Oct. 22: The tenant wanted his mail. It didn’t come, so he busted the hotel manager’s car window.
The call was a vandalism report. Officers drove to a hotel in the 8700 block of South Hosmer Street and spoke to the manager, a 55-year-old man. The manager spoke through an employee, a 19-year-old woman, who translated.
The manager said a tenant came in and asked for his mail. The 19-year-old, covering the desk, said there was no mail. The tenant started yelling at her, walked out, walked back in and yelled some more. She told him to go to his room, and the tenant left.
A little later, the manager had walked out to his car and found the broken window. The manager and the 19-year-old showed the officer a clip of security footage from the camera that watched the parking lot.
On the video, a man in a blue jacket and pants walked toward the office, then came out, then returned, then came out again.
The man walked off screen for a moment, but the officer could see a shadow in the footage, heading toward the manager’s car, a gray 2009 Toyota Corolla.
On the video, the man’s feet appeared. One foot stepped forward, in what looked like the lead-up to a throwing motion. At almost the same time, the glass in the car’s passenger window shattered.
The officer walked outside and looked at the car. The passenger window was broken. A good-size rock sat in the passenger seat.
The officer went to the tenant’s room and knocked on the door. The tenant answered. He was 53. The officer cuffed him and said he was under arrest for vandalism.
The man said he checked his mail but didn’t break anything. The officer told him video cameras covered the parking lot. The man stopped talking.
A records check revealed the man had five unrelated warrants for his arrest, including two for violating active no-contact orders. The officer took the man to the Fife City Jail and booked him on the warrants and suspicion of malicious mischief.
Oct. 20: Stealing the phone was the easy part; getting away turned out to be harder.
A Tacoma officer on routine patrol picked up an alert from Tacoma Mall Security officers: a man had stolen a phone from a kiosk and headed for the exit.
Description: white male, 25, short brown hair, black-rim glasses, black fleece jacket, blue jeans. The officer spotted him on the west side of the complex, walking through the parking lot toward an electronics store on South 48th Street.
The officer tried to catch up. Traffic was thick. The man spotted the patrol car and ran into the electronics store.
The officer rolled to the store, walked inside and spoke to a security officer. Security said the man had rushed in, peeled off his jacket and dumped some belongings at the back of the store. The staffers were watching the man on video.
The officer found the man and cuffed him. He was sweaty and nervous, holding a pair of black-rimmed glasses. Store employees gathered the belongings the man had dumped, along with a white Motorola phone that matched the description of the phone stolen from the mall kiosk.
The man admitted taking the phone. The officer, now in less of a hurry, went back to the mall and the phone kiosk. He spoke to a 20-year-old woman who worked there. She said she’d been talking to a customer, who spotted the thief’s rip-and-run move.
The man was booked into the Fife City Jail on suspicion of third-degree theft. The officer also told him he was banned from the mall for two years. The man said he understood.
Oct. 20: The laundry room argument started with a shouting match between two women about leaving the door open. It ended with one woman’s son going to jail.
The initial report was a routine neighbor dispute. Two officers drove to an apartment complex in the 400 block of South Fawcett Avenue. Two more followed as the scene got nastier.
One woman, 59, said she was in the laundry room shared by the complex. She shut the door to the entrance in the midst of her chore. A second woman, 57, pushed the door open and started yelling about the rules: Leave the door open.
That led to hair-pulling and slapping. The 59-year-old’s daughter, overhearing the commotion, walked into the room and asked what was going on. The 57-year-old left.
The two women had a history. The 59-year-old mentioned it to the officers.
“She just doesn’t like me, and I don’t know why.”
The woman wanted to know what she should do. The officers advised her to get a protection order against her neighbor.
The 59-year-old’s daughter had reported that the 57-year-old woman’s son appeared during the dispute with a gun. How did she know about the gun? She said she’d seen the handle.
The argument had spilled into the lobby of the apartment building when officers arrived on scene. The 59-year-old’s daughter pointed to a young man standing nearby; he was the one with the gun, she said.
The man was 28. He wore a gray hoodie and blue shorts. He stood with his hands behind his back.
The officer asked the man if he had a gun. The man stared back and didn’t answer.
Again: Did he have a gun?
“Yes,” the man said.
It was in the front pocket of his jacket, a .22-caliber pistol, loaded.
Did the man have a concealed-weapon permit?
“No,” the man said.
A records check confirmed that part. The man had a permit at one time, but it had expired a year earlier.
The man said he thought he could carry the weapon in his pocket anyway, since he was in his mother’s apartment. The officers said that was true in the apartment, but not a publicly accessible area such as the apartment lobby.
Why had the man armed himself?
He said it was because of the fight between the two older women. He said he feared for his safety. He wanted to be armed when he confronted the two women who were fighting with his mother. No, he didn’t live in the apartment, he said — just visiting.
All witnesses said the man had never drawn the gun or threatened anyone with it. Officers arrested him anyway. He was booked into the Fife City Jail on suspicion of carrying a firearm without a permit.