A traffic stop Friday night was anything but routine when the driver turned out to be a fugitive from a 1988 murder case in Wisconsin.
At 7:44 p.m., a Bellevue patrol officer stopped the driver of a pickup truck in the area of 124th Avenue Northeast and Northeast Eighth Street. for having a license plate light out.
A records check revealed the driver, a 42-year-old Bellevue man, was wanted on a misdemeanor warrant for driving with a suspended license. The officer took the suspect into custody and transported him to Bellevue City Hall for booking, to include fingerprinting and photographing. The suspect was then transported to Issaquah jail to await a court appearance.
At about 11 p.m. that same evening, the FBI notified Bellevue Police that the suspect's fingerprints matched those of a Wisconsin man charged with murder in Beloit in 1988. A warrant for the man, under the name Ezequiel Lopez Zavala, was issued in 1993.
The suspect was transferred from Issaquah to the King County Jail to await extradition to Wisconsin by the FBI.
According to the report from the traffic stop, the suspect moved to Washington about 15 years ago, and had lived here ever since under the name Juan Gonzales-Pulido. He had minor brushes with law enforcement during that time, mainly traffic-related, but nothing so serious that he had to be booked and fingerprinted.
Return to News Release Index