Police Beat: An angry ex, brawling brothers, and a drug-fueled joy ride

Staff writerJune 22, 2013 

Editor’s note: compiled from reports to Tacoma Police.

June 17: The Tacoma man dumped his wife of 18 years, but decided to take her back. His new girlfriend wasn’t happy.

She was 21 and hot-tempered. Officers found her in the 7200 block of South Warner Street, after responding to a reported assault.

The victim was the scorned wife, 49. She said her husband, 42, recently made her move out after meeting the girlfriend in a grocery store.

The new relationship didn’t work out. The man called his wife and said he wanted her to come back. The older woman returned to South Warner, and found the girlfriend in the way.

A neighbor watched the confrontation through a window and gave police a blow-by-blow. The girlfriend threw a rock at the wife and missed. She closed in and punched the older woman in the face. The neighbor went outside and broke up the fight.

The husband and wife, seemingly reconciled, walked back into the house. Officers cuffed the girlfriend and booked her into the Fife City Jail on suspicion of misdemeanor assault.

June 16: Fighting the security guard wasn’t smart, but the 23-year-old Graham man discovered a new level of dumb when he cracked a cop in the jaw.

The action unfolded at the Encore Club, downtown at 1025 Pacific Avenue. Two Tacoma police officers were working an off-duty security detail when a fight broke out on the dance floor.

The club was packed and loud, a scrum of pushing and shoving with the Graham man at the center. The officers made their way through the crowd and saw the man on the floor, held down by a security guard.

The Graham man wore a white tank top. He was 23. He bucked and flailed.

“Stop resisting – security!” the security guard shouted. Tank Top ignored him and kept wrestling.

The officers took over. One gave him a stun gun shot. Tank Top eased off a little. The security guard stood up and stepped back.

Tank Top rose before the officers could cuff him and started swinging. He caught the officer flush on the jaw.

The security guard tackled Tank Top, who got another stun gun shot. The officers wrestled him outside, announcing themselves as police. Tank Top paid no attention. He struggled and fought as a second officer cuffed him and sat him on the curb. By now, four officers were handling the scene.

Meanwhile, security guards escorted three more men out of the club. They were Tank Top’s brothers. One was 27. One was 20. One was 18. One of the younger men carried fake ID. The 18-year-old said he snuck in.

The brothers said they started fighting because they didn’t like the way security treated Tank Top.

In the patrol car, Tank Top said some unknown men attacked his family and he retaliated. The security guard shouldn’t have interfered, he said.

He said he had arrest warrants, but he hoped to become a U.S. Army Ranger. He asked why he was being detained.

An officer said he was under arrest. For what, Tank Top asked. The officer said the charges included third-degree assault.

What was that for, Tank Top asked.

Punching the cop, the officer said.

Tank Top fell apart.

“I’m so sorry I punched the officer,” he said. “I’m so sorry.”

Tank Top wanted to apologize. The officer in the car called the officer who took the punch. Tank Top poured out his regret.

Officers booked him into the Pierce County Jail on suspicion of multiple charges. The other three brothers were booked into the Fife City Jail on suspicion of fighting in public and other misdemeanors.

June 16: The genius wrote his own punch line.

He drove a stolen car through Tacoma, swigged cans of Budweiser from an 18-pack in the passenger seat, smoked a bowl of meth, blocked an intersection and passed out with the motor running and a loaded gun in his lap.

The genius was 36, a transient. The car was green, a 1995 Honda Accord stolen from Puyallup.

Several officers spotted the car around 5:15 a.m., near a roundabout at the intersection of South 60th Street and South Bell Street. The motor was running, the lights were on, and the sunroof was open.

The genius sat in the driver’s seat, passed out. An officer approached and saw the gun, a 9-millimeter Makarov, along with three knives in the passenger seat, near the case of beer.

Other officers at the scene quietly drew their guns. The first officer told the genius to wake up. He opened his eyes. His head bobbled. He looked around at the group encircling him, and slowly raised his hands.

An officer escorted the genius to a patrol car. He could barely walk. He had no ID. He said he was homeless, staying with a friend nearby, but he didn’t know the address.

The car had a screwdriver jammed into the ignition. The genius said he didn’t know it was stolen. He said he got the car from a friend. What was the friend’s last name? He didn’t know. Where did the friend live? He didn’t know.

How could he not know the car was stolen when it had a screwdriver jammed into the ignition? He said he got into the car when it was running.

The gun? Already in the car when he got in, the genius said.

Was he a convicted felon? Yes.

The genius said his life was over. What could he do to help himself out?

The officer asked if he was smoking meth. The genius said yes. He said he’d been awake for three days.

He had a record of felony convictions stretching back 15 years – the most recent was two months old. In that incident, he’d fled from police in a stolen car.

Officers booked him into the Pierce County Jail on suspicion of possessing stolen property, unlawful weapon possession, negligent driving and driving with a suspended license.

Sean Robinson: 253-597-8486
sean.robinson@thenewstribune.com

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