YAKIMA, WASHINGTON — Prosecutor Joe Brusic announced no criminal charges will be filed in the fatal shooting at Randall Dog Park on February 5, 2023. The incident resulted in the death of 22-year-old Daniel Ortega.
Reports from that Sunday afternoon described Ortega as behaving erratically and aggressively, using profanity and appearing shirtless in cold weather. Witnesses said Ortega, mistakenly believing a child at the park was his son, aggressively approached the child and his father, Jason Telles. Despite Telles’ attempts to stop him, Ortega continued to advance, leading Telles to fatally shoot him when he came within three feet of Telles and his son.
Brusic concluded that Telles’ response was reasonable under the circumstances, as others might have reacted similarly. Toxicology reports showed Ortega had methamphetamine, fentanyl, and cannabinoids in his system.
After reviewing the case and consulting with colleagues, Brusic determined that it would be unlikely to prove the absence of self-defense beyond a reasonable doubt. This decision aligns with Washington State’s “no duty to retreat” law, which allows individuals to use force, including lethal force, in self-defense without the obligation to retreat, if they are in a lawful location such as Randall Dog Park.