Editor’s note: Regular Police Beat scribe Sean Robinson is still away. Substitute writer Adam Lynn compiled this column from Pierce County Superior Court records and Tacoma police reports.
July 13: Sumner Municipal Court Judge Timothy Jenkins is so tough, criminals flee town so they don’t have to face him.
At least a 34-year-old man tried to do so last week.
It was 2:42 p.m. when a Sumner police officer spotted the man at the wheel of a car near Silver Street and Meade Avenue.
The man is, in the vernacular of crime writing, “known to law enforcement,” which was unfortunate for him, because the officer knew he didn’t have a valid driver’s license.
The blue lights flashed. The man decided to dash.
Through a church parking lot he fled, then down Valley Avenue and onto Meade-McCumber Road. He blew through an intersection and almost hit two cars.
His driving was so scary, his passenger begged to be let out.
“It’s not going down like that,” the man allegedly replied.
The car chase finally ended near where it began when the car came to what officers described as “an abrupt stop.”
The man wasn’t done.
Instead of surrendering as commanded, he made a run for it on foot, cutting through someone’s backyard and into Loyalty Park.
His luck ran out near the big toys, where another officer caught up with him and placed him under arrest.
Asked why he ran, the man said he knew he was driving without a valid license and “would rather go to county than have to deal with Judge Jenkins,” charging papers show.
Careful what you wish for, fellow.
Instead of a misdemeanor date with Judge Jenkins, he got a felony date with Superior Court Judge Kitty-Ann van Doorninck, who ordered him jailed in lieu of $50,000 bail on a charge of attempting to elude police.
He was still in the hoosegow at the time of this writing.
July 15: It’s the little things that get you.
A 24-year-old Spanaway woman found that out the hard way.
It was just after 5 p.m., and she was browsing for goodies at a Tacoma gas station in the 2300 block of South 12th Street.
She eventually went to the counter with $6-$8 in snacks and drinks, paid and was getting ready to leave when things went south.
Seems the sharp-eyed owner had watched her slip a couple of items into her purse, to wit: a Hershey’s Cookies ’n’ Creme candy bar and a package of Grandma’s chocolate chip cookies. Each cost $1.79.
He locked her inside the store and called police.
The officer dispatched to investigate told the store’s owner he couldn’t arrest the woman for theft because she’d never made it out the door with the ill-gotten goods.
A background check, though, turned up a couple of arrest warrants. For theft, naturally.
So off she went to jail.
What price freedom, you ask?
In this case, $3.58.
July 13: Lying about one’s age can be a harmless vanity (I’m 39, wink, wink), unless you’re doing so to a cop.
It was about 5:45 a.m. when a Tacoma police officer was sent to the intersection of South 56th and South Proctor to investigate a possible vehicle prowl.
A man whose car had broken down there had returned to the vehicle after a trip home to find the right-front passenger window smashed out, the glove box ransacked and a woman asleep in the back seat.
He called police.
The woman was still there when the officer arrived.
He handcuffed her, read her her rights and asked for identification.
She said she didn’t have any, but gave a name and a date of birth of Jan. 6, 1989.
The officer, tricky fellow, asked how old she was.
Twenty-one, she replied.
“I told her, based on that, the math did not add up,” the officer wrote in a report.
She tried again, saying she was 24 and her birth date was Jan. 6, 1992.
“The math was still bad,” the officer wrote.
Whatever her true age, she got a ride to jail, where corrections officers recognized her from a previous visit and booked her as a 23-year-old.
They also entered her name using a different middle initial than the one she gave the officer, who left the jail scratching his head.
“I used this name and DOB even though I’m not convinced it is positive identification,” he wrote in his report.
It’s a good reminder that while numbers don’t lie, people sometimes do.