Woman charged for eluding police in stolen car

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MOSES LAKE — A Spokane woman was charged for attempting to elude police in a vehicle she admitted to stealing from her ex-husband.

Grant County prosecutors charged Linda Zaragoza, 35, of Spokane, with possession of a stolen vehicle, attempting to elude, and endangerment by eluding a police vehicle.

About 10:20 a.m. a Moses Lake Police Department officer was stopped on Beacon Road, east of Grape Drive, when he reportedly spotted a dark green Honda traveling north on Grape Drive and turn east onto Beacon Road. The officer reported not being able to see the driver of the vehicle, due to the front window being heavily tinted, according to police records.

The officer caught up to the Honda and activated the lights on his patrol vehicle. The driver of the Honda, alleged to be Zaragoza, came to a stop on the side of the road and accelerated at a high rate of speed a few moments later. Zaragoza continued driving onto Miller Drive, reportedly reaching 55 mph.

The officer reported losing sight of the Honda a couple hundred yards before Kinder Drive, but another MLPD officer later spotted the car heading north on state Route 17. While on SR-17, Zaragoza veered left and drove over the curb dividing SR-17 and Market Street. She continued driving west on Market Street and reportedly reached 60 mph, eventually making her way onto Paxson Drive.

“Once on Paxson Drive Zaragoza continued at a high rate of speed. As Zaragoza approached the intersection at Paxson Drive and Valley Road she did not make any effort to slow down or clear the intersection,” wrote a officer. “Zaragoza’s vehicle went airborne and Zaragoza’s tires elevated a few inches off the ground. Zaragoza came within a few feet of colliding with vehicles on Valley Road.”

Zaragoza came to a dead end on Paxson Drive and made a U-turn. She doubled back and turned onto Valley Road, where MLPD officers had reportedly set up strips on the road. Zaragoza avoided the spikes by pulling into a nearby parking lot. She made her way back to Paxson Drive and repeated the U-turn.

Zaragoza made a couple more turns and reportedly almost struck two pedestrians at the entrance to Our Lady of Fatima Church on North Dale Road. She collided with an elevated curb and the Honda, which police learned had been reported stolen out of Yakima, came to a rest on a rock flower bed. Zaragoza attempted to run away, but was taken into custody by police.

Upon being questioned, Zaragoza admitted the Honda belonged to her ex-husband and she had stolen the vehicle a few days prior in Yakima.

“Zaragoza admitted she did not stop for police lights and sirens because she was scared and tired of going to jail,” wrote a officer.

Richard Byrd can be reached via email at city@columbiabasinherald.com.

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