Pair of JBLM soldiers accused of robbing, kidnapping pizza delivery driver at gunpoint
OLYMPIA, Wash. — Two service members stationed at Joint Base Lewis-McChord are accused of robbing and kidnapping a 19-year-old pizza delivery driver at gunpoint early Sunday morning, Olympia police said.
The Olympia Police Department said officers stopped a wrong-way driver on State Avenue Northeast at 12:45 a.m. and found a kidnapping victim bound in the back of the car.
“The officer was just going through some routine driver’s license and registration kind of questions but just felt something wasn’t right,” said Lt. Paul Lower, with Olympia PD.
“The hair on the back of his neck kind of rose. He started to recognize the driver was being overly friendly. Then he noticed the back two passengers weren’t making eye contact with him,” Lower said.
Lower said the officer called for backup. Another officer who arrived on scene noticed a young man in the backseat – wearing a Domino’s shirt – had his hands, zip tied.
“And suddenly we had a full on kidnap robbery on our hands that we just interrupted,” Lower said.
Court documents state 20-year-old Jonathan Medina and 19-year-old Daniel Cano-Real were at a Tacoma hookah lounge when Medina brought up the idea of robbing someone. The documents said the two men then drove around Olympia when they spotted a Domino’s Pizza delivery driver off Devoe Street Northeast.
Cory Henderson says he had just finished eating his pizza dinner when a neighbor called to say a Domino’s car was in the ditch. Henderson actually drives a tow truck and said he was just about to offer help when Olympia police arrived.
“They said ‘don’t touch it, it’s a crime scene,’ and I’m like what?” Henderson said.
Investigators said Cano-Real told them they blocked the driver’s car, forced him out at gunpoint, and then searched the car. Cano-Real then told investigators when a truck passed them they zip-tied the driver and fled the area. In the court documents, Cano-Real admitted to holding a gun to the delivery driver while Medina drove around before Olympia police pulled them over.
“The officers asked everybody to step out and when they were able to separate everybody, the victim just broke down,” Lt. Lower said. “The victim was exceptionally traumatized and super thankful.”
Police say they found a black semi-automatic pistol stolen out of Tacoma PD’s jurisdiction, a knife, ski mask, gloves and zip ties in the car. Officers also recovered a gun.
KIRO 7 reached out to Joint Base Lewis-McChord about the service members accused in the robbery and kidnapping. A spokesperson issued a statement: “We are aware of the arrest of two Service Members on March 28th. Both service members are assigned to I Corps, with duty at Joint Base Lewis-McChord. We will continue to monitor the situation and provide Olympia Police Department with any assistance they require from us.”
A judge handed down a $150,000 bond for both men and they are due back in court on April 13.
Police said the victim is safe and not injured. Lower said the victim did not know the suspects.
Written by KIRO 7 TV reporter Deedee Sun