A judge on Monday set bail at $250,000 for a Yakima County man accused of holding two people at gunpoint last week, including a gas station cashier who police say he used as a shield.
Samuel Garcia, 21, of Zillah appeared Monday in Clark County Superior Court on suspicion of first-degree robbery, third-degree assault, resisting arrest and two counts each of first-degree kidnapping, second-degree assault and felony harassment. He was scheduled to make his first appearance Friday, but a corrections deputy testified that Garcia was too sick to appear in court. He is scheduled to be arraigned June 23.
Early Thursday morning, police say Garcia approached a 42-year-old man who was parked outside a convenience store in the Vancouver Heights neighborhood and asked him for a ride. The man agreed, and when Garcia got inside his car, Garcia pulled out a screwdriver and threatened him with it. Garcia demanded the man drive him around the city and also threatened him with a gun, according to a probable cause affidavit.
After four hours of driving, the man told Garcia he needed to stop for gas, court records state. They stopped at a Chevron at 12100 N.E. Fourth Plain Blvd., and Garcia followed the man toward the cashier. At one point, Garcia put his arm around the man and held a gun, which was concealed in a backpack, to his back, according to the affidavit.
When the man and Garcia walked back toward the pumps, he pushed Garcia to try to get away. The two fell to the ground fighting. The man broke away and ran inside the store, according to the affidavit. He yelled to the cashier to call 911 and locked himself inside the restroom.
Garcia then came inside the store, held the gun inside the backpack toward the cashier and told him he needed a ride, according to court records. When police arrived, Garcia ducked behind the cashier, the affidavit states, and used him as a shield while holding the concealed gun to his back.
Garcia refused to comply with orders to release the cashier, according to police, and “force was used to separate them.” He was taken to an area hospital to be treated for minor injuries and observed because of suspected drug use, according to the Vancouver Police Department.