Editor’s note: Compiled from reports to Tacoma police.
Aug. 27: The Tacoma woman cranked the tunes and cruised downtown at 9:55 a.m., a blaring spectacle on a Monday morning.
A police officer parked near the U.S. Courthouse saw her coming and watched. The woman, 43, passed the officer, looked straight at him and flipped him off.
The officer pulled in behind her. The driver was grooving, “moving her head back and forth in a seated dancing gesture,” the report states.
She turned left on South 15th Street, headed up the hill. She changed lanes without a signal. The officer flashed his lights. The woman kept going. She turned right at Tacoma Avenue and pulled over.
The officer asked if she knew why he’d stopped her. She said no. He explained: loud music, no signal.
The woman said she’d filed a legal claim against the city and the cop was just harassing her. The officer returned to his car to check the driver’s information. A dispatcher said the woman had called 911 at that moment to complain about an officer harassing her. The officer wrote her a ticket for the loud music and gave her a warning for the illegal lane change.
Aug. 29: Another day, another sucker for an online ad. The 25-year-old Tacoma woman saw a Craigslist posting for a used Macbook, only $700. She called the listed number. The area code looked like it was from Vermont.
The seller advised her to buy a “Money Pack” from a local drugstore.
The woman bought the pack and called the seller with the code for the Money Pack. The seller thanked her and promised to deliver the Macbook. It never came, but her money was gone. She called the seller’s number again. No answer.
Sept. 2: The print, a framed image of Irish activist Michael Collins, was a fixture at Paddy Coyne’s, the downtown Irish pub on Pacific Avenue. It disappeared early Sunday, along with a quintet of mysterious patrons.
The server at the pub wrote the complaint that appears in the police report. She’d been handling a table with two women and three men, all around 30.
She’d served a last round: one Bud Light, four shots of Jack Daniel’s, and a Malibu rum shot.
About 1:15 a.m., the server noticed one of the men motioning to another to look at something she couldn’t see from her vantage point. At that moment, one of the women came to close the tab, paying with a credit card that had a man’s name on it – the name was tied to a Lacey address. The woman was about 5 feet, 4 inches and 145 pounds, with short, spiked reddish-brown hair.
The group melted away. Two minutes later, another server said the Michael Collins painting was gone. The server ran out the back door of the pub, but saw no one.
She suspected but could not prove that the group of patrons had pulled into the alley behind the bar, taken the painting and tossed it into an open trunk.
Two patrons with a military look, still sitting inside, said they knew the patrons who had left but couldn’t say how much they knew. The three men were “ghosts,” they said, assigned to Special Forces. The police report lists no further action.
Aug. 29: The milk was poisoned, the man said – so he stabbed it with a kitchen knife.
Officers responded to a report of a man with a knife at a grocery store in the 4000 block of South Tacoma Avenue. The report said the man was stabbing milk cartons and screaming.
The officer arrived and cautiously edged toward the dairy section. He saw a man crouched by aisle 9, near a cooler. A broken jug of milk left a puddle nearby. Puddles of milk and the remnants of other containers marked a trail along the aisle.
Two other officers joined in. They took the man down and cuffed him. He didn’t resist, but he wailed about the poisoned milk. No one was listening to him, he said.
The officer asked who had poisoned the milk. The man said he didn’t know.
Was anything else poisoned? The man said no – just the milk. He’d called the health department a day earlier to send out the warning but was told all the milk was safe.
The store’s dairy manager had a wet shirt. He said the man had thrown a carton of milk at him. A broken kitchen knife sat on the floor by the dairy case. The manager said that was the knife the man had been carrying.
The manager had confronted the man to stop him from stabbing the milk cartons, and threatened to call police. Hearing that, the man had stopped in his tracks. He sank to a kneeling position, almost praying, and said nothing more until police arrived.
The carton-slasher had a prior arrest warrant for trespassing. He was booked into the Pierce County Jail on suspicion of malicious mischief and possession of a dangerous weapon.