Alonzo Mims did not want firefighters to douse the grass fire burning along the fence of his Graham property Tuesday.
He waved them away, tried to stomp out the flames himself and allegedly threatened to light it again if they put it out.
Graham fire crews called for help from the Pierce County Sheriff’s Department about 8:35 p.m.
Court documents and sheriff’s spokesman Ed Troyer give this account of what happened next:
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A deputy arrived at the home in the 14600 block of Kapowsin Highway East and tried to speak with Mims, who kept walking off.
The deputy warned Mims, 67, of the burn ban in effect in Pierce County and that it was illegal to start fires. Wildfires are particularly dangerous this summer with conditions being among the hottest and driest on record.
Mims ignored him, climbed the fence into his meadow and retrieved a propane torch from a wheelbarrow.
“The defendant moved the torch back and forth mimicking throwing flames at (the) deputy and the two firefighters,” according to court records.
The deputy held Mims at gunpoint and ordered him to put down the torch.
Mims refused to obey, walking closer to the propane tank. He was hit with a Taser barb before being arrested and walked toward the deputy’s patrol car.
He repeatedly threw himself at the gate, tried to trip the deputy and kicked him several times.
On Wednesday, prosecutors charged Mims with three counts of third-degree assault and obstructing a law enforcement officer. He was to be arraigned Wednesday.
Mims is a veteran with post-traumatic stress disorder, records show.
He was convicted in 2003 of unlawful imprisonment after bringing home a woman he met at a local diner, trying to sexually assault her and holding her against her will.
Stacia Glenn: 253-597-8653