Would-be robber picks wrong victim in Tacoma

Staff writerJanuary 13, 2014 

A would-be armed robber picked the wrong victim in Tacoma last week, getting a punch in the face instead of the man’s valuables, court records show.

The attempted robbery took place Thursday on the soccer fields near McKinley Park in the 900 block of Upper Park Street.

A man told police he and a friend were walking across the fields when he felt a tug on the left side of the leather vest he was wearing, records show. The man said he checked for his cigarettes and found them missing. He turned around to see a third man standing there.

That man, later identified as Cameron Bradley Imholt, 19, said, "Hey," then "put a firearm against the victim’s chest" and demanded he and his friend give up their belongings, the records show.

"The victim paused for a few seconds in disbelief," deputy prosecutor Hugh Bergenheier wrote in a declaration for probable cause. "The victim then acted instinctively by punching the defendant in the jaw."

The man and his friend then ran away and called 911, reporting the attempted robbery and giving a description of the gunman.

A police officer later spotted Imholt walking near the park and saw he matched the gunman’s description. When the officer made a U-turn in his patrol car, Imholt “began walking at a faster pace,” the records show.

Imholt then entered a nearby convenience store. The officer followed him inside and arrested him at gunpoint, records show. Police found a .380-caliber semiautomatic pistol in his clothes. It allegedly was stolen.

Another officer brought the man who had his cigarettes taken to where Imholt was being detained, and he identified Imholt as the gunman, records show.

Pierce County prosecutors charged Imholt on Friday with attempted first-degree robbery, first-degree theft and possessing a stolen firearm. Not guilty pleas were entered on his behalf. Superior Court Commissioner Meagan Foley ordered him jailed in lieu of $75,000 bail.

Adam Lynn: 253-597-8644

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