Police Beat: Shouting in the street doesn't work out well

Staff writerNovember 9, 2013 

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

Nov. 4: The man’s car was on fire. While firefighters sprayed streams of water on his 1986 Monte Carlo, he sprayed streams of invective.

“Where were they?” the man shouted. “What’s gonna happen to my car?”

The police officer at the scene — the 9100 block of East D Street — told the man to back away from the car so the firefighters could finish the job. The man, 32, swore some more. He yelled at the officer, asking why it took 30 minutes to respond to the 911 call.

The fire was out. Shortly after 3 a.m., the firefighters rolled up hoses and left. So did the police officer. The man stood in the street and flashed some sort of signal with his fingers as the officer drove away.

An hour later, a neighbor called 911. The man was still in the street, shouting threats. The officer drove back. He couldn’t find the shouter, but he spoke to the neighbor.

The neighbor said the man kept shouting in the street after firefighters and police left. He went on for so long that the neighbor opened a window and told him to be quiet.

The shouter told her to shut up, and added more threats until another car appeared, picked the man up and drove away.

While the officer took the neighbor’s statement, the shouter reappeared, walking down the street. The officer cuffed him and booked him into the Fife City Jail on suspicion of harassment.

Nov. 5: The Federal Way man scored no points for timing.

At 12:30 a.m., accompanied by a woman, he walked into a grocery store in the 4100 block of 49th Avenue Northeast, grabbed a cart and some reusable bags and started stuffing. Along another aisle, a uniformed police officer happened to be shopping.

Store employees recognized the man: He looked like the same guy who came in a few days earlier, loaded up a cart and rolled out the door with it. Employees spoke to the officer, explained the situation and pointed.

The man emerged from an aisle, stopped his cart at the check stand and walked out the door, saying, “I forgot my wallet.”

The officer followed. The man was standing next to a silver car in the parking lot, pacing back and forth with a cellphone, though he wasn’t talking.

The officer asked the man his name. The man gave it, along with his ID. He was 27. The officer walked him back into the store. The man said his girlfriend had his wallet. He kept putting his hands in his pockets. The officer told him to stop. He didn’t.

The officer tried to grab the man’s hand, but the man pulled it away, reached into his waistband and pulled a soft drink out of his pants. He said he meant to pay for it. The officer said the man had already walked out with it.

A woman with a small dog walked toward the exit. The officer asked if she had the man’s wallet.

“I don’t know him,” the woman said.

“Not her, I don’t know her,” the man said.

The officer walked the man to his patrol car and cuffed him. He walked back to the silver car, where the woman with the dog was loading up groceries.

For a while, the man and the woman denied knowing each other. Then they admitted it. The woman said she didn’t know what the man was doing. She said the two of them lived in Seattle and happened to be in the area, visiting friends.

The officer took the man to the Fife City Jail and booked him on suspicion of third-degree theft. The woman, who paid for her groceries, was released — but the officer told her she was banned from the store for one year.

Nov. 7: The white Dodge Neon ran three red lights in a row, starting in the 1100 block of South Yakima Avenue. Two officers watched from a patrol car, and switched on lights and sirens.

The driver didn’t pull over. Officers followed for 25 blocks and caught a look at the driver — a man wearing a black hooded sweatshirt. The car accelerated, hitting 60 miles per hour. Officers broke off the chase in the interest of safety, while sending out a bulletin to keep an eye out for the car.

Another officer called in on radio: the Neon was abandoned, at the intersection of South Wright Avenue and South Asotin Street. The first two officers drove to the spot. On the way, they spotted the driver standing in the courtyard of an apartment complex.

The man walked toward them. “Police!” the officers shouted, ordering him to stop.

The man dropped a set of keys and ran. Officers chased him, ordering him to stop. They caught up with him in the 3500 block of Asotin and cuffed him.

The man was 27. He admitted driving the Neon and said it belonged to a friend. He said he fled because he thought he had active arrest warrants.

He was right. A records check showed an active warrant for a prior charge of driving with a suspended license. Officers booked the man into the Fife City Jail on suspicion of obstructing a police officer, failing to stop and the earlier warrant.

Sean Robinson: 253-597-8486

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