Crime

Man charged with kidnapping a Tri-Cities reporter for money. Police say he used a toy gun

Washington state crimes by the numbers

The Washington Association of Sheriffs and Police Chiefs 2017 Crime in Washington Annual Report details crimes against persons, property and society statistics from agencies that serve about 92% of the state.
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The Washington Association of Sheriffs and Police Chiefs 2017 Crime in Washington Annual Report details crimes against persons, property and society statistics from agencies that serve about 92% of the state.

A 19-year-old man remains locked up on $500,000 bail one week after he allegedly went on a two-day violent crime spree in Kennewick.

Karlo D. Medina appeared Tuesday in Benton County Superior Court for charges involving the carjacking of a Tri-City television reporter who was on assignment.

Medina also had a court hearing Friday on allegations he forced his way into a woman’s apartment a day before the alleged incident involving the reporter.

He now has two separate cases with a total of three felonies: first-degree burglary, attempted first-degree robbery and second-degree kidnapping.

On Aug. 26, a woman was in the bathroom of her North Kent Street home at 8 a.m. when she heard a knock at the front door. She opened the door slightly and saw a man wearing a burgundy and gray striped beanie under a hooded sweatshirt.

The stranger asked about people in a neighboring home and, when the woman said she didn’t know, the man pushed his way inside, court documents said.

The 21-year-old woman screamed as she was shoved to the ground, where the intruder started to assault her. He told her to “shut the f--- up” and hit her on the arms, chest and head, documents said.

Woman attacked

The man tried to close the front door but the woman blocked it with her foot, reportedly causing injury to a toe. She continued to fight back, leading the suspect to run away.

Kennewick detectives discovered that Medina — who matched the description of the alleged Kent Street attacker — lived nearby and had previously harassed someone at that same address, court documents said.

As police searched the area for him, one of Medina’s relatives provided officers with a family photo from which the victim identified Medina as the man who forced his way into her home, documents said.

The following morning, a female reporter with KNDU, the NBC station in the Tri-Cities, got back into her car after setting up her equipment to cover the Kennewick teachers strike.

She was in the parking lot at the Kennewick School District administration building on West Fourth Avenue between 5:30 and 6 a.m.

That’s when a man got into the back seat of her car, pointed a gun near her head, told her to “shut the f--- up” and threatened to shoot her if she didn’t start driving, court documents said.

Two incidents in two days

The 22-year-old woman asked what he wanted, and the carjacker replied that he was after money, documents said.

She drove just a few feet when the man told her to stop and “became upset about the possibility of (the reporter) calling the police.”

He got out of the car and ran across Fourth Avenue toward an apartment complex.

Detectives got surveillance video from the school district building and found footage of a man standing outside the car. He allegedly matched the description given by the woman.

A police dog tracked the man to a specific apartment at 1001 W. Fourth Ave.

Investigators got a search warrant and, after a short standoff, went inside and arrested Medina that same day.

A witness told detectives that Medina “had said that he had cracked a news reporter and needed to hide a toy gun,” court documents said.

A search of the apartment after Medina’s arrest turned up a gray and maroon Washington State University beanie that was similar to the one worn by the burglary suspect in the first crime.

They also found a toy gun that Medina is believed to have used on the reporter, documents said.

Medina’s bail is set at $250,000 on each case.

Kristin M. Kraemer covers the judicial system and crime issues for the Tri-City Herald. She has been a journalist for more than 20 years in Washington and California.
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