Police Beat: Dogged do-gooder's deed goes punished

Staff writerAugust 31, 2013 

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

Aug. 28: The annoying Samaritan couldn’t help himself.

The car was stalled on the incline of South 11th Street, just west of South Commerce, blocking traffic. An officer stopped to check it.

The Samaritan sang out from the sidewalk and asked if the officer was the one with the can of gas. The officer asked if Samaritan owned the car. Samaritan pointed to a young woman on the other side of the street. She was 24. She started to explain that she ran out of gas on the hill.

Samaritan kept interrupting. He was 22, wearing a black T-shirt and jeans. He said he wanted to help move the car, and explained how he was going to do it. The officer told him to hold on, and tried to talk to the woman. Samaritan wouldn’t shut up. He said he was going to move the car.

The officer asked the woman if she knew Samaritan. She didn’t. She said he approached when the car stalled and offered to help.

The officer told Samaritan to move out of the street. He refused and started yelling instructions about how to move the car. The officer again told Samaritan to move. Samaritan shouted that the officer didn’t know what he was doing.

The officer was firm: Get out of the street. This time, Samaritan moved, but he demanded the officer’s name.

The officer talked to the woman, explaining how they would move the car. While he talked, Samaritan shouted, “I’m going to move this car right now,” and jumped into the driver’s seat.

The officer told him to get out. Samaritan was trying to shift the car out of park and back it down the hill. The officer knew that was a bad idea; the car might get rear-ended.

The officer darted toward the car and told Samaritan to get out. Samaritan refused. The officer grabbed his arm, pulled him out and told him to leave or face arrest.

Samaritan said he wasn’t going anywhere. He couldn’t be arrested; he’d done nothing wrong. He wouldn’t leave, and he would move this car because no one else was doing it.

The officer cuffed him and escorted him to a patrol car. Samaritan demanded to know why he was being arrested.

A second patrol car arrived. Officers moved the stalled car out of harm’s way. The first officer booked Samaritan into the Fife City Jail on suspicion of obstructing a police officer.

Aug. 27: Two women were tired of the Tacoma man’s threats to take their children away. One was a girlfriend; the other was his estranged wife.

Both had filed domestic-violence protection orders against the man in the past year. The girlfriend’s order was newer. She called police and showed the order to a pair of officers.

The girlfriend was 28. She told the officers the man was at his wife’s house, in the 1000 block of East 71st Street. She said the man had multiple warrants for his arrest, and warned officers he would hide from them.

Officers looked over the order and checked the story. The girlfriend was right: three active warrants, two for domestic assault, one for violating a prior no-contact order, plus a long list of earlier convictions for car thefts and possession of stolen property. They drove to East 71st Street and knocked on a door.

The man’s wife answered. She was 25. The officers said they were looking for the man.

“That is my husband,” she said. “We are in the process of separating.”

Was her husband in the house? She hesitated, then said no, but added that officers could come inside and look if they wanted.

Other people were in the house. One, looking nervous, said the man was in an upstairs bedroom.

The officers took a look. The room was empty, but a closet door didn’t look quite right. They opened it and found a pile of baby cribs, clothing and a big box.

One officer moved the box. Behind it was a green sheet shaped like a head, with a pair of knees tucked underneath. Officers pulled off the sheet, found the man and handcuffed him.

The man was 28 and shirtless, wearing a pair of blue pants. On his chest was a tattoo. It didn’t flatter women.

Officers handed him the protection order from the girlfriend and told him about the warrants. He said he thought they were cleared up, since he’d just been released from jail. He cried and said he just wanted to get back into his child’s life.

Why was he hiding?

“A girlfriend accused me of raping her daughter and I don’t want to go to jail,” the man said.

Officers spoke to the man’s wife again. She said her husband told her he’d smack her if she told police he was there.

Officers put the man in a patrol car and drove back to the girlfriend’s house to tell her the order had been served. The man yelled at her from the back seat, telling her to just wait until he got out.

The officer told the man that sounded like a threat, and warned him about the protection order. With profane heat, the man said the order wasn’t in his hand. Officers booked him into the Fife Jail on the arrest warrants.

Aug. 27: The huffer preferred Rust-Oleum Crystal Clear Enamel, and he wasn’t too clever about disguising it.

Two officers spotted him during a routine check in the 1500 block of Fawcett Avenue. They were chasing an unrelated report of someone peeking into parked cars.

On the hunt for the vehicle prowler, they spotted Huffer, 42, and a friend, 43, walking south. Huffer lifted a black plastic bag to his mouth. That was a dead giveaway; the typical ruse for drinking in public. The officers approached.

Huffer crumpled the bag into a ball. The fumes were unmistakable. An officer cuffed him. The other officer spoke to the friend. He had a can of Rust-Oleum tucked in his belt, and an active misdemeanor warrant for his arrest.

Officers took both men to the Fife City Jail and booked them on suspicion of possessing toxic inhalants. On the way, Huffer grumbled.

“If he wants to fry his brain, it should be his right,” he said.

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

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