He was at ER for drug, mental issues. Then his attack on guard got him 4 years in prison

A man who attacked a security officer in Tacoma General Hospital’s emergency room was sentenced Monday to four years and three months in prison.

Pierce County Superior Court Judge John Hickman gave 42-year-old Andrew Curtis Tucker a low-end sentence.

A jury convicted Tucker in March of second-degree assault for the Aug. 13, 2015, attack, and of bail jumping for a missed court date. It found him not guilty of other counts of bail jumping, second-degree assault and custodial assault.

Court records gave this account:

Security officers went to Tacoma General’s emergency room after getting a report that someone was acting up, and told Tucker he’d have to leave.

Tucker rambled that he wanted to see his children and then ran at one of the security officers. He punched the officer, hurting the man’s jaw and knocking off his glasses.

Police saw blood on the floor when they arrived, and found Tucker sitting on the floor with a panicked look. Some people were hiding behind furniture.

Tucker had gone to the hospital to get help for mental health and drug problems. He wrote the court in January 2016 that he had a mental health breakdown after his mother’s death and that led to the charges.

He told the judge he relapsed once, but otherwise was happy with how his drug, alcohol and mental health treatment was going as he awaited trial. He said he hoped to graduate college that year.

“I am the oldest and now head of the family, which has been completely challenging and overwhelming for me,” Tucker wrote.

Alexis Krell: 253-597-8268, @amkrell