A Mattawa man is accused of eluding deputies and being in possession of a stolen vehicle after a chase early Monday morning. 

A Grant County deputy says he was nearly hit by an oncoming vehicle that swerved into his lane, and then watched the vehicle run a stop sign. 

The deputy established reasonable suspicion for a DUI and began chasing the vehicle after it did not pull over for a traffic stop on State Route 243.  

The vehicle spun out near Road 24 SW, with the suspect fleeing on foot and losing sight of the deputy. 

Sheriff's office spokesperson Kyle Foreman says K9 Chewbacca was called to the scene where he tracked and located the suspect behind some bushes.  

"He's huge," said Foreman. "Usually, his presence is a deterrent if people can see him. However, in this case, he was able to track down the suspect, latch onto his arm and hold on until deputies were able to take him into custody." 

Foreman says 23-year-old Gerardo Romero of Mattawa was taken to Columbia Basin Hospital for a dog bite, and then taken to Grant County Jail. 

The vehicle Romero was driving turned out to be stolen out of the Tri-Cities area. 

He remains in Grant County Jail on suspicion of eluding and being in possession of a stolen vehicle. 

The incident took place at about 1:30am Monday. The deputy said he was forced off the roadway when the vehicle Romero is suspected of driving swerved into his lane. 

Foreman said Chewbacca was a force in keeping the suspect from escaping once he was found. "Chewbacca is enormous," Foreman said. So, once he latched on, you're not going anywhere. It would like trying to drag around a boat anchor."

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