Crime

Police beat: A phony pizza boss, a purse-snatcher and a surly dog walker

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

Nov. 15: The man couldn’t log in to the pizza joint’s computer system, which was no surprise, since he didn’t work there, though he claimed to own the place.

The dispatch call reported an unwanted person. Two Tacoma officers drove to the 8400 block of Pacific Avenue and found the man, 39, standing outside the business.

A manager explained that the man walked into the store, stepped behind the counter and started to fiddle with the computer. Told to leave, the man said he was a new employee trying to log in for work.

A manager explained that the man walked into the store, stepped behind the counter and started to fiddle with the computer. Told to leave, the man said he was a new employee trying to log in for work.

That made no sense to the manager, who knew the employees. Again, she told the man to go, adding that he wasn’t an employee.

The man tried to turn the tables.

“Well, I’m the owner, and I want you to leave,” he said.

That didn’t work, either. The manager called another manager, who happened to be the owner’s son, and dialed 911 a moment later.

The man doubled down. He called 911 himself, and told a dispatcher he was the owner of the business and needed to kick out a problem employee. He turned to the manager and told her he worked for law enforcement, and she should follow his orders.

The second manager arrived and found the man standing in the store, refusing to leave. The man still refused, even after being told police were on the way.

When officers spoke to the man, he was incredulous.

“How can I be arrested when I called 911?” he asked. He insisted he was the owner and said he wouldn’t leave without a case report that included the names of everyone in the business.

An officer explained that the man didn’t appear to be the owner.

“I own this, and I own Tacoma police,” the man replied.

The officer told the man he was under arrest. The man said he couldn’t be arrested. The officer cuffed him.

On the way to the Pierce County Jail, the man delivered a threat.

“I’ll be back with my badge and gun to get you,” he said.

The officer told the man he was flirting with a harassment charge.

“Wait till I get out! I’ll be back for you,” the man said. “I’m Secret Service.”

The man was booked into the jail on suspicion of obstructing an officer and criminal trespassing. He was ordered to stay away from the pizza place.

Nov. 14: Two tips for would-be purse thieves:

A. The Pierce County Courthouse has video cameras.

B. Bringing your snort packets to court is probably a bad idea.

The trouble started when a woman at the courthouse spoke to security officers and said her purse had been stolen from a bench in one of the courtrooms. The woman said she moved to a different seat, forgot to pick up the purse, went back immediately and found no trace of it.

The woman said she had been sitting next to to two other women who denied seeing the purse. She wasn’t sure whether they were still in the building.

A security guard called sheriff’s deputies, who hoofed it to the second floor. They found a small group, friends of the woman with the missing purse, arguing with two women, 21 and and 29.

It turned out that the friends had found the purse in a restroom, with everything inside. The 21-year-old argued that it wasn’t stolen. The 29-year-old told the deputy she had picked up the purse, thinking it was lost. She added that since nothing was missing, no theft occurred.

It turned out that the friends had found the purse in a restroom, with everything inside. The 21-year-old argued that it wasn’t stolen. The 29-year-old told the deputy she had picked up the purse, thinking it was lost. She added that since nothing was missing, no theft occurred.

Two deputies detained the women, while a third looked at surveillance video from the courtroom.

The images were clear. On the video, the woman moved to a different seat to get a better view, leaving the purse behind. The 21-year-old then grabbed the purse. She and the 29-year-old looked through it together. The 21-year-old hid the purse under her coat, briefly left the courtroom and came back.

The video showed the woman who lost her purse speaking to the two women moments later, and the 21-year-old shaking her head.

The deputy told the two women they were under arrest. He searched the 21-year-old and found a baggie with pink powder and straws.

What was this?

“Xanax,” the woman said. “I use one straw for the Xanax and I use the other straw for a different drug.”

The women were booked into the Pierce County Jail on suspicion of theft.

Nov. 11: The old dog looked like a black lab. His best days were behind him. He wagged his tail as the Tacoma officer patted his head.

The dispatch call had reported an assault. The officer stopped at the 2100 block of South 12th Street and spoke to a 43-year-old woman, who said she’d been punched in the face.

The woman said she saw a younger woman walking an unleashed dog past her house. The old lab had barked. The stranger walked to the fence and hit the lab several times.

The 43-year-old came outside and told the woman to stop, adding that she should leash her dog. The woman shouted curses at her, and said the lab had attacked her and her dog. She threw a punch, caught the older woman flush on the left cheek, and walked away.

The 43-year-old came outside and told the woman to stop, adding that she should leash her dog. The woman shouted curses at her, and said the lab had attacked her and her dog. She threw a punch, caught the older woman flush on the left cheek, and walked away.

“I don’t know why someone would do that,” the older woman said.

Could she identify the attacker if she saw her again? Yes, the woman said.

Shortly, another officer found the younger woman walking nearby, though she didn’t see a dog.

At first, the woman didn’t say anything. Told that she was suspected of attacking the older woman, she denied it. She said the woman simply came out and yelled at her for no reason. She said she hadn’t been walking a dog, just walking.

She added that she had been arguing with her boyfriend, and took a walk to cool off. She wouldn’t name her boyfriend or explain where he lived.

Brought to the scene for identification, the older woman identified the younger woman, who was booked into the Pierce County Jail on suspicion of misdemeanor assault.

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