Editor’s note: Compiled from reports to Tacoma police.
He was 23. He sat on the rooftop of an apartment building in the 600 block of North Oakes Street, with a fork, a knife and a bottle of hot sauce. He was getting ready to grill.
Downstairs, his old boyfriend talked to police. The old boyfriend was 44. He said he and the younger man split up in January. The ex had moved to a group home after that, but he’d been kicked out and had nowhere to go.
The older man took pity on him and allowed him to stay for a while — provided the younger man took his medications and stayed away from street drugs.
Officers knew the couple. They’d been to the apartment before. The older man said the ex was acting strangely — not taking his medications, breaking his promise and refusing to leave. The ex had pushed the older man into a wall.
The officers walked up to the roof and found the ex, sitting in a patio chair.
“Hello,” the ex said. He added that he was cooking dinner and hadn’t eaten yet.
One officer took the bottle of hot sauce. The other grabbed the knife and the fork. The ex wouldn’t let go of the fork.
Officers told the ex he was no longer welcome at the apartment. They would escort him out. The ex wouldn’t get up. He said he wouldn’t leave until he ate his dinner.
Officers asked him three times to get up. The ex wouldn’t. One officer grabbed his wrist.
“They’re hurting me!” the ex shouted.
The officers cuffed the man and put him in a patrol car. The ex swore at them and told them they would burn.
Officers took the ex to the Fife City Jail and booked him on suspicion of misdemeanor assault and obstructing a police officer.
Officers drove to the laundry in the 1300 block of Sixth Avenue and spoke to the owner, who said a transient started a fight.
The owner didn’t want to press charges, he said — he just wanted the man banned from the business.
Officers looked the man over. He was 55 and drunk. He had a long history of contacts with police that included assaultive behavior. They released him at the scene and watched him walk away.
One officer stuck around to keep an eye on the man, who walked very slowly. Guessing the man might walk around the block and head back for the laundry, the officer followed. The man turned a corner, walked toward a medical building and stood near the entrance.
The man looked back and caught the officer’s eye. He turned, and relieved himself on the sidewalk.
The officer drove forward and spoke to the man, who yelled, “I’m human!” and added that he could relieve himself anywhere he wished.
The officer cuffed the man and put him in a patrol car. The man hurled insults all the way to the Fife jail. He yelled profanities. He said he prayed that the officer would suffer a painful and agonizing death. He uttered a name: Maurice Clemmons, deceased, who fatally shot four Lakewood police officers in 2009.
What about Clemmons? the Tacoma officer asked.
“Cheers to him!” the man said.
The officer booked the transient into the Fife jail on suspicion of disorderly conduct and urinating in public.
Officers answered the call, which started as a reported car theft. They drove to the 6600 block of East I Street and spoke to the 50-year-old mother, who told them a story.
The mother had a couple of scratches: one on her forehead, one on her arm. She said her daughter, 23, didn’t have a car, so the two of them had been sharing the car Mom owned.
Earlier that day, the daughter had wanted to use the car and Mom said no. The daughter took it anyway. Mom went outside to try to stop her. She stood behind the trunk.
The daughter started the car and backed up. Mom had to jump out of the way.
An hour later, the daughter came back. She went to her mother’s room and threw a perfume bottle at her mother’s head.
Mom said a fight followed, but she wouldn’t say more.
“I don’t want my daughter arrested,” she said.
A third woman lived at the house: Mom’s daughter-in-law. She was 29. She backed up Mom’s story. She said she saw the 23-year-old back up the car, and that Mom had jumped out of the way.
After that, the daughter-in-law said, Mom had taken the 23-year-old’s laptop and put it in her bedroom. When the 23-year-old came back, she saw the laptop and tried to grab it.
That was when the fight started. Punches were thrown, the daughter-in-law said. The 23-year-old had pulled a knife, though it wasn’t used in the fight.
Officers decided the 23-year-old was the aggressor. They cuffed her and put her in a patrol car. She was booked into the Fife jail on suspicion of misdemeanor assault.