Police Beat: Money may be funny, but arrest warrant is no joke

Staff writerMarch 8, 2014 

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

March 5: The woman bought gas, cigarettes and food with phony money and walked to her car.

The clerk at the convenience store smelled fraud. He tested the three twenties with a marker and spotted fakes. He walked out to the gas pumps. The woman, 28, was sitting in a red Chevrolet Camaro. Her friend was still pumping gas.

The clerk said the money was counterfeit. The woman said she didn’t know. The clerk asked her to return the merchandise. The woman tried to give him candy and change. She wouldn’t return the rest of the stuff.

She shut the driver’s door and started to close the window. The clerk grabbed the pane. It shattered.

The woman started to drive. The clerk reached in and grabbed her purse. The woman and her friend drove away. The clerk called police.

An officer drove to the store in the 2300 block of South 12th Street, took a look at the phony bills and the woman’s purse and took them as evidence. After examining the woman’s ID, he ran a records check and spotted an active arrest warrant out of Kitsap County.

As he worked, the officer spotted the woman walking toward the gas station. He questioned her. She said the clerk broke her car window and accused her of using counterfeit money.

Did she know the money was fake? No, the woman said.

Where did she get it? She had no idea.

The officer told her she was under arrest for an outstanding warrant. He asked more questions. Again, the woman said she didn’t know where the money came from. She said the clerk deliberately broke her car window. She said she left the area because she had a warrant for a suspended license.

The officer booked the woman into the Pierce County Jail on the warrant. He returned to the store and watched security footage. Events unfolded as the clerk described. In the footage, the car left the parking lot, cut off another car and sped away.

The officer felt he couldn’t prove that the woman knew the money was counterfeit; he chose not to add any suspected charges.

March 1: The woman wore a purple hat and a purple coat and gave an unwanted rant.

At about 12:30 p.m., she argued with passengers at the Pierce Transit Center in the 900 block of Commerce Street. Security staffers called police.

An officer drove to the center and saw the woman yelling at an employee. The woman said she had just been walking in the area when the “transit lady that eats human babies” started harassing her.

A records check revealed that the woman, 49, had been trespassed from the center two days earlier, and ordered not to return for a year. The officer took the woman to a nearby intersection and released her, warning her to stay away from transit property.

Less than two hours later, security staffers at Freighthouse Square called police. A woman in a purple hat and coat was harassing customers. She’d slapped an employee.

Two officers drove to the site. The security staffer said the woman had bothered a customer: a woman and her 9-year-old son.

The woman in purple had “gotten right in the 9-year-old’s face,” told him he looked like Harry Potter and started babbling curses. The boy had started crying, according to the staffer and another witness.

The staffer had confronted the woman and told her to leave. She took a slap swing and missed his face, but knocked his hat backward. The staffer told her he’d call police. The woman cursed and told him to go ahead.

Officers found the woman at a nearby hair salon. They told her she was under arrest. She started yelling. She admitted telling the boy he looked like Harry Potter, but denied causing any disturbance. Officers booked her into the Fife City Jail on suspicion of trespassing and misdemeanor assault.

March 1: The man claimed gangsters were following him. He entered the department store and told security staffers to watch out; the gangsters might shoot up the store.

He was 43, and sounded addled. Security staffers called police. Two officers drove to the 1900 block of South Union Avenue.

Officers found the man sitting on a bench outside the loss prevention office. He admitted he’d been drinking. He said the Crips were after him because he’d borrowed a bike and hadn’t given it back. They were going to hunt him down and kill him.

Where were the Crips?

The man pointed at shoppers – black men and women, browsing in the store. Officers looked and saw no cause for alarm. The shoppers were just shopping. The man couldn’t provide any proof that he was being followed.

The man said he’d been released from prison recently. He was on community supervision by the state Department of Corrections.

He had a handful of prior convictions, including misdemeanor assault and harassment. He also had an active arrest warrant out of Fife.

Officers booked him into the Fife City Jail on the arrest warrant.

Sean Robinson: 253-597-8486

The News Tribune is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere in the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

Commenting FAQs | Terms of Service