Naked man shot by St. Paul cop is charged for sexual assault of ex-girlfriend

The 31-year-old suspect remains at Regions Hospital after being shot.
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A 31-year-old Apple Valley man who was naked when he allegedly jumped out of a dumpster and was shot by a police officer in St. Paul has been charged with numerous felonies following a sexual assault in Lakeville the same night. 

According to a criminal complaint, Joseph J. Washington assaulted his ex-girlfriend and posted a live video to her Facebook page while he repeatedly punched her in the shower while forcing her to perform oral sex on him. 

The complaint says the victim returned to her home in Lakeville on the evening of Nov. 28 and found Washington inside, at which point he became aggressive. He punched her in the face, causing her to fall and hit her head on a TV stand. He then dragged by the hair into the bathroom where he sexually assaulted her. 

Washington, who allegedly repeatedly threatened to stab the victim to death, is accused of dragging the victim into the garage and making her drive him – demanding that she speed and not stop for red lights. Every time the victim slowed down, Washington punched her while also putting a knife to her throat, the complaint says. 

Eventually, Washington grabbed the steering wheel and caused a crash in St. Paul. He then got out of the vehicle and ran away from the scene. He was naked when police found him behind a building in a dumpster, at which point he got out and ran toward officers. 

One officer deployed a Taser, another deployed her K9 partner and a third officer shot Washington, who as of Monday was still being treated at Regions Hospital in St. Paul. 

Forty-two seconds from a body camera video was released by St. Paul PD on Tuesday. In the video, an officer is heard commanding Washington to get out of the dumpster. When he does, he's told not to run. The officers retreat before shots are fired. Washington can be heard groaning and telling officers to get the K9 off of him.

Here is the bodycam footage (warning, it contains upsetting scenes):

According to multiple reports, the police officer who shot Washington, who was not armed during the encounter with police, has been fired. St. Paul PD has not confirmed the officer being fired, but Chief Todd Axtell on Tuesday said "swift" action was taken. 

The Bureau of Criminal Apprehension identified the officers involved in the incident on Monday: 

  • Officer Anthony Dean: a 6-year veteran who fired his handgun. 
  • Officer Jacob Pederson: a 6-year veteran who discharged his Taser. 
  • Officer Colleen Rooney: a 9-year veteran who deployed her K9.

Two other St. Paul officers, one who used a PepperBall and another who deployed a Taser, have yet to be identified. 

The BCA investigation found that after crashing the vehicle around 7:55 p.m. near the intersection of Rice Street and Maryland Avenue West, Washington broke into a St. Paul home. An investigation into what happened inside that home is ongoing, but it was after the break-in that Washington was found hiding in a dumpster in an alley on the 1000 block of Rice Street.

Washington has been charged in Dakota County District Court with three counts of first-degree criminal sexual conduct, one count of kidnapping, and one count of second-degree assault.

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