A 42-year-old Malaga man faces numerous charges after deputies say he drove away from a traffic stop in a stolen ATV and either pushed or drove the vehicle off a cliff and into the Columbia River.

They say they were trying to pull Ryan D. Welton over on the Malaga Alcoa Hwy. for driving without a helmet before confirming the red Honda ATV he was driving was reported stolen last month.

Deputies say they did not chase Welton because of current laws, but set a perimeter in the area and located the ATV upside down in the river.

The then located Welton hiding by a rock near the Malaga Alcoa Hwy. after being tipped off to his whereabouts by a reporting party.

Deputies say he was soaked from his knees down to his socks and missing both shoes.

They say Welton denied driving the ATV and claimed to have walked three miles down from his residence in his socks.

He faces charges for Eluding, Possession of a Stolen Vehicle as well as Driving while license suspended 1st degree and Ignition Interlock Violation.

The activity leading to Welton’s arrest took place between about 3:30-5:30pm Friday.

Paperwork asking for charges against Welton was filed in Chelan County Superior Court Monday.

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