Man stabs girlfriend in face, fights off 8-year-old after apartment hunt fails, police say

A fraught apartment search on the Key Peninsula ended with a man stabbing his girlfriend in the face Sunday as her 8-year-old son tried to stop him, Pierce County prosecutors say.

The 47-year-old was arraigned Tuesday in Pierce County Superior Court on one count of first-degree assault and one count of second-degree child assault. His bail was set at $200,000.

According to charging documents:

A Lakewood police officer was driving to work Sunday along state Route 302 near 118th Avenue KPN when he saw the woman and her son walking down the side of the highway.

He saw the man swerve toward them, jump out of his car and chase them.

The boy ran onto SR 302, where he was nearly hit.

The officer called for backup. He got out of his car and saw the man on top of the woman in a field.

He sprinted over to find the man holding her down and hitting her in the face while the 8-year-old tried to hit him.

The officer got the boy to move and then saw the large knife in the man’s right hand. The woman pushed the man’s hand upward, trying to keep him from stabbing her in the face again.

The officer then pulled the man off the woman and handcuffed him.

Pierce County sheriff’s deputies responded to help with the investigation. The boy told them the man sat on his mom “like he always does” and stabbed her three or four times. The boy said the man hit him in the leg after he tried to stop the attack.

The woman told law enforcement that she, her son and her boyfriend were looking for a place to rent. The man was being difficult, so she got out with her son and started walking.

The man got out of the car, she said, and told her, “Now you’re gonna die.” So she ran.

The man chased her, pouncing on top of her once she fell. She said she didn’t know how many times she was stabbed.

She then said the man had been arrested in Arizona about a month before for domestic violence.

Police found a methamphetamine pipe on the man, who said he didn’t remember what happened or how much methamphetamine he had smoked in the previous day.

Kenny Ocker: 253-597-8627, @KennyOcker