One of Washington’s Most Wanted Snared Outside Union Gap
Thanks to multiple law enforcement agencies working together, a very dangerous criminal and one of Washington's Most Wanted fugitives has been captured and is now behind bars.
Johnathan Vargas had been using a police scanner to assist him staying one step ahead of law enforcement and eventual capture since a May 30, 2017 incident that led to the issue of multiple warrants for his arrest.
With the assistance of members of the Yakima SWAT Team, the Pacific Northwest Violent Offender Task Force (VOTFU) spotted Vargas driving in the Union Gap area and attempted to stop him. He began to drive erratically weaving in and out of traffic at over 100 mph for more than ten miles through the lower valley while at times driving on the shoulder of the roadway to elude capture while deputies and officers maintained pursuit.
In his attempt to flee, he left the roadway and entered into an orchard. His car crashed into trees bordering a residence where he got out of the car and proceeded on foot to force his way into an empty house. The homeowner was outside and was a total stranger to Vargas. After an hour-long standoff, with the residence completely surrounded, Vargas exited the home without incident and was taken into custody.
Vargas can add charges of obstructing law enforcement, attempting to elude law enforcement, hit and run, driving while license suspended, residential burglary and unlawful possession of a firearm to the already lengthy list of charges that include: Armed Robbery, Kidnapping, 1st Degree Assault, Felon in possession of a firearm, unlawful possession of a firearm and eluding.
Assisting in the apprehension of Vargas:
Yakima County Sheriff's Office, Yakima SWAT, Yakima Police Department, Yakama Tribal Police Department, Washington State Patrol, Wapato Police Department and Lower Valley District Five Fire.