SWAT team arrests DUI driver near Granger after hour-long standoff

GRANGER, Wash. – Washington State Patrol called in the Yakima County SWAT team on Thursday night after chasing down an intoxicated driver who refused to get out of his car.

According to Trooper Chris Thorson with WSP, 54-year-old Serafin Mendez of Seattle was spotted speeding westbound on I-82 near Granger around 9:30 p.m.

A chase ensued after a trooper tried to pull over Mendez for speeding. The chase came to an end about eight miles west of Toppenish where troopers had set up spike strips.

Westbound lanes were temporarily blocked as troopers tried to get Mendez to get out of the car. Because they didn’t know if he was armed, troopers called in the Yakima County SWAT team to assist.

For about an hour, officers tried to negotiate with Mendez. A sergeant out of Yakima obtained his phone number to speak with him.

Because he wouldn’t comply, officers shot at the car using “less lethal rounds” (bean bag rounds) which broke the window. They also used pepper spray and a police K9 was deployed.

By about 10:50 p.m., Mendez was taken into custody. Officers discovered that he was not armed with a weapon.

Mendez was booked into jail for DUI, felon eluding, and driving while license revoked. He already had multiple felony DUI warrants out for his arrest, according to Trooper Thorson.

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