Police Beat: Gunshots, a tire-slasher and stolen firewood

Police Beat is compiled from reports to local law enforcement agencies.
Police Beat is compiled from reports to local law enforcement agencies. thinkstockphotos.com

Editor’s note: Compiled from reports to Tacoma police and the Pierce County Sheriff’s Department.

Sept. 12: The woman said she didn’t fire the gun until she had “a clear shot.” The Tacoma officer wasn’t impressed by the excuse.

The dispatch call reported shots fired in the 2300 block of South Ash Street. Multiple officers drove to the scene. They found five shell casings in the street, fired from a 9mm handgun.

Witnesses said they saw three women fighting in the street earlier. One had been banging on the door. Two more women came out of the house. A struggle followed. Children rushed outside, and one shouted, “Get off my mom!”

One witness said she gathered the children and took them inside. The women who were fighting separated. Two of them went back into the house. The other remained in the street. Witnesses saw her aim a gun skyward and fire several shots before getting into her car and driving away.

An officer interviewed the women in the house. One woman, 30, explained that she was in a relationship with the woman who had fired the shots.

The couple had been fighting earlier, she said. The woman with the gun left, then came back to get her phone charger. The fight started all over again. After that, the 30-year-old had returned to the house with the children. At that point, she heard shots outside.

Later in the day, the woman with the gun showed up at a police substation and asked to report an assault. She said she’d been attacked by the two women at the house.

Officers had been looking for the woman. Alerted by dispatchers, they drove to the substation and arrested her.

The woman, 27, said she came to the house to pick up her phone charger and the other two women had attacked her.

What about the gunshots?

The woman said she squeezed off several rounds. She said she waited until she had “a clear shot.”

What did that mean?

It meant shooting in the air, the woman said.

Officers asked to see the gun. The woman showed it to them: a Taurus 9mm pistol. She had a permit for it.

Deputies booked the woman into the Pierce County Jail on suspicion of reckless endangerment. The gun was placed into evidence.

Sept. 10: The tire-slasher wore a bandanna over his face, and selected his targets at random.

The dispatch call reported vandalism. A Tacoma officer drove to the 3400 block of South 58th Street and spoke to a witness.

The man said he was sitting in his living room when he heard a pop and a hiss outside. He looked outside and saw a man wearing a green jacket, khaki shorts, and a star tattooed on his leg. A black bandanna covered his face.

The witness watched. The man approached a car — the witness’s car — and punched a hole in one of the tires, using some sort of blade.

The witness shouted, he said. Had the man just slashed his tire?

The man with the bandanna flipped him off and walked away, the witness said.

Another witness told the officer a similar story. Checking vehicles along the road, the officer found three slashed tires.

A radio call went out with the slasher’s description. Soon, an officer spotted him and flagged him down. The man stopped. The officer cuffed him. The man, 29, said he had a knife in his pocket. The officer found it: a folding model with a camouflage pattern and a 3-inch blade.

The officer told the man he was under arrest. He was suspected of slashing tires.

The man said he hadn’t damaged anything with the knife, except maybe some bushes.

Why did he have the knife?

The man said he was homeless, and refused to answer more questions. He was booked into the Pierce County Jail on suspicion of destruction of property.

Sept. 9: The free wood wasn’t free and the guy named Joe didn’t exist.

The dispatch call reported people stealing firewood. A sheriff’s drove to the 20400 block of 42nd Avenue East in Spanaway.

He found two men arguing, separated them, and spoke to both.

One man was driving a pickup truck with firewood packed in the bed. A woman and two children sat inside.

The man said he arrived with his wife and a friend and took the wood because he had permission. A guy named Joe had been running an excavator on the property a week earlier, and said the man could take the wood.

What was the friend’s name? The man said he didn’t know. He said the other man, the property owner, confronted him and said the wood wasn’t free. The man said he unloaded it.

The deputy ran a records check on the man and found two arrest warrants for third-degree theft.

He then spoke to the property owner, who told a different story.

No one named Joe had been running the excavator. No one gave anyone permission to take the firewood.

The deputy looked at the truck and the remaining wood in the bed. He spoke to the woman behind the wheel. Her husband was under arrest, he said, and she was a suspect, since the truck still carried stolen property and she was driving it.

The rest of the wood was unloaded. The deputy released the woman at the scene. The man was booked into the Pierce County Jail on the warrants and suspicion of third-degree theft.

Sean Robinson: 253-597-8486 @seanrobinsonTNT