Bothell man shot by Kirkland police released on bond, was allegedly engaging in prostitution

Kirkland Police Department - Contributed art
Kirkland Police Department
— image credit: Contributed art

The man who was shot by a Kirkland police officer late Monday night was released from the hospital and charged with second-degree robbery and second-degree assault.

Joseph K. Rundlette, 25, of Bothell was released from Harborview Medical Center Wednesday and booked into the King County Jail following surgery to remove a bullet from his left shoulder, according to charging documents. Prosecutors requested bail to be set at $100,000 and Rundlette posted bond Thursday evening and will return to court Oct. 4 for arraignment.

The incident began when the female victim arrived at the Motel 6 with a male friend and allegedly posted an ad as an escort on Around 10:19 p.m. she began to receive phone calls from a man identifying himself as Joe, asking to meet with her. Rundlette arrived at the motel at about 11 p.m. The man allegedly gave her $160 in cash in exchange for sex, according to charging documents.

“Since the event occurred between the two of them and we did not witness and can’t prove that, she was not arrested,” said Kirkland Police Lt. Mike Murray.

Rundlette, who told officers he expressed his disappointment with the encounter, attempted to take the woman’s purse. The woman fought with him for control of the purse when he allegedly began to strangle her. The woman gave up the purse and Rundlette ran to the parking lot, the documents continued.

The woman, with only pants on, gave chase and began screaming for help. Three officers, hearing the calls for help from the adjacent Office Max parking lot, rushed to the scene and one radioed there was a disturbance at 11:19 p.m. She spotted two Kirkland patrol cars and yelled at the first officer she saw “him, it’s him!” while pointing at Rundlette. One of the officers yelled to the man to “stop!” several times. Rundlette ignored the order, got into his Jeep Cherokee and began to drive off. Rundlette would later tell investigators at that point he knew he was “in trouble,” the documents continued.

The officers gave chase, two on foot and one in a patrol car. Rundlette allegedly turned the Jeep’s lights off. One officer attempted to deploy a spike strip but was unsuccessful. Rundlette later told investigators he had the intent of “getting away” and that he did not want to stop and was intent in escaping, the documents continued.

With a patrol car behind him and two officers at the exit ahead, Rundlette allegedly accelerated to between 40 and 60 mph, according to four witnesses and the officers.

With approximately 10 feet between himself and the speeding Jeep, one of the officers fired a single round from his gun, striking Rundlette in the shoulder as he dove out of the way, the documents continued.

Murray said that this is the first police-involved shooting in Kirkland since the 1970s.

Rundlette later told investigators that he reverted back to his Army training to “evade escape.”

With one patrol car in pursuit, the suspect drove about a block-and-a-half away, before allegedly losing control of the Jeep and flipping it to its side. Rundlette exited the Jeep and allegedly began to run from the scene but was apprehended a short distance away, according to the charging documents. The man was transported to Harborview.

Upon investigation, detectives allegedly found the woman’s purse and the cell phone used to call the woman, in the Jeep, the documents continued.

Investigators originally asked for first-degree assault in investigation documents.


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