Editor’s note: Compiled from Tacoma police reports. This edition of Police Beat, published after a three-week hiatus, reflects reports gathered since the end of October.
Oct. 26: The 40-year-old man had a choice between waiting and punching the guy in the wheelchair. Punching was faster.
The bus number was 507, running route 57. It stopped near St. Joseph Medical Center on South J Street.
A 70-year-old Olympia man wheeled toward the exit and waited for the ramp to lower. He had an appointment.
A 40-year-old man with dreadlocks and a black leather jacket wanted off the bus. He tried to squeeze past the older man, but the wheelchair was in the way.
The older man was annoyed. He told the 40-year-old to wait. The younger man lost his cool, punched the 70-year-old in the face, and walked away.
By the time a police officer arrived, the puncher was gone. A check of the area was fruitless. The bus driver backed up the older man’s account of the incident. The older man had a mark on his face; he said he’d have a doctor take a look at it.
Oct. 31: If it was mistaken identity, it was a big mistake.
Shoppers at a discount store in the 9800 block of Pacific Avenue were browsing when they heard a commotion out front. One man was attacking another. The attacker was 25, a Tacoma resident. The victim was 48 — a double amputee in a wheelchair.
The younger man pulled the older man out of the chair and punched him at least four times, witnesses said.
Officers arrived and checked the older man’s injuries. His cheek was swollen and he was bleeding behind one ear.
He didn’t know the attacker, who never said a word — just dragged him out of the chair and started whaling on him, the man said. Witnesses backed up the story. They said the attacker started walking away, but they’d made him come back to the store. The attacker said he wanted to go to jail, a witness said.
The younger man told officers the older man had done something to him years before. He didn’t say what it was. Officers booked him into the Pierce County Jail on suspicion of criminal assault.
Oct. 30: The medical marijuana delivery was supposed to be a two-month supply — a pound and a half. The 24-year-old Tacoma man could burn three ounces a week and still make it through Christmas.
It was a good-sized batch, maybe a bit too tempting. Officers figured that out when they responded to a reported armed robbery at the man’s apartment.
The 24-year-old said he’d been sitting with friends when his supplier, a 45-year-old Sumner man, arrived with the goods. The Sumner man said he’d worked with the younger man for some time.
Another man, a 29-year-old from Tacoma, had been hanging out when the delivery arrived. He’d seen the delivery, picked up the phone and told two other friends to come over.
The two friends came and brought guns. They told everyone to get on the floor, took the dope and left, warning that anyone who followed would be shot.
The scent was strong. The air in the house was thick and hazy. Officers spotted a bong on the coffee table. They found a third man in the kitchen. His speech was halting and slurred. The officers saw traces of white powder. The man said he’d been snorting Vicodin.
The 24-year-old said his wallet and cellphone had been taken. The older man, the supplier from Sumner, said his medical marijuana provider papers had been stolen.
Officers took descriptions of the suspects, checked the area and found nothing.
Nov. 13: The Tacoma man fell prey to the same poor-mouth story two days in a row.
He was 69. He lived in the 700 block of South Stevens Street. He told officers he’d been scammed by a 35-year-old man who came to his door Nov. 11 with a sad tale.
The younger man said he needed diapers for his little girl. The older man offered to pray with him, and drove him to a nearby grocery store.
The older man bought a box of diapers and six apples. He asked the younger man if he needed anything else. The younger man said he needed money: $60.
The older man took extra cash from the store transaction and gave his new friend $40. The man said he still needed $20 more.
The older man walked to a cash machine, inserted his card and punched in the numbers. Before he could finish, the younger man punched the keys for him. Now the withdrawal was $200.
The older man handed over all the money, and drove the younger man back home. On the way, the younger man asked to step out of the car and buy a hamburger.
The older man let him out. The younger man walked away. The older man waited 15 minutes. The younger man never came back.
The older man drove home. The next day, he heard a knock at his door. The younger man was back.
He said he had a money order and wanted to repay the older man. The older man agreed to drive the younger man to a bank — but this time he brought his wife, 72, along for the ride.
At the bank, the older man inserted his card and pressed the deposit button. The younger man handed him an envelope. The older man fed it to the machine. After that, he drove the younger man to Mary Bridge Children’s Hospital.
The next day, the older man’s bank called. His account was overdrawn. The envelope he’d deposited contained an I.O.U. and a receipt for a money order — but no money order.
Police filed the report under fraud.
Sean Robinson: 253-597-8486