King County fugitive laughs, tells police he thought heroin was chocolate

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Derek Oatman


Derek Oatman

SEATTLE — King County sheriff’s detectives are asking for the public’s help to find Derek Oatman, a fugitive they worry has slipped back into drugs who could be a danger to themselves or someone else.

The 26-year-old has five warrants for his arrest for drugs and having a stolen car.

Investigators say he is likely staying in hotels or motels in the King County area.  He has convictions for third-degree theft, trafficking in stolen property and driving under the influence of drugs.

Kent police responding to a 911 call about a man asleep with food in his hands inside a Burger King on Jan. 28, 2013, found Oatman in the driver’s seat of a car with the engine running and a small child in a car seat in the back.  Oatman agreed to a field sobriety test, which he failed.

Officers said they found a prescription bottle in his jacket containing 3.5 grams of black tar heroin. When asked about it, police said, Bateman laughed and said, “That’ ain’t mine. I found it.” He then said that he “bought it from some guy at Winco. He told me it was chocolate.”

A blood test came back positive for heroin, morphine, benzodiazepines and opiates.

He was arrested again the next month by Renton police for possession of meth and heroin with intent to distribute.

Three months later, Renton police again arrested him for illegally having 20 tablets of Xanax.

On Jan. 3, 2014, Kent police were dispatched to the 10200 block of SE 208th St for a motorcycle accident.  The driver had fled. The 2003 BMW motorcycle turned out to be stolen from Federal Way in November 2013. Officers found Oatman a short distance away, scratched up and dirty.  Witnesses told police they saw him running from the accident. He was arrested for having the stolen motorcycle.

Detectives talked to Oatman last Friday, June 27, and he was supposed to get a new court date and contact them.

He didn’t, so now Crime Stoppers is offering a cash reward of up to $1,000 for information leading to his arrest. If you know where King County deputies can find him, call 1-800-222-tips. All calls are anonymous.

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