Police beat: The curious case of the courteous arrestee

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

Sept. 15: Every now and then, cops pick up a rare bird — the courteous arrestee.

The tabs on the maroon 1997 Saturn SL were expired. The sheriff’s deputy spotted it in the 2200 block of 208th Street East in Spanaway. He turned on his emergency lights and pulled the car over.

The driver, 28, didn’t have his license, but he said he was glad the deputy stopped him. The man explained that he had two felony warrants for his arrest and planned to turn himself in, so this was a convenient moment.

The man asked if the deputy could take him into custody so he wouldn’t have to drive downtown himself.

The deputy said he would have to confirm the warrants. He cuffed the man, put him in the patrol car and ran a records check.

The man wasn’t lying. He had two warrants: one for possession of a stolen vehicle, and one from the state Department of Corrections for escaping community custody.

The man said he knew about the warrants, but wanted to get his affairs in order before turning himself in. He was “extremely polite and cooperative,” the report states.

The deputy booked the man into the Pierce County Jail on the warrants, and released the Saturn to the man’s girlfriend, who owned it.

Sept. 14: The dispatch call to the boarded-up house was the 67th since January. A week earlier, Tacoma officers had rescued the homeowner, who trapped himself Winnie-the-Pooh style while trying to climb out of a window.

This time, the man was trying to break in again, according to reports from neighbors.

The power and water had been shut off long since for lack of payments. The city would board up the access points, and the man would find new ones. He was locked in a running battle with the city’s code enforcement office. He had started renting rooms to transients, which was a no-no.

Officers stopped at the house again and banged on windows, trying to draw an answer from the man. Silence. The officers asked a city worker to open the door.

Inside, the house was a mess. Garbage, rotting food and feces scattered across the floors. Officers found the man under a pool table in the attic, hiding under a tarp.

The ritual played out again. The man complained that he couldn’t be arrested for being in his own house. He said he was having a hard time reaching code enforcement. Officers said that was because the man had threatened to assault code enforcement officers.

A records check revealed the man had an active arrest warrant. Officers booked him into the Pierce County Jail on the warrant and suspicion of obstructing a public servant.

Sept. 13: Sometimes refs call fouls on the player who reacts, instead of the instigator. Sometimes cops work the same way.

The dispatch call reported a fight between roommates. Officers drove to the 2700 block of South 12th Street to sort matters out.

The place served as transitional housing. Officers spoke to the homeowner, who said that one resident, a 31-year-old woman, kept “running her mouth” about another resident, a 33-year-old woman.

The older woman had gotten tired of it, the man said, and the two started fighting.

Officers spoke to both combatants. The 31-year-old had a swollen eye. She said the landlord had confronted her about gossip. Supposedly, the 33-year-old heard the 31-year-old claim that the landlord had propositioned her for sex.

The landlord wanted to know whether that was true. The 31-year-old said it wasn’t, and agreed to sign a statement saying so.

While the document was being drafted, the older woman came downstairs and started an argument. The younger woman tried to ignore her, but the older woman hit her in the face.

Officers spoke to the older woman, who said the younger woman had been “talking mess” all week.

She admitted going downstairs, throwing the first punch, and hitting the other woman. Officers booked her into the Pierce County Jail on suspicion of misdemeanor assault.