Police Beat: The house is his cousin’s, he says, and so is the stolen car

Staff writerOctober 19, 2013 

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

Oct. 16: The house was abandoned, boarded up and marked with a sign placed by police a few hours earlier:

“By order of the City of Tacoma

Do not occupy

No trespassing

Violators will be arrested.”

The would-be burglar ignored the instructions. Officers spotted him after responding to a report of a suspicious person lurking near the house in the 7800 block of South Ainsworth Avenue.

The intruder was 26. He wore a green Seahawks jersey and gray sweats. He was standing in an alley by the side of the house when officers arrived.

Behind him, a ladder leaned against a window. The plywood board had been removed, and the window was wide open. Nearby, officers noticed a blue 2001 Kia Rio — stolen, per a records check.

One officer drew his gun and told the intruder to stop and raise his hands. The intruder started to say something, but he mumbled. The officer told him to raise his hands.

The intruder dropped a black backpack, peeled off a pair of black gloves, threw a set of keys on the ground, walked backwards and shouted, “I didn’t do anything.”

He raised his hands, lowered them, raised them, lowered them, kept walking backwards and shouted the same words again. He inched back toward a fence and whirled.

The officer, sensing the move, drew a stun gun and fired a bolt. The barbs hit the intruder’s jersey and dangled. The stun charge had no effect. The officer fired another bolt. This time the barbs found the target. The intruder dropped to the ground. The officer closed in and cuffed him.

The intruder said his cousin had called him earlier and told him to check on the house. He said he arrived and saw a woman climbing down a ladder from the open window. She’d driven away.

The story rang partially true: An earlier police report from the same day said a woman, the former occupant, had been seen climbing out of the window.

The intruder said he’d climbed the ladder and yelled into the house to see if anyone was there. He said his cousin gave him the keys to the stolen blue car. The keys were in the backpack. The intruder said his cousin told him where to find the backpack.

The backpack also contained two state driver’s licenses, a state identification card, a bolt cutter, flashlights, screwdrivers, a pry bar and a wrench.

The intruder had no identification. Asked to identify himself, he gave a false name. Asked his age, he said, “I’m 23, I mean 24, oh 25.”

A records check revealed his real name. He had an outstanding warrant. Officers booked him into the Pierce County Jail on the warrant, plus suspicion of residential burglary and possession of burglary tools.

Oct. 15: The report came in as a fight and threats with a weapon. Shortly after midnight, officers drove to an apartment complex in the 2500 block of South G Street.

They spotted a white 1997 Cadillac parked diagonally in an alley. They heard the bark of a gunshot.

The Caddy spun its wheels and sped away. One officer gave chase, and found the car — but not the driver. Other officers navigated through an unruly crowd of witnesses at the complex.

One, a 25-year-old woman, said she’d seen a man walking in the courtyard. She told him to leave. The man told her to shut up, opened the trunk of the Cadillac, pulled out a gun and fired a shot in the air. Other witnesses gave similar accounts. The officer found a shell casing on the ground.

Another witness, a 26-year-old man, was drunk or high and arguing. Other witnesses said he was a meth addict who wouldn’t leave the complex.

The 26-year-old said he knew who fired the shot, but he wouldn’t say who did it. Officers talked to other witnesses. The 26-year-old kept yelling.

Officers told him to leave. He wouldn’t. Finally they cuffed him and put him in a patrol car. The man bragged that he’d get out of jail in a day and sue the officers. He said he’d give up the name of the shooter if police let him go. Officers refused and booked him into the Fife City Jail on suspicion of trespassing.

Oct. 14: The man snoozed in the lobby of St. Joseph Medical Center, but he wasn’t sick.

A security officer told him he had to clear out: 20 minutes. The man, 37, dozed off again. After 20 minutes, the security officer nudged him with his foot and told him to go.

The man woke up angry. He said he’d just check himself into the hospital and stay. Nurses said that wouldn’t work; the man wasn’t sick.

Security officers took charge again, trying to escort the man outside. The man wanted to fight. He took a swing and hit the officer in the shoulder, then walked out.

Police officers caught up with the man on South J Street, not far from the hospital. He denied assaulting anyone. He said the security officers kicked him.

Officers cuffed the man and put him in a patrol car. The man kicked at the doors. He said his mother had worked at the hospital for 24 years and those security guards would lose their jobs. Officers told him he was under arrest for third-degree assault.

“You’re not listening,” the man said. “If I wanted to assault them, I would have killed them.”

Sean Robinson: 253-597-8486

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