Police Beat: He had weed, just wanted a chili dog

Staff writerOctober 12, 2013 

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

Oct. 7: The trader wanted to swap a gram of weed for a chili dog. The cashier at the burger joint wouldn’t play, so the trader pulled a knife.

The trader was 45, a Tacoma transient with a long record of petty convictions. Denied his food, he threatened to kill a customer. He fought with one, then another. He came back to the counter and slammed it with the knife.

The store manager told the man to leave and brandished a pepper sprayer. Another staffer called 911. The trader knocked things off the counter and yelled.

The manager fired a stream of pepper spray. It didn’t work at first. The manager fired another stream. The trader recoiled, grabbed his backpack and fled.

A group of officers drove to the store in the 800 block of South 38th Street. Two started interviewing witnesses. Four more hunted the trader. They found him a few blocks away, walking through an alley.

Officers told the trader to stop — he didn’t. He reached toward his pocket. One officer fired a stun gun. The barbs hit, but the trader wore thick clothing — the charge had no effect.

A second officer fired another stun round. The trader dropped his backpack, turned and started arguing. The officers closed in, took him down and cuffed him.

The trader said he understood his rights. He wouldn’t answer questions. Officers searched him. They found seven knives, a straw with crystalline residue, a scale and a hip flask. They booked the trader into the Pierce County Jail on suspicion of first-degree robbery and second-degree assault.

Oct. 6: He called himself the king of the castle, but he was loitering in someone else’s courtyard.

He was 42, wearing a white T-shirt and red shorts. He was standing in a backyard staring at a parked boat when a neighbor noticed him. The neighbor told the man to leave. The man just stared and didn’t move.

Again, the neighbor told the man to leave. The man answered, uttering numbers instead of words.

Two officers drove to the house in the 4100 block of South K Street. They spotted the man standing inside a fenced yard. One officer called out: Did the man live there?

“I’m the king of the castle and this is my domain,” the man said.

Was he having problems with a neighbor?

“SS nine zero zero,” the man said.

Still unsure of the situation, the officer spoke to the neighbor who had called police. She said the man didn’t live at the house; she found him digging in her backyard like a dog.

While the officer spoke to the neighbor, the king abruptly left the backyard and walked toward the officer, hands stuffed in his pockets.

“I’m not showing you my hands,” the king said. The officer ordered him to show his hands. The king complied, let loose with a stream of numbers and letters, balled his fists and coiled into a fighting stance.

The officer told him to turn around. “No,” the king said.

The officer stepped back and told the king to stop. No effect. The officer pulled a stun gun and shot a bolt.

“Oww,” the king said, sweeping at the stun wires.

He stepped forward again, fists up. The officer fired another bolt.

“Oww,” the king said, and fell. The officer closed and tried to hold him down. The king fought, wrestled away and ran.

The officer chased him and caught him. The two men wrestled again. The king rolled out of the hold and jumped up again. The officer pulled a pepper spray cartridge and fired a shot in the king’s eyes.

That worked — temporarily. After one more wrestling flurry, the king was cuffed and placed in a patrol car. He kicked the doors and windows.

Emergency medical teams arrived to treat the king and the officer. The king wouldn’t answer questions or give his name. His only reply was, “Seven, born Madigan, you?” Officers eventually figured out the man’s identity from a prior booking photo.

The king presented a dilemma. Whether he was drugged out or mentally ill didn’t matter; the county jail probably wouldn’t take him in his current state. Officers took him to St. Joseph Medical Center, where he was placed on a 72-hour hold pending a mental health evaluation.

Oct. 5: She was 15 and big for her age: 6-3, 285 pounds.

She crept up behind the counselor, hooked a blue scarf around the woman’s neck, pulled her to the floor and squeezed.

The counselor gasped for breath. The 15-year-old punched her in the face. Other counselors swarmed, pulled the teen away and took her to a seclusion room.

The teen was a patient at the Pearl Street Center, a mental health treatment facility for juveniles. She’d attacked staffers before, been arrested before. The counselor who’d been choked said the teen used her size to intimidate and threaten.

The attack could have been a ploy, the counselor said — getting arrested meant getting out, and the teen knew it.

Witnesses backed the counselor’s story. Officers interviewed the teen, who said she was angry because the staff took something from her — she wouldn’t say what — and wouldn’t let her leave.

“I choked her out and slammed her to the ground,” the teen said, adding that she’d thrown punches.

An officer took the teen to Remann Hall, where she was booked on suspicion of second-degree assault.

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

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