The dispatch call, a report of shoplifting, brought officers to a big-box department store in the 1900 block of South Union Avenue. They found Mom in the security office. She was 31.
Loss prevention officers described the incident. Mom came into the store with her son, 16, and her daughter, 7. The son picked up two packages of ear buds and handed them to Mom, who opened one package and stuffed the ear buds into the pocket of her hoodie.
The family gathered groceries and walked to the self-checkout line. Mom scanned most of her items, but not the frozen waffles — she tossed them into her shopping bag.
At the exit, loss prevention officers stopped her. Her children took the groceries out to the car. The loss prevention officers told her she could return the ear buds and leave, but Mom wanted police to respond.
Mom told police she took the two sets of ear buds. She said she put one of the packages on a shelf while the family was walking around. Which shelf? She didn’t know.
Mom said she’d pay for the ear buds. Officers told her the second set had to be accounted for. She didn’t know where they were.
Officers handcuffed her and walked her out to the parking lot. She pointed to her car and her waiting children.
Officers asked if her son drove. He didn’t, she said. She drove.
Officers ran a records check. Mom’s license was suspended. They spoke to the son and asked him for the second set of ear buds. The son refused. He refused to give his name and yelled at the officers.
Officers took Mom to the patrol car. She refused to get in. In the background, the son kept yelling. Officers told Mom the son would go to jail too if she didn’t get in the car and her son didn’t stop interfering.
Mom got in the car. Officers took her to the Fife City Jail. On the way, she shouted at them and swore. They booked her on suspicion of third-degree theft. The son took the 7-year-old home. Officers left the car in the store parking lot.
The incident was a tangle. Two officers brought a man to St. Joseph Medical Center for an involuntary commitment. As they arrived, they heard yelling in the waiting room. It came from a woman who was screaming at hospital security officers.
The security officers were telling the woman she needed to cooperate with hospital staff or leave the premises. One police officer spoke to the woman and calmed her down. The woman left. The officers went back to their first task, filling out paperwork for the involuntary commitment.
As the commotion died down, the officers noticed a second man at the front desk. He was 34, with close-cropped hair. He wore an army jacket, and he looked angry. He stared at the officers and walked outside.
Moments later, the man came back. He walked toward the officers with balled fists.
“Did a woman who needed medical attention just get kicked out of the hospital?” he asked.
The officers were taken aback. The man repeated his question with profane emphasis. A security officer tried to calm the man down.
The man whirled and shouted, “I’m not talking to you.”
The police officers intervened. One called for backup. The other told the man to put his hands behind his back. He didn’t.
One officer grabbed the man’s arm and told him he was going to be detained.
“No, you have no right to detain me!” the man shouted.
A scrum followed. The officers wrestled with the man and took him down. The man struggled and told them to let him go. In the background, hospital staffers were shouting.
The man was pulling his arms away from the officers, who couldn’t tell if he was reaching for his waistband and a possible weapon. One officer fired a stun gun shot. It missed. A second shot struck. Officers cuffed the man.
Hospital staffers said the man had been pacing around the emergency room for the past hour. They didn’t know why he was there.
One officer interviewed the man, who said he got angry when he saw the woman being asked to leave. He said he went outside, smoked a cigar and got madder. He said officers arrested him illegally and used the stun gun without provocation. He wouldn’t answer any more questions.
Officers booked the man into the Fife City Jail on suspicion of interfering with a health care facility and resisting arrest.
Officers looked at the text string. They had responded to a report of threats, tied to an assault report filed a day earlier.
The man with the phone was 23. He said the messages came from a woman; he named her. She and her family had been harassing him, he said.
The man pointed outside. A silver Chevrolet Malibu was pulling into the cul-de-sac. The man said the woman who sent the threats was driving the car. Officers walked outside.
They spoke to the driver, a 31-year-old woman. She gave her name — it matched the account from the witness.
Officers told her to get out of the car and cuffed her. The woman said she wanted to talk. She admitted sending the threats. She said she was still angry about the earlier incident.
Officers ran a records check. The woman’s license was suspended. They booked her into the Fife City Jail on suspicion of harassment and driving with a suspended license.