Journalism. We believe it should help you live a better life.

That’s why we spend a lot less time on publishing mug shots and a lot more time helping you understand the employment market, figure out how to spend more time with friends and family with our events calendar, and what you can do to help businesses that have opened up. Make no mistake…we aren’t shy. We tackle the big stuff, like COVID and issues around race.

And if you believe in the value of journalism — that it should help, not exploit — please consider becoming a paid member of the Racine County Eye today. We can’t do this work without you.

A 34-year-old Racine man who exchanged gunfire with a Racine police officer Wednesday faces a number of felony charges.

Joseph C. Washington is charged with two felony counts of discharging a firearm from a vehicle, possession of a firearm by a felon, attempting to flee or elude an officer and possession of marijuana.

Washington, who is being held in the Racine County Jail on a $100,000 cash bond, also is charged with misdemeanor counts of possession of a firearm while intoxicated and obstructing an officer.

Read more: Racine man apprehended following an officer-involved shooting.

The felony charges carry a total fine of $85,000 and 38 years, six months in prison. The misdemeanors carry a fine of $20,000 and one year, six months in the county jail.

According to the criminal complaint:

An officer on patrol in the area of 11th and Villa streets heard gunshots as he traveled north. The officer exchanged shots with the defendant, who fled in his vehicle, in reverse, from the area east on 11th Street to College Avenue. The vehicle was abandoned, and the defendant fled on foot before he was apprehended by police with the use of a Taser and a K9 unit.

Police found a firearm, a magazine and a loose round in the backyard of a residence on College Avenue, along with a potted plant that had been damaged.

A check of footage from the officer’s squad car revealed that Washington shot his firearm twice in close proximity to the officer, who then returned fire. Police spoke with the defendant at the hospital, who stated he had been intoxicated the previous night and could not remember any of the events. A portable breath test revealed a blood alcohol content of .081.

During a search of the defendant’s vehicle, police also located approximately an ounce of marijuana. The vehicle’s owner, Washington’s cousin, stated she had loaned her vehicle to him and that he had not returned it.

Washington is due back in Racine County Circuit Court on June 20 for a 9 a.m. preliminary hearing.


Since you’re here…

We have a favor to ask. We want access to our stories to remain free for everyone, so we haven’t put up a paywall to block our content. But we need your help! Producing our content requires lots of hard work and money, but we believe it’s 100% worth it and so we’re inviting you to support our mission by funding it.

Also, Racine County Eye received an investigative journalism grant from the Local Independent Online News publishers’ association and the Ethics & Excellence in Journalism Foundation. Now we are looking for our community to match this $1,500 grant. Please consider making your contribution today at either $5, $10 or $20/month. We’ve got goodies galore for you too. Interested, click here.


More stories:

Rollover crash results in man’s arrest for drunk driving


Looking for a deal?

0% APR for 72 Months* on Minimum Purchase of $625+. Lowest Monthly Payments Ever- Starting at $9 a Month. Shop Now at MattressFirm.com!

Save $10 when you book online. 1-800-GOT-JUNK? makes the ordinary business of junk removal exceptional. We create space and peace of mind when junk gets in the way. Whether it’s an unwanted sofa, a pile of household junk in the garage, or a warehouse full of unused office furnishings, 1-800-GOT-JUNK? removes it for you. In keeping with our environmental goals to divert items from the landfill, wherever possible, we will donate items to charity and recycle.

Denise Lockwood has an extensive background in traditional and non-traditional media. She has written for Patch.com, the Milwaukee Business Journal, Milwaukee Magazine and the Kenosha News.