16-year-old ambushed his ex-girlfriend and new boyfriend at Tri-Cities Park, police say

A 16-year-old will face charges as an adult for a series of crimes that began with a kidnapping and shooting in Columbia Park and ended with a high-speed chase through Tri-Cities.

Juan Carlos Sanchez of Kennewick is charged with first-degree assault and first-degree kidnapping for the May 28 confrontation with an ex-girlfriend and her new boyfriend.

The seriousness of the charges in Benton County Superior Court automatically moved them to adult court under Washington state law.

Sanchez remains being held at Benton-Franklin Juvenile Detention Center in Kennewick in lieu of $250,000 bond.

Court documents allege Sanchez was expecting his 18-year-old ex-girlfriend and 23-year-old new boyfriend at the park that Sunday night.

A witness reported seeing the couple walking from the river to a parking lot, when Sanchez got out of his car and attacked them, according to the charging documents.

The couple reported that Sanchez fired a few shots at the boyfriend.

When the girlfriend tried to arrest Sanchez, he allegedly pistol-whipped her. He then allegedly grabbed her and threw her in his car.

Witnesses said he got in and out of the car before firing more shots at the boyfriend, who was not seriously injured but may have been hit by bullet fragments or debris, according to the documents.

When Sanchez got back in the car, he allegedly kicked and punched his ex-girlfriend, witnesses said.

High speed pursuit

An officer found Sanchez’s car on Paul Parish Drive and signaled him to stop at the intersection of Hartford Drive and West Columbia Drive.

Sanchez sped the lead officers north to Pasco on Highway 395. Court documents say he continued east on Interstate 182 to Richland, turned around and s is directed to the west.

After returning to the freeway, he reached speeds of 100 to 120 mph, police said. And throughout the chase, he weaved through traffic and took multiple exits trying to get rid of chase officers.

Eventually, a Benton County Sheriff’s Deputy pulled Sanchez’s car to a stop on Jadwin Avenue.

Sanchez allegedly ran from the car and attempted to scale a fence, but was stopped by officers before he could get away, police said.

The former girlfriend got out of the car and was sobbing hysterically, documents show. She told officers that she repeatedly asked Sanchez to stop, but he did not.

After deputies forced the car to a stop, she grabbed the gun and hid it under the passenger seat.

Police found a 9mm Glock handgun in Sanchez’s car and several 9mm shell casings at the scene of the shooting.

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