Editor’s note: Compiled from reports to Tacoma police and the Pierce County Sheriff’s Office.
April 11: The dispatch call reported a possible arson attempt at a child care center. A sheriff’s deputy drove to the 4300 block of 208th Street East in Spanaway.
A fire marshal was waiting. He pointed to two fire start points: stacks of paper left next to two buildings and set alight. One building was badly damaged.
The deputy spoke to the business owners. Both were upset. One, a 31-year-old woman, said an employee came to work that morning, heard a crackling noise at the back of the building, saw the fire and called 911. The employee didn’t see anyone.
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The owner said she didn’t have disgruntled employees, but she mentioned troubles in the past, including multiple vandalism incidents over the last year. A rock had been thrown through a window. Gas lines on one of the child care buses had been cut, and someone had tampered with the main gas line to the buildings.
The owner said the incidents didn’t seem random; she figured they were intended to close the business. She mentioned a rival child care center and a history of legal squabbles, including an anti-harassment order, a fight over licensing and calls to Child Protective Services.
The owner said the incidents didn’t seem random; she figured they were intended to close the business. She mentioned a rival child care center and a history of legal squabbles, including an anti-harassment order, a fight over licensing, and calls to Child Protective Services.
The deputy and the fire marshal spoke to a neighbor, who said she saw nothing and woke up to the sound of sirens. They spoke to the owner of the rival child care center, who wondered if the fire had been set deliberately and said she’d seen someone walking nearby that morning in dark clothing.
Lacking more information, the deputy filed a report of the incident, which remains under investigation, along with related incidents.
April 11: A car prowler, caught in the act, tried to walk away and turned into an unwilling passenger.
The report came in as a motor vehicle theft in progress. Two officers drove to the 3600 block of East F Street. They found a 50-year-old man standing on the sidewalk, pointing to a younger man standing nearby.
Officers cuffed the younger man and put him in a patrol car. They spoke to the older man, who said he saw the guy get into a neighbor’s car. The older man knew his neighbors, but not the young man, so he called 911, walked over and told the man in the car to get out.
The man did, and started walking. The older man followed in his own car and yelled, “Get in the car, don’t run.”
The younger man obeyed, much to the older man’s surprise, he said, and tried a threat.
“I have a knife.” “Bring it,” the older man said. “I got a gun.”
“I have a knife.”
“Bring it,” the older man said. “I got a gun.”
The two men waited for police, the older man said, and didn’t fight.
The younger man was 24. Officers had a hard time tracking him in records. He said he lived “nearby.” He added that he was “high on spice for the third time,” which might have accounted for his shakes and sweating.
He said he’d been high all day, and he was finally coming down. Officers booked him into the Pierce County Jail on suspicion of vehicle prowling.
April 8: The man talked his way into the party with phony ID and tried one too many times to hook up.
The initial dispatch call reported a sexual assault, but it veered in another direction. At 1 a.m., two women flagged an officer down in the 5600 block of South Washington Street.
One woman, 23, said a man inside a nearby cultural center had raped her a few months earlier in Federal Way. She wanted him arrested. She described a tattoo on his neck and gave the officer a name.
The woman’s friend, 24, said the man had been harassing her friend all night, despite repeated rejections.
The officer said he couldn’t just arrest the man on the spot for rape without further investigation. The woman said she believed she had a prior no-contact order against the man. As she talked, a man stepped out of the cultural center.
“That’s him — that’s him!” the woman said.
The officer asked for identification. The man handed over a driver’s license that didn’t belong to him, and said he’d used it to get into the party.
The officer spoke to the man, 33, and explained the reason for the contact. The officer asked for identification. The man handed over a driver’s license that didn’t belong to him and said he’d used it to get into the party.
That admission — possession of another’s identification — gave the officer a different hook. He cuffed the man and read him his rights.
The man said he used the ID because he had none of his own and wanted to go out. The officer asked for a name. The man gave it. A records check traced him to California. It also returned no hits on a possible no-contact order. The records spat out the woman’s earlier report of a sexual assault, but details were limited and sketchy.
The officer told the woman to follow up with detectives and explained how to file for a no-contact order. The woman said she wanted it and would follow through.
The officer booked the man into the Pierce County Jail on suspicion of possessing the other man’s identification.