How Lynnwood police volunteers helped catch a murder suspect

You’ve probably seen them around town in their yellow and black uniforms — volunteers with the Lynnwood Police Citizens Patrol. They usually work in teams of two, patrolling the streets of Lynnwood at night and on weekends to help spot DUIs, stolen vehicles and suspicious activity. They also direct traffic at accident scenes, ride police bikes on the bike trails and parks, and write disabled parking citations. But early on Friday morning they helped catch a murder suspect.

Police were investigating a fight that led to one man’s death at the Heather Ridge Apartments at 204th Street SW and 68th Avenue West. Officers had cordoned off the area with crime tape while they processed the scene.

Just after 1 a.m., a black Volkswagen Jetta was seen driving slowly near the perimeter on the crime scene. Lynnwood PD volunteers had been controlling driveways to the apartment complex. They waved a flashlight at the car and it stopped in the street. According to court documents, the volunteers observed what appeared to be a large amount of dried blood on the front seat passenger and they believed the driver was intoxicated. They also said the back passenger appeared to have cuts on him. Officers detained the three suspects, who were later identified by witnesses as being involved.

Trudy Dana with Lynnwood PD’s Crime Prevention Office had high praise for the volunteers. “It was really something. Their experience, strong observation skills, calmness and correct action really made a difference.”

The murder happened after a group of men were drinking beer at the apartment complex. An argument led to a physical fight, and the victim was stabbed in the neck with a broken beer bottle, severing his carotid artery, according to court documents. 20-year-old Francisco Rubio-Diaz is being held for investigation of second-degree murder. He made his first court appearance on Friday.

To learn more about the Citizens Patrol, contact Trudy Dana at 425-670-5637 or tdana@ci.lynnwood.wa.us.

Image courtesy of Lynnwood PD.

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