of Hermiston.  The other subject claimed to have no identification and upon a cursory check for dangerous weapons, the subject became increasingly nervous and ultimately fled on foot after Ofc. Gutierrez touched what he believed was a firearm in the area the subject’s waist.

Olajawon L. Thomas, 22 years of age, with a last known address of 425 N. 1st Street #21, Hermiston (formerly of the Portland area), was observed getting into a maroon Pontiac Grand Am a short distance away.  Responding officers were able to locate the vehicle on the other side of town and a high risk traffic stop was conducted with the assistance of the Oregon State Police in the area of E Hurlburt Ave and SE 6th Street.

Thomas was ultimately taken into custody without incident.  The driver of the vehicle, Korina Bentz, 22 years of age, of Kennewick, Washington, was issued a citation for Driving While Suspended.

Hermiston officers searched the areas where Thomas fled and located an altered shotgun tossed next to a building in the 100 block of W. June Ave.  Thomas was processed at the Hermiston Police Department before being lodged at the Umatilla County Jail in Pendleton on charges of Unlawful Possession of a Short Barreled Firearm, Unlawful Use of a Firearm, Unlawful Possession of a Firearm, Attempting to Elude Police on Foot, and Disorderly Conduct in the Second Degree.

Thomas and Munoz were both issued city ordinance violation citations of Pedestrian must use Crosswalk.    

“With the heavy flow of traffic along Highway 395, this is a great example of our dedicated motor officer being observant of all violations taking place; both with drivers and pedestrians.” reports Chief Jason Edmiston


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