She thought the machete was a toy until she felt a searing pain in her arm.
The man wielding the weapon in front of her didn’t stop. He swung the machete at her a few times and chased her toward the front door as she yelled for help.
It was Saturday night in a Tacoma care facility.
The woman had seen her 31-year-old charge get angry before, but he’d never attacked her. Especially not because she wouldn’t let him watch the same movie back to back.
When police arrived, the man told officers he was upset because “she is always bossing me around,” court documents show.
It’s unclear how many people live at the care facility in the 6400 block of South Mullen Street.
The machete-wielding man had lived there more than a year, diagnosed with autism, bipolar disorder and attention-deficient/hyperactivity disorder, records show.
Several residents were watching a movie together Saturday night and when it ended, the man asked to watch it again. The caregiver said they should watch a different movie to be considerate of the other residents.
That’s when the man became angry, allegedly breaking pens and pencils and throwing books. He stomped into his room.
The caregiver didn’t worry. She said this was “normal behavior” and she thought he’d soon apologize.
“However, instead, he came out of his room with a machete, holding it above his head and approaching the victim as she sat on the couch,” Pierce County prosecutors wrote in charging papers. “The defendant walked up to the victim and struck her with the machete without saying anything.”
He struck her on the hand, arm and elbow before she was able to get away.
Police said the man was uncooperative when they took him into custody, kicking one officer in the shin and scratching another officer’s arm. When placed in a patrol car, the man allegedly spit on the windows.
A 24-inch machete was found hidden under a sofa near his room.
Officers noted the man seemed to understand what was happening during his arrest despite his mental health diagnoses.
“He seemed concerned about being able to get back into his residence in the future and when he would be getting released from jail,” records show.
The man is being held without bail after pleading not guilty to first-degree assault. A competency hearing is scheduled for Aug. 22.
Stacia Glenn: 253-597-8653