Crime

Police beat: Cops wouldn’t arrest her, so she jumped into traffic

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

Aug. 14: The key to returning a stolen item is returning the stolen item — not an inferior substitute.

The dispatch call reported a theft. A sheriff’s deputy drove to the 6100 block of River Road East and spoke to the manager of a car lot. The manager explained that a man riding a bicycle had broken into several cars on the lot a day earlier, and filched an $800 stereo.

Surveillance cameras on the lot recorded the heist, the manager said. The man wore a brown shirt, black pants and white shoes.

The next day, the manager saw the cyclist again, stopped him and confronted him. The man, 31, confessed and apologized. He promised to return the stereo and work off the debt by pressure washing vehicles on the lot.

The next day, the manager saw the cyclist again, stopped him and confronted him. The man, 31, confessed and apologized. He promised to return the stereo and work off the debt by pressure washing vehicles on the lot.

The man returned with a pressure washer and a stereo — the wrong one. He started spraying. The manager called 911.

When the man realized what was happening, he blew up.

“The voices in my head are telling me to attack you,” he told the manager. The man went into the office, closed the door, picked up a pair of hedge clippers and started banging on the windows, the manager said. Eventually, he calmed down and returned to pressure washing.

The deputy spoke to the man and cuffed him. The man got angry. He denied banging on the windows. He denied breaking into cars and stealing. He said the manager confronted him and falsely accused him.

If that was true, the deputy asked, why did the man come back to the lot with a pressure washer and start working?

The man answered with a curse. The deputy booked him into the Pierce County Jail on suspicion of malicious mischief and theft.

Aug. 12: The woman was determined to get arrested. Tacoma officers refused at first, but she wouldn’t be denied.

She flagged down two officers on routine patrol in the 7200 block of Pacific Avenue. The woman, 27, wanted to know about a nearby homeless encampment and a rumor that residents were giving free tents to those who asked.

The officers told the woman she was misinformed. The tents were meant for people who were living at the encampment. They weren’t being handed out to passing strangers.

The woman was unhappy. She wanted to go to jail immediately. She asked the officers to check her record for outstanding warrants. They checked. She didn’t have any. The officers refused to arrest her.

The woman was unhappy. She wanted to go to jail immediately. She asked the officers to check her record for outstanding warrants. They checked. She didn’t have any. The officers refused to arrest her.

The woman got upset. She wanted to ride with the officers for the rest of the night. They told her no, and said they had to respond to another dispatch call.

Stymied, the woman stepped into the traffic on Pacific Avenue. She jumped in the middle of the street and waved her arms. A passing car swerved to avoid her.

Seeing no choice, the officers arrested her and put her in the patrol car. The woman got upset again. She said she had changed her mind and didn’t want to go to jail. She talked of killing herself.

Officers booked her into the Pierce County Jail on suspicion of disorderly conduct.

Aug. 11: Shouting at parking-lot speeders is a time-worn tradition. Throwing rocks at their cars, not so much.

The dispatch call reported vandalism. An officer drove to an apartment complex in the 900 block of North Pearl Street. He spoke to a woman, 24, standing next to a gray 2002 Dodge Durango. The back window was smashed, and shards of broken glass scattered over the interior. The officer looked over the damage and saw a rock inside.

The woman said she had been driving through the parking lot earlier when a man shouted at her to slow down, underlining the command with profanity.

The woman said she drove on to her sister’s apartment and picked up her sister, her teen-aged brother and two small children, aged six months and 1 year. The babies were stowed in car seats, and everyone else piled in.

The woman drove back through the lot and rattled over a speed bump. Again, the man shouted at her — but this time he threw a rock that broke the back window.

The woman drove back through the lot and rattled over a speed bump. Again, the man shouted at her -- but this time he threw a rock that broke the back window.

The officer asked if anyone was hurt. The woman said no, but she was still angry that someone could have been, especially the children.

The officer spoke to a pair of witnesses who saw the incident and backed up the woman’s story. The witnesses pointed to a nearby apartment and described the rock-thrower as a middle-aged man with a blue shirt and a long white beard.

Officers found the man sitting on his porch, smoking. He smelled like liquor. They told him he was under arrest and cuffed him. The man, 50, didn’t resist.

“I didn’t mean to smash the window,” he said.

The man said he was an alcoholic, and he’d been drinking since he came home from work. He said he was mad about the speeding car. He admitted yelling and throwing the rock. He apologized, and said he told the woman he would pay to fix her window.

Officers told the man to call police if he was concerned about speeding vehicles, and let them handle it next time. The man said he understood. He was booked into the Pierce County Jail on suspicion of malicious mischief and reckless endangerment.

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