Police Beat: It wasn't her party, and she cried straight to county

Staff writerJune 29, 2013 

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

June 24: The bachelorette party started going bad around 3 a.m., when the revelers headed for Titlow Beach and the liquor caught up with Best Friend.

The queen of the party, celebrating her engagement, was 25, from Auburn. Best Friend was 24, from Spanaway. The night was getting old, and the partiers drove to the Tacoma waterfront. The queen drove a 2000 VW Passat.

Best Friend’s sister, 16, came along for the ride with three teen boys. At some point, Best Friend’s buzz put her in a mean mood. She started fighting with her kid sister, the queen and everyone else in the car.

Screaming, hair-pulling and shoving followed. Best Friend walked away from the car and knocked on a door in the 8300 block of 6th Avenue. She told the resident she’d been assaulted. The resident called 911.

Meanwhile, the queen and the rest of the group drove around, searching for the wanderer.

When officers reached the scene, they found Best Friend crying. Her words slurred, her breath reeked, and her story “bounced,” according to the police report.

Two officers found the Passat and interviewed the occupants. The queen said she was sober. She, the kid sister and the three boys told similar stories: Best Friend got mean, started arguing with everybody, fought when they tried to calm her down, and walked away.

Best Friend said her sister was the aggressor and she just wanted to go home and hold her baby. Officers tried to get more details, but Best Friend kept sobbing and crying. Officers booked her into the Pierce County Jail on suspicion of misdemeanor assault.

June 24: The night watchman took pity on the laid-off employee – but mercy didn’t cover late-night partying at the office.

Mr. Layoff was 24. Back in December, he lost his job at a hardware store in the Tacoma Tideflats, in the 1900 block of East Marc Street. His father still worked there.

The night watchman knew that backstory. Layoff, a transient, kept hanging around the business. On cold nights, the watchman let Layoff stay inside the building to keep warm, and sometimes offered food. The watchman set one condition: notify him first – no surprises.

Shortly after 1:30 a.m., the watchman got a surprise. Layoff was inside the office with an unknown friend.

Four officers arrived and unraveled the scene. Layoff and the friend lounged inside the office, sitting in front of a computer and watching porn.

Layoff said he hadn’t been in the building for two months, but he figured it wouldn’t be a problem to come in at night. He entered through an unlocked gate and an unlocked door. The watchman had allowed it before. Layoff said he was just using his father’s tools to fix a bike.

The officer asked if it made any sense for a former employee to hang out in the company’s building after hours. Layoff agreed that didn’t make much sense. A records check revealed a pair of open arrest warrants out of local courts.

The unknown friend was 24, from Puyallup. He had no warrants, but he carried brass knuckles and a meth pipe. He said the pipe wasn’t his.

Officers arrested both men and booked them into the Fife City Jail.

June 23: Were the two women squatters? Victims? Intruders? It wasn’t easy to tell.

A group of officers hustled to a house in the 1100 block of South 34th Street, responding to a reported kidnapping at gunpoint, possibly still in progress.

The officers set up a perimeter around the house, but there wasn’t much to see. A 22-year-old woman hid upstairs and refused to come down. A 27-year-old woman hid nearby in a neighbor’s garage and said she was afraid to come out.

The 27-year-old lived in Port Orchard. She said she came by to visit her friend, the woman in the bedroom. They planned to go shopping.

Suddenly, she said, out of nowhere, two men with guns appeared and told the women to get on the ground. The Port Orchard woman couldn’t describe them. She remembered virtually nothing about them, except that they threatened to kill anyone who moved or tried to leave. Someone said something about a snitch, she said. They left, and she jumped out the window, she said.

She mentioned a couple that had been in the house – a man and a woman. She couldn’t remember anything about them, either.

The woman in the upstairs bedroom was equally helpful. She said she didn’t know anything. She didn’t know anything about men with guns. She didn’t know the Port Orchard woman who claimed to be her friend.

Officers found no signs of forced entry, but they were starting to wonder what was going on. A day earlier, a man had been arrested at the house with a phony ID and a small store of black tar heroin. The two women in today’s incident hadn’t been there yesterday.

Officers spoke to a witness, a neighbor who lived nearby. Earlier, he’d seen a couple in a black SUV come to the house and leave. After that, a woman had stepped out of the house, holding a bag of something he couldn’t see. After that, he saw the Port Orchard woman crawl out an upstairs window.

The officers questioned the Port Orchard woman again. She didn’t remember anything about the couple or the black SUV – just men with guns.

No one got arrested. Police officers took the Port Orchard woman to department headquarters near South 38th Street, where a friend picked her up. The following day, a warrant for her arrest attached to her name, filed in Pierce County Superior Court. She’d violated the conditions of her release after multiple convictions for identity theft, forgery and possession of stolen property, and she hadn’t appeared for her regular drug test.

Sean Robinson: 253-597-8486

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