Police Beat: Skinhead’s brass knuckles land him a trip to jail

Staff writerJuly 5, 2014 

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

July 1: The skinhead carried brass knuckles carved with swastikas and two letters: SS.

Officers found him after responding to a reported fight at a burger joint in the 7200 block of Pacific Avenue. The dispatch call said four men were fighting. Reportedly, two of them had knives. Both wore black tank tops and black shorts.

At the restaurant, two witnesses told officers they were sitting at a table eating when the two men walked in just before midnight and asked to use the restroom. The manager told them no and shooed them away. The two men left.

A third man walked in briefly and left, witnesses said. The third man ran back into the restaurant moments later, shouting, “No, no!” The two men in tank tops were chasing him. One waved a knife.

The manager told the third man to leave. All three men ran out again, witnesses said.

Two more officers responding to the call found the two men in tank tops walking nearby. One carried a hunting knife with an orange handle. He was hulking out, flexing and yelling.

Officers stopped both men and cuffed them. The man with the knife had something in his pocket. The officer asked what it was.

“A kitchen knife and a pair of brass knuckles,” the man said. “Why?”

The officer said brass knuckles were illegal within city limits. The man shrugged and said nothing more.

The second man identified himself as a white supremacist skinhead. He was tattooed with swastikas and the same letters that were carved into the brass knuckles: SS.

Officers booked the man with the knife into the Fife City Jail on suspicion of possessing dangerous weapons. They released the second man. Other officers found the man who had been chased out of the restaurant. He said he refused to be a victim and asked for a ride to a location away from the scene.

July 1: The mother moved in without notice, handed her 5-year-old son off to the neighbors and got drunk.

The dispatch call came from an apartment manager who said she was arguing with an intoxicated tenant. Officers drove to the 3800 block of McKinley Avenue to sort it out. They found the manager, who said she had spoken to a woman earlier in the day about renting a room. The woman hadn’t called back, so the manager started looking for other possible tenants.

Later in the day, the manager said she started getting calls from apartment residents who said a woman had handed off her child to them and left. The manager found the woman in one of the rooms, too drunk to talk.

Officers spoke to the woman. She was 38. She swayed and her words slurred. By now, her son was with her.

She said she’d paid the manager $500 to move in that day. The manager said the woman hadn’t paid any money, hadn’t filled out a rental agreement and never arranged to move in.

Officers asked the woman how she’d managed to move her possessions into the room. The woman said she paid friends to help her. Officers told the woman she wasn’t welcome at the apartment and needed to leave.

The woman said she and her son had nowhere to go and no one to help them.

A records check revealed the woman had two active misdemeanor warrants for her arrest. Officers took her into custody and put her in a patrol car.

Officers called the woman’s sister, who said she couldn’t take care of the little boy. They contacted Child Protective Services. The mother was booked into the SCORE jail in Des Moines on the two prior warrants.

July 1: The argument started because one man knocked on his neighbor’s door at 9 a.m. and demanded to use the neighbor’s cellphone.

It turned into a dispatch call and a report of two men fighting – one had a knife. Officers drove to the 3200 block of South Mason Avenue and found two managers at an apartment complex trying to break up a fight between two men. One was 28. He wore a maroon T-shirt and shorts. The second man was the neighbor. He was 32.

Officers tried to untangle the mess. They spoke to the neighbor first. He said the other man knocked on the door and demanded to use the phone. The neighbor was nude at the time. He said he needed to put some clothes on first.

He said the man in the maroon shirt got mad and started yelling. The neighbor tried to shut the door, but the man forced his way in, grabbed the neighbor and put him in a choke hold.

The neighbor said he broke free and forced the man out the door. The man walked away, yelling obscenities.

According to the managers, the man in the maroon shirt rushed into the management office of the apartment complex a few moments later, holding a kitchen knife and shouting, “Call 911! Look at my leg! He just threw a knife at me! He was … naked!”

Officers spoke to the man in the maroon shirt. He said he’d discovered that morning that his bank account was empty. He panicked, ran to his neighbor’s door and begged to use the phone.

The neighbor refused, the man said, which made him angry, because friends should help each other out. He said the neighbor used a skateboard to push him away. The man said he grabbed the skateboard and threw it to the ground.

He said that as he was leaving, the neighbor threw a knife and cut him in the leg. The officer looked at the man’s calf and saw a long, red scratch.

The neighbor said he didn’t throw a knife. He said the man said that because he was crazy. He told the officer to look at the knives in his kitchen. The knives sat in a wooden block. All had the same brand name. All had black handles with three rivets.

One of the managers had the knife the man in the maroon shirt had carried. It had a black handle with a brand name and three rivets. The officer took it and showed it to the neighbor.

The neighbor admitted he’d thrown the knife because the man in the maroon shirt had assaulted him.

Officers arrested both men. The man in the maroon shirt was booked into the Fife City Jail on suspicion of misdemeanor assault. The neighbor was booked into the Pierce County Jail on suspicion of aggravated assault. The final sentence in the police report noted that the man in the maroon shirt might be suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder as a result of past military service.

Sean Robinson: 253-597-8486 sean.robinson@thenewstribune.com @seanrobinsonTNT

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