Police Beat: Judge, cops don’t take kindly to threats

Staff writerFebruary 15, 2014 

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

Feb. 11: Pop quiz – you’ve got a prior conviction for threatening to kill a sheriff’s deputy and put a bullet in his head. What do you do?

A: Avoid such outbursts in the future.

B: Leave a series of profane voice mails with the judge who pronounced your sentence and tell her she’s “dead.”

The 39-year-old Tacoma man chose option B. The voice mails landed on the judge’s phone in mid-January, prompting an arrest warrant.

Two Tacoma officers picked up the warrant. They drove to an apartment in the 3200 block of North 26th Street and knocked on the door.

The man stepped out.

“How you doing?” an officer asked.

The man said he was fine. What did the officers want?

They asked him to step down from the landing – they had a warrant for his arrest.

The man said he didn’t have a warrant. He refused to turn around. What had he done?

The officers told him to turn around and cooperate, or he might face a stun-gun shot.

A short struggle followed. The man wound up on the ground. Officers booked him into the Pierce County Jail on suspicion of intimidating a judge.

Feb. 9: The mail doesn’t come at 11:30 p.m. – but sometimes it disappears.

The Tacoma man wore a red hat, a red jacket and backpack. He carried a snow shovel. Walking along the 3100 block of South 18th Street, he opened mailboxes and tried the doors of houses.

A neighbor watched and called police. Two officers drove to the scene and spotted the walking man. One officer stepped out of the patrol car. The man looked back and kept walking.

The officer told him to stop. The man turned. The officer told him to drop the shovel. He dropped it.

Why was he walking around at night with a snow shovel?

The man said he’d just shoveled snow at a neighbor’s house.

The man had no weapons. He gave a name and an address. The officer ran a records check and waited. No hits.

The officer said the man had been seen opening mailboxes and trying doors.

“Nah, I ain’t doing anything like that,” the man said.

The officer looked at the backpack, saw letters sticking out and asked permission to open it. The man said that was fine. He said the letters came from his uncle’s mailbox.

What was the uncle’s name?

“Charles,” the man said.

The letters weren’t addressed to anyone named Charles. The officer started to cuff the man. Abruptly, he ran. After about 20 feet, he tripped. The two officers closed in. The struggle lasted about a minute.

“OK, I’m done,” the man said.

In the backpack, the officers found a small baggie of methamphetamine, letters to at least 10 separate addresses and numerous checks written to other people and businesses, including tax refunds and state welfare payments.

A pouch in the backpack contained multiple cards and a piece of ID with the man’s photo. It didn’t match the name he’d given to officers. The name on the ID was the real one; the man had a prior record. Officers booked him into jail on suspicion of second-degree theft, drug possession and obstructing a police officer.

Feb. 9: The emergency room nurse at Tacoma General Hospital had a tougher shift than usual.

The patient was a 36-year-old Tacoma man, brought to the emergency room by medical technicians from the Tacoma Fire Department. The man admitted drinking and taking Vicodin pills, but he couldn’t say how many.

He also wouldn’t cooperate with the nurse. Blood draws, an EKG – the man wouldn’t have any of it. He thrashed, screamed and cried when the staff got near him.

The nurse told the man to calm down and take deep breaths. The man replied with curses and told the nurse to leave the room.

Rather than engaging, the nurse opted for silence. He tried to place an IV. The man started yelling again. The nurse told him security would be called if he didn’t calm down. The man said he didn’t care.

In bed, the man moved slightly.

“Watch out,” another nurse said.

Too late – the man aimed a kick at the first nurse’s sternum, knocking him backward. A security team responded, holding the man down as he thrashed. He said his legs were burning. The nurse kept trying to treat the man, applying ice bags and wet towels.

Continuing his rounds, the nurse’s chest began to ache. When police officers arrived, they took a look; the nurse’s chest was red. Doctors sat him down for treatment.

Officers spoke to the thrashing patient, who was discharged. They booked him into jail on suspicion of third-degree assault.

Sean Robinson: 253-597-8486

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