Fleeing suspect tased, arrested after pepper spraying officer in pursuit

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SOAP LAKE, Wash. — A Soap Lake police officer was able to take down a fleeing vehicle theft suspect after being pepper sprayed.

Officer Robert Geates was patrolling a neighborhood late Saturday night, when he saw a car blocking the roadway on Lakemoor Drive, with its lights off and two people standing by it.

According to police, Officer Geates was able to get one man to admit the car was stolen out of Ephrata, though he gave him a false name.

Officer Geates tried to arrest the man, later identified as Fernando Camarena, who took off running.

Camarena ran for several blocks, at one point spraying Officer Geates with pepper spray. Officer Geates then used a taser on Camerena, holding him while Ephrata Police and other units responded to help.

Both Officer Geates and Camarena were taken to Columbia Basin Hospital, the latter of whom was also treated for possibly consuming illegal substances.

Camerena was identified by his scars and tattoos, and after he gave his brother’s name.

Camerena was charged with second-degree felony assault, obstructing justice, resisting arrest and making false statements by Soap Lake Police, and Ephrata Police have charged him with theft of a motor vehicle. Camerena also had a felony warrant for his arrest from the Department of Corrections after