Othello car thief shot at victim who followed them through Franklin County

OTHELLO, Wash. — Had a 45-year-old man who stole a car, shot at the pursuing victim, and led law enforcement on a high-speed chase through Franklin County not run out of gas, he might’ve gotten away with his crimes.

However, Tony Orlando Cantu of Othello was brought into custody after a lengthy, joint operation between Sheriff’s Offices from Franklin and Adams Counties.

Around 7:00 a.m. on Friday, April 1, an Othello resident observed someone stealing their car out of their driveway. They decided to follow behind in another car as they alerted Adams County authorities.

Deputies caught up to the suspect and the following victim as they left their region and entered Franklin County. At one point along the road, the suspect pulled over and exited their vehicle.

Cantu is accused of pulling out a handgun and firing at the pursuing victim, who was luckily uninjured. At that point, the suspect became wanted for felony assault—further intensifying the pursuit.

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After spraying gunfire at his target, Cantu allegedly got back in his car and sped off to Highway 17, which he used to connect to the southbound lanes of U.S. 395 near Mesa. The victim ended his pursuit and allowed law enforcement to take over as his car was towed away to be evaluated as part of the investigation.

The driver reportedly exceeded 100 miles per hour as he worked to evade both Franklin County and Adams County authorities. Near Eltopia-West and U.S. 395, the driver voluntarily suspended his chase. Deputies believe this was because he ran out of gas.

Cantu exited the vehicle with his hands up and turned himself over to law enforcement, who brought him into custody for felony charges that include possession of stolen property, eluding and assault. He was booked into the Franklin County Corrections Center.

Adams County Sheriff Dale Wagner told Franklin County authorities that this was just one of three vehicles stolen out of Othello in the past 24 hours.

Somewhere along the roadway, Adams County deputies recovered the gun that was used in this incident.


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