Joshua Puente was out of jail only a few months before getting into another police pursuit, this one ending with a bullet fired into his hip by a veteran Tacoma police officer, reports say.
Puente, 26, was released from the hospital this week and on Friday was charged with attempting to elude a pursuing police vehicle, attempted theft of a motor vehicle and unlawful possession of a stolen vehicle.
The shooting capped an incident that started Sunday near South 48th and South Asotin streets when a woman recognized her stolen Honda Civic and called 911.
An officer responded and knocked on the door of the Honda, where Puente was sitting behind the wheel.
Puente drove away in a “reckless manner,” catching the attention of another officer passing by, according to charging papers.
Police lost sight of the Honday but quickly found it abandoned near South 47th Street and South Cushman Avenue after it crashed into a fence.
Recent snowfall allowed officers to follow a set of footprints back to where they’d initially spotted the stolen car. Puente was there and allegedly tried to carjack a woman before making a dash for a police detective’s SUV, which was still running.
The detective used a Taser on Puente, but the suspect was able to get into the front seat and press the gas pedal, according to court documents.
A short struggle involving Puente and three officers ended when he drove off with one officer still hanging on to the SUV.
The SUV crashed into a porch in the 1600 block of South 47th Street after an officer shot Puente in the hip.
Two officers suffered minor injuries during the tussle, police spokesman Loretta Cool said.
The department has not named the officer involved in the shooting but said he is 61 years old and has worked there for 25 years. He remains on administrative leave while the investigation unfolds, which is standard procedure.
In September, Puente was sentenced to six months in jail after pleading guilty to fleeing from Lakewood police and crashing head-on into another vehicle.
Stacia Glenn: 253-597-8653