IPD nabs violent robbers

November 11, 2008

By Kathleen R. Merrill

Two Issaquah men have been charged with first-degree robbery for beating and tying up a cab driver they lured to a darkened area in the Overdale Park neighborhood in Issaquah early Oct. 2, according to charging documents from the King County Prosecutor’s Office.

Jeffrey P. Evans, who turned 22 the day of the robbery, and Matthew A. Richard, 19, will be arraigned Nov. 17. Evans is being held in lieu of $50,000 bail in the King County Jail; Richard is being held there also, without bail.

Issaquah police were called to the area at 4:18 a.m., where they found the cab driver with his wrists bound together with zip ties and clear tape. He was evaluated and released by Eastside Fire & Rescue medics.

According to the charging papers and police documents:

At 3:15 a.m., the driver was called to an area in the 5100 block of 232nd Avenue After getting lost a few times, he found the location and met a man who had three bags. The driver loaded one of the bags into the trunk and when he turned to get the other two, two men came out of the bushes, both armed with handguns and both with bandannas covering all but their eyes. One of the men also had brass knuckles.

They pointed the guns at the cab driver and told him “give me everything.” He handed one of them $150 he had in his shirt pocket and was ordered to get on the ground. One of the men kicked him in the shoulder and leg, and another tied his hands together with the zip ties.

One of the men then took the keys out of the cab’s ignition and a Nokia cell phone from the cab’s console, and left the driver there. The driver was able to pull his wrists apart and get a spare key hidden in the cab. He drove to a nearby residence and asked a person there to call 911.

While interviewing the driver, police learned that one of the cab’s tires was flat; the driver said the men stabbed it.

Police found a Motorola cell phone in the road at the robbery site, listed as belonging to Evans. They also checked the number from the call that summoned the driver to Issaquah.

While police had the Motorola cell phone, it was receiving calls from Richard and the man who had summoned the cab.

While officers were canvassing the neighborhood at 8 a.m., they saw Evans and Richard walking in the area.

The cab driver was unable to identify Evans in a lineup. Nor was he able to identify the man who owned the phone that had been used to call for the cab.

A search of Evans’ and Richard’s residence turned up a blue bandanna and a pair of brass knuckles. No handgun has been found.

The man who called for the cab has not been charged, Issaquah Police Chief Paul Ayers said.

Evans’ criminal history includes convictions for residential burglary, second-degree burglary, reckless burning, criminal trespass, malicious mischief, assault and reckless driving. Richard doesn’t have a criminal history, according to the charging papers.

Reach Editor Kathleen R. Merrill at 392-6434, ext. 227, or editor@isspress.com.

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