WashCo Deputies Search For Man Who Jumped in River After Fleeing

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The Washington County Sheriff’s Office is continuing the search for a man they say jumped into a river after running from deputies.  
 
Since Wednesday, search and rescue teams have been at White River  looking for 35 year old James Valles. 
 
Deputies say what was a simple roadside car check, quickly escalated into something more. 
 
“Dead or alive we want to have him back.”  said Daniel Lete,  the brother of Valles. 
 
The family of missing 35 year old, James Valles is turning to deputies for answers. 
 
According to the Washington County Sheriff’s Office, Just after midnight on Wednesday, a Washington County deputy noticed a car on the side of the road by Twin Bridges near Goshen. No one was in the car, but the deputy says he heard something under the bridge.
 
“He walked down to check under the bridge. The subject ran off from him, he pursued that subject. Couldn’t find him. He walked around to the bridge again underneath and found another individual.” said Lt. Oscar Henson, with the Washington County Sheriff’s Office. 
 
According to the deputy, 2 people were under the bridge. The second person he encountered was identified as James Valles who also took off running. 

“The officer tased him, he fell. When he rolled he broke the leads to the taser so the taser was no longer effective so he took off running again.” said Lt. Henson.
 
Deputies say they don’t know why Valles fled. But after running, he then jumped into Richland Creek and that’s where he was last seen.   
 
“We found a jacket in the river which was identified as James’ jacket. In the jacket was a cell phone.” said Lt. Henson.
 
Valles spent time in jail for possession of meth back in 2017. Family members say they’re aware of his past but running from cops seems out of character.
 
 “He does have a history of certain things but not like this. I’ve never known him to run from a police officer. I’ve never known him to be aggressive.” said Lete. 

Reporter: When you guys do find him what kind of charges will you be facing?
Lt. Henson: I’m not worried about any charges right now, we’re worried about finding him.
 
According to the Washington County Sheriff’s Office, most of the search and rescue crews that were out on Monday are volunteers from the Urban Search and Rescue group.
 
They are about to wind down the efforts since they are running out of places to search.  
 

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