Fugitive wanted in possible 3-strikes case caught

EVERETT — A fugitive who could spend the rest of his life in prison was tracked to an apartment in Pierce County where he was arrested Monday.

Police began searching for Matthew Adam Propst, 28, after a woman reported being attacked and robbed by two men June 11. The incident occurred in the 22900 block of 76th Avenue W. The other man, 29, was arrested that day as he ran away.

The Snohomish County Violent Offender Task Force nabbed Propst in Lakewood.

The person he was staying with did not know he was on the lam, police said.

Propst reportedly had asked an acquaintance to find him a place stay.

“The task force had obtained information that Propst was hiding in an apartment of someone he didn’t even know in the City of Lakewood in Pierce County,” Edmonds police Sgt. Mark Marsh said.

“It was kind of a friend of a friend sort of thing,” Marsh said. “I’m guessing they weren’t really happy when they found out.”

Propst was arrested for investigation of first-degree robbery.

He’s accused of entering a woman’s car June 11, telling her to open the trunk and warning her, “Don’t do anything stupid.”

She attempted to drive forward, but was restrained.

That’s when Propst alledgedly punched her in the face and mouth more than once before she escaped. Propst also is accused of stealing her purse and her iPad tablet.

If he’s convicted of robbery, Propst likely will be sentenced to prison for the remainder of his life under the state’s three strikes law.

Propst last made headlines in 2010, when he used mace to attack a man who walked in on him while he was breaking into the victim’s home.

After the attack, police found Propst hiding in a large yard waste recycling bin.

He later pleaded guilty to first-degree burglary and second-degree unlawful possession of a firearm.

The firearm conviction came because he already was a felon, and was banned from having guns.

Propst in 2004 pleaded guilty to second-degree manslaughter in the shooting death of Andrew Russell Olsen, 19, of Lynnwood.

Propst and other young people had been drinking at an apartment in Lynnwood when the shooting occurred. Witnesses told police an intoxicated Propst started pointing the shotgun in Olsen’s direction. Multiple people at the apartment had been messing around with the gun at the time, including the victim.

Eric Stevick: stevick@heraldnet.com; 425-339-3446

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