Police find drugs, gun allegedly stashed by suspect

EVERETT — A Duvall man accused of trying to run down a Bothell police officer last month reportedly ditched a backpack stuffed with drugs and a loaded handgun before his capture.

Detectives say they found heroin, methamphetamine, marijuana and a loaded semiautomatic gun in a backpack that Joseph Medoro was seen carrying while running from pursuing police.

Prosecutors on Friday charged Medoro, 31, with second-degree assault on a police officer, attempting to elude police and unlawful gun possession. He made a brief appearance Monday in Snohomish County Superior Court, where he pleaded not guilty to the charges.

Medoro is an 11-time convicted felon with a long history of running from the cops. Prosecutors say his latest attempt to outrun police happened July 17, when a Bothell police officer stopped the driver of a Pontiac Grand Am for having an expired registration.

The officer recognized the driver right away. He said Medoro is someone he’d investigated in the past, according to court papers. At the time of the stop, Medoro also was the subject of a police bulletin out of Kirkland.

The bulletin advised officers that Medoro and his girlfriend were wanted on felony charges and also were believed to be involved in a series of burglaries. The bulletin said that Medoro should be considered armed and dangerous, and warned that he typically tries to outrun police, Snohomish County deputy prosecutor Laura Twitchell wrote in charging papers.

The officer immediately requested backup and parked his patrol car in front of the wanted man’s car. The officer pulled his gun and walked around the back of his patrol car. That’s when Medoro reportedly sped backward. With tires squealing, Medoro reportedly drove up and over a curb. The officer shouted for him to stop.

Instead of heeding the officer’s commands, Medoro allegedly drove at the Bothell cop.

The officer ran for cover and fired one shot at the moving Pontiac. The bullet hit the driver’s door, but missed the suspect.

Medoro sped off and the officer chased him. Police said Medoro ran red lights and swerved into oncoming traffic.

Pursuing police officers lost sight of the vehicle, but later found it running and empty in a residential neighborhood.

A witness told officers that she saw a man in red, carrying a backpack, run from the car and cross the street.

A police dog found Medoro hiding in a wooded area a few blocks from the getaway car.

The defendant was carrying nearly $4,000, court papers said. An Everett police dog detected the smell of drugs on the cash.

A few days later, a man called police about a backpack found in the backyard of a house near where Medoro was arrested.

Inside was Medoro’s wallet. Detectives also found more than a half of a pound of heroin and a loaded handgun, meth, marijuana, scales and other drug paraphernalia in the pack, Twitchell wrote.

At the time of his arrest, Medoro was wanted for failing to report to his community corrections officer. He has numerous convictions for drug and property crimes along with three felony convictions for running from police.

He was being held in the Snohomish County Jail on $100,000 bail.

Diana Hefley: 425-339-3463; hefley@heraldnet.com.

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