Editor’s note: Compiled from reports to Tacoma Police.
Oct. 19: Once a con, always a con.
The 75-year-old Tacoma man talked to his old friend. The friend had a son who’d recently finished a prison stint. The son knew an ex-inmate who claimed to be worth billions and wanted to share.
Intrigued, the older man and his old friend drove over the mountains to talk to the self-proclaimed billionaire. The tycoon talked big. He showed documents from a bank. The papers looked real.
The billionaire talked of his plans. He wanted to start some financial projects. Maybe the older men could help. The billionaire sent the older man a package. Inside was a check for $1 million, addressed to the older man.
The older man took the check to his bank. A teller told him the check was fraudulent. The older man called police.
An officer asked for information about the alleged billionaire. A records check opened a window to the past. The billionaire had been convicted in the 1990s for passing bad checks. The officer filed the report under fraud.
Oct. 17: Drug deals are always dicey. Conducting them in the woods doesn’t help.
The Tacoma man was looking for a heroin fix. He was 25 and had $25. He agreed to meet his contact in a scrubland just north of the 2800 block of Pacific Avenue, where a bridge crosses I-5.
The contact was a 40-year-old woman who wore a black leather jacket. She brought someone with her: a 40-year-old man, also wearing a black leather jacket. They arrived in a gray, four-door sedan.
The younger man figured the guy in the leather jacket was bringing the drugs, but Leather Jacket looked at him and said he didn’t have any. The younger man tried to run and fell.
Leather Jacket caught up and started yelling, beating the younger man with a thick-gauge metal chain. Where was the money?
The younger man gave up the money. Leather Jacket hit him a few more times, got into the sedan and left.
The injured man walked in a daze, down the hill toward downtown. A witness spotted him and called 911. Officers arrived and found emergency medical technicians treating the man’s wounds. Most were defensive: forearms and hands, and one on the head.
The younger man didn’t want to say much, but the story soon spilled out. He knew his contact by sight, but not by name. He said he’d recognize the man who hit him, but didn’t know if he wanted to testify against him.
An area check led nowhere. Officers filed the report as an aggravated assault and robbery.
Oct. 16: The fight started over a transient’s wallet. The transient was a woman, 37, known to police from past contacts.
She’d been sitting on the sidewalk in the 2500 block of South C Street when four transients surrounded her. She’s seen one of them before – a 50-year-old man pushing a bicycle who sometimes flopped at the Tacoma Rescue Mission.
The woman rose when the group approached. Her wallet was on the ground where she’d been sitting. One of the transients picked it up. The group kept walking. The woman followed, and confronted the thief. He gave her the contents of the wallet, but not the wallet itself.
The woman carried a mobile phone. She took it out and started taking pictures of the group. The 50-year-old didn’t like that. According to the police report, he shouted at her, “Give me your phone, bitch.”
The 50-year-old knocked the woman down and punched her. A passing driver saw the commotion, honked her horn and called 911. The transients scattered, leaving the woman behind.
An emergency medical crew arrived first, followed by officers. It took a while to piece the woman’s story together. She rambled and talked to herself.
Officers learned more of the story from another transient, who’d been sleeping nearby. The fight woke him. He said he saw the 50-year-old kicking the woman on the ground.
Officers circled back to the Rescue Mission, looking for signs of the bike-riding assailant. The mission was closed. The report was filed as an assault.
Sean Robinson: 253-597-8486