Police Beat: The psychic failed to warn client she was about to be swindled

Staff writerJuly 27, 2013 

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

July 25: Over the phone, the psychic gave explicit instructions. Before sending the $600, the Tacoma woman had to rub the currency all over her body.

The woman, 25, agreed; the psychic seemed to know everything. The woman had called the toll-free number listed on the psychic’s website and poured out her troubles.

The psychic understood. She knew the woman was having family problems tied to an old boyfriend. Somehow, she knew the woman had three children. It was uncanny.

The psychic explained the source of the trouble: the woman was suffering from a voodoo hex, placed by the old boyfriend’s new girlfriend.

For $100, the psychic could remove the hex. She would go to seven different churches in Houston and recite prayers. The second step was a cleansing ritual – that would cost another $600.

The woman was supposed to rub the money all over herself, then wire the same amount to the psychic, who would call back with the names of all the woman’s enemies. The psychic would return the $600 and keep the $100 as her fee.

The woman rubbed, wired the money and waited for hours. The psychic didn’t call back. The woman called the toll-free number. No one answered. She tossed in bed all night as the truth dawned. In the morning, she called police.

An officer took a report, but added that it probably wouldn’t do much good. The woman said she already knew she wasn’t getting her money back.

July 24: Blood streamed from the Tacoma man’s head and nose.

He held a blood-soaked t-shirt and wobbled when he walked. The officer couldn’t count the number of wounds that covered his body. He sat the man down and called for immediate medical aid to the 3700 block of East Roosevelt Avenue.

The man said his neighbor attacked him. The man had been sitting in his car. He heard the neighbor shouting, but didn’t pay much attention.

The man got out of his car and started to unload a lawnmower. The neighbor shouted repeatedly, asking the man if he needed help. The man said he didn’t. The neighbor jumped the chain link fence and asked where the lawnmower should go. The man said he didn’t need help.

The neighbor got angry. The man let him push the mower. The neighbor smelled of liquor.

The man said he was going inside now. He told the neighbor to have a good night. The neighbor yelled, “Don’t look away.”

By now, a second neighbor had stepped outside to see what was going on. He told the drunken neighbor to calm down. Meanwhile, the man started walking to his door.

The drunk followed. The man turned and told him to stop. The drunk grabbed the man by the throat and started punching him. The man went down. The drunk slammed his head against the pavement. The man tried to hit back; it didn’t work. The man tried to bite the drunk; that didn’t work either.

The drunk’s wife had stepped outside by now. She and the second neighbor pleaded with the drunk, telling him to stop. The drunk didn’t listen. He unreeled his belt and started whaling on the Tacoma man.

The neighbor crawled away from the onslaught and dragged himself into his house. The drunk banged on the door.

The officer who wrote the report listed the man’s injuries, taken down by staffers at St. Joseph’s Medical Center. The man had a fractured skull, and countless lacerations and abrasions.

Eight officers responded to the scene. They spoke to the drunk’s wife, who said her husband was “blackout drunk.” He’d been drinking rum.

The drunk was inside his house in the dark. He was covered in blood, and had a minor wound on his wrist. Officers took him to St. Joseph’s for treatment and read him his rights.

The drunk wouldn’t explain himself. He told hospital staff to wipe the blood from his hands. When officers looked at him, he giggled and asked if they were honest men. Officers booked him into the Pierce County Jail on suspicion of first-degree assault.

July 24: The mail thieves scored no points for stealth.

There were two of them, both boys, one 14, the other 11. A neighbor spotted them near South 60th Street and South Mason Avenue, rifling through mailboxes. The boys ran when the neighbor called them out.

An officer responding to the call spotted them a few blocks away. The boys looked nervous. The officer asked where they were going. Home, they said, pointing to apartments nearby.

The officer asked where they were coming from. They said they’d been playing basketball at Gray Middle School. The officer said they didn’t have a ball. The boys said other kids did.

The officer said someone had seen two boys stealing mail. Did the boys know anything about that?

“It was newspapers,” the younger boy said.

Both boys carried backpacks. The officer opened them up. They were full of mail. He put the boys on his patrol car and asked how many houses they’d hit. The boys figured it was 7 or 8.

Why did they take the mail? They were looking for money, they said.


The younger boy said he was hungry. The officer asked if he had food at home. The boy said yes.

The officer drove the boys to their mother’s house. The mother begged him to release them and not write a report. The officer said he had to write a report. The mother started yelling at him.

The officer booked both boys into Remann Hall on suspicion of mail theft.

Sean Robinson: 253-597-8486

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