Crime

Police Beat: A broom battle and a pair of wanderers

Editor’s note: Compiled from reports to Tacoma police.

July 5: Perhaps it would have been simpler to let the woman go on sweeping the patio. Instead, a fight over ownership of the broom she used led to a pair of arrests.

The first dispatch call reported two women fighting, a car fleeing the scene, and a woman’s voice shouting, “She hit me first in my own house!”

Additional 911 calls added more sketchy details, including a report that one of the fighting parties was afraid to call police because her children had been threatened. Eventually, the woman called on her own to say the same thing.

Officers drove to an address in the 1300 block of East 62nd Street. They spoke to the woman, 22, who had cuts on her face and a black eye. She said she lived at the address with her two small children and four roommates who rented individual rooms.

The woman said the roommates were dealing drugs and causing problems. She said she had been sweeping the patio when one of the roommates, another woman, 30, confronted her and said the broom was hers.

The woman said the roommates were dealing drugs and causing problems. She said she had been sweeping the patio when one of the roommates, another woman, 30, confronted her and said the broom was hers.

That started an argument and a fight, the younger woman said. She said the older woman got in her face, so she pushed her away. The older woman started throwing punches. Another roommate, a man, broke up the fight, and the younger woman went into her room and shut the door. She said she heard the other roommates leave.

The woman added that her attacker’s boyfriend had threatened her, saying he didn’t like people who called the cops, and added that if she did, “I’ll do more than hit you.”

By now, four officers were on the scene. Eventually, they found the older woman and her boyfriend, 38.

The older woman admitted fighting, but said the younger woman started it. She insisted that the broom was hers, and added that the woman shouldn’t have taken it. She said the younger woman had been telling them what to do though she’d moved in only a month earlier. The boyfriend wouldn’t say much, except that he did nothing wrong.

Officers arrested the older woman and her boyfriend on suspicion of misdemeanor assault and harassment, and booked them into the Pierce County Jail.

They also interviewed the man who broke up the fight. He said it was “mutual combat,” and added that he didn’t like either of the women. The man had no warrants; officers released him.

July 4: The man couldn’t hear, but he knew the cops wanted him gone. They’d been following him around all day.

The dispatch call was the fourth of the day involving the man, 37. He was lingering at an electronics store in the 2200 block of South 48th Street, despite being banned from the property. Earlier, he’d been banned from a pair of burger joints and a computer store at Tacoma Mall.

Two officers drove to the electronics store and recognized the man instantly. A security guard explained that the man kept coming back, despite being banned.

Officers approached the man, who was hearing impaired, and used sign language to communicate with them. They arrested him on suspicion of trespassing, stowed him in the patrol car and ran a records check.

Officers approached the man, who was hearing impaired, and used sign language to communicate with them. They arrested him on suspicion of trespassing, stowed in the patrol car and ran a records check.

A hit revealed an arrest warrant out of Lakewood for misdemeanor assault. The officers transported the man to the Pierce County Jail, but staffers wouldn’t take him, citing a past history of mental health problems.

Court records unrelated to the arrest showed the man had shuttled between the jail and Western State Hospital several times in the previous two years. He was listed as homeless. He’d been arrested previously for driving away with a grocery cart reserved for disabled people. Psychological evaluations from the state hospital revealed a diagnosis of schizophrenia spectrum disorder.

The Tacoma officers called Lakewood police to see whether they would pick the man up on the active warrant. Lakewood said yes. The man was booked into the Nisqually Jail on the warrant.

July 4: Sometimes people plead ignorance, and officers explain why it might be feigned.

The dispatch call reported a trespasser on the grounds of Stafford Elementary School at 2:50 a.m. Officers drove to 1615 S. 92nd St. to track the man down.

The man, 27, gave officers a false name and said he couldn’t remember his birthdate. He said he had no identification, and wouldn’t say anything else.

The officers decided they had probable cause for an arrest and a frisk. The name the man gave didn’t show up in records. He was on public property when he wasn’t supposed to be, in the middle of the night.

The officers decided they had probable cause for an arrest and a frisk. The name the man gave didn’t show up in records. He was on public property when he wasn’t supposed to be, in the middle of the night.

“He was contacted on the property of an elementary school that is currently not in session for the summer break,” the report states. “The entrance onto the property at this location is also completely blocked by a large yellow barricade arm. It is reasonable to believe the subject had no legitimate purpose to be on the elementary school property at this time of morning or time of year.”

Officers searched the man and found a state driver’s license in his pocket with his real name. He had an outstanding arrest warrant. He was booked into the Pierce County Jail on suspicion of trespassing and providing false statements to an officer.

  Comments