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UPDATE: Prosecutor says jealousy behind I-90 road rage case
The King County Prosecutor's Office alleges jealousy was a contributing factor in the Jan. 15 two-vehicle rollover on Interstate 90 in Bellevue, where one man is charged with ramming into his girlfriend's car multiple times at more than 100 mph while another man was behind the wheel.
Desi C. Beltran, 29, is facing two counts of second-degree assault and one count of second-degree assault (domestic violence) after he allegedly waited for his girlfriend's vehicle to pass by his along I-90 and instigated a high-speed chase, striking Karen M. Hardtke's Ford Freestyle multiple times before it and his Ford Explorer wrecked in Bellevue.
According to police reports, Hardtke was with a friend, Hugo Yanez, at a casino before driving to Cle Ellum to pick up her 2-year-old son from her mother. Yanez offered to drive the vehicle, but was told to avoid being seen by Hardtke's mother, who reportedly told authorities the 2-year-old was snatched from her arms by Yanez before recanting her story.
Beltran told police following his arrest he had learned from Hardtke's mother that she had been there with another man and suspected his girlfriend of cheating on him, according to court records. He said he waited for Hardtke's Freestyle to pass his vehicle westbound on I-90 before pursuing the vehicle, alleging it was Yanez who hit the brakes causing him to strike the rear of the vehicle. However, multiple witnesses and Yanez reported Beltran had been trying to run the car off the road.
Eastside Fire and Rescue removed Hardtke and her son from the Freestyle following the collision, but they declined medical treatment. Yanez allegedly fled the scene for fear of being arrested on multiple outstanding warrants and was later taken into custody. Prosecutors are awaiting a case from the Washington State Patrol for him.
Hardtke is set for arraignment on Feb. 4.