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Yakima teen flees deputy, brags about it on Facebook, gets cited

YAKIMA - In a cyber world where people obsessively post the most mundane details of their lives, authorities say 19-year-old Justin West couldn't help but brag about a high-adrenaline dirt road escape from a Yakima County Sheriff's deputy.

Unfortunately, the East Valley motorcycle enthusiast has more than 800 followers on Facebook and an anonymous tip to deputies ultimately earned West citations for reckless driving and other infractions.

West is accused of eluding a deputy on the Roza Canal ditch road after the deputy attempted to stop him Friday for driving an off-road motorcycle in the 300 block of Terrace Heights Drive.

West was rousted out of bed at 4 a.m. Saturday by deputies with a search warrant and was cooperative after being shown a printout of his Facebook page, deputies said this week.

By the time deputies issued a new release on the incident Monday, boastful remarks about evading police on his Facebook profile were gone. However, his most recent status update at 6:47 p.m. Friday, about an hour before deputies spotted their suspect, reads, "time to ride!!!!"

In a news release, Deputy Chris Gray encouraged people to be aware of what they post online.

"Please be aware that there is little privacy in social networking," he wrote. "Intelligent use of media is suggested."

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