Police beat: No fun for Christmas, a lippy thief, and an argument over a hotel bill

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

Dec.5: The fight started as the parents baked Christmas snacks. It ended with a toppled tree, shattered ornaments and a trip to jail.

County sheriff’s deputies responding to a domestic violence complaint drove to an address in the 9700 block of Pacific Avenue South. They spoke to a man, 39, who said his wife had been drinking all day, which typically meant bad news.

They had been baking snacks, the man said. They started arguing. Things got loud. The woman, 39, threw down the Christmas tree, breaking some of the ornaments. She picked up a video game console — a PlayStation 4 — and hurled it across the room, breaking it.

The husband said he told his wife to leave several times. She wouldn’t. The fight escalated. He called 911 at that point, he said. He wanted his wife arrested.

Deputies spoke to the couple’s 17-year-old son, who echoed the father’s story. Mom had been drunk and loud. She threw down the tree. She broke the game console. She had threatened to punch everyone in the house. The father had asked her to leave, but she refused.

Deputies looked over the residence and took pictures of the mess. They told the woman she was under arrest and cuffed her.

The woman admitted breaking the game console. She bought it, she said; she could break it if she felt like it. She slurred her words. Deputies booked her into the Pierce County Jail on suspicion of malicious mischief.

Dec. 4: Pop quiz — You’ve got an active felony warrant for your arrest because you blew off a court hearing on a drug charge. What do you do?

A) Stay out of sight and avoid attention.

B) Rip off liquor and food from the local grocery store using a basket labeled with the store’s brand, stow the basket in the back of a pickup truck, hang out in the the store parking lot and eat, annoy another business owner enough to trigger a 911 call, and threaten the cops who arrest you.

The 24-year-old Graham man chose option B. Sheriff’s deputies responding to a report of an unwanted person drove to a shopping center in the 10100 block of 224th Street East.

They found an older red Nissan pickup truck with two men inside.

What was going on?

The men said they were waiting for a friend who was shopping at one of the stores. They gave their names and birthdates.

Did they have any warrants?

The driver, 28, said he didn’t. The passenger, 24, said he thought he had something for drugs.

He was right. The deputy found it, and told the man he was under arrest. The man said he didn’t want to talk.

The second deputy checked the bed of the pickup and spotted a shopping basket from the grocery store filled with liquor: three bottles of Smirnoff vodka and three bottles of Kahlua. The anti-theft security blocks were still attached. He asked the 24-year-old about them.

The man said he bought the liquor from a friend. The deputy was skeptical. He knew store clerks removed security blocks at the point of purchase. He spoke to the store manager, who confirmed the theft, and showed him video of the man running out of the store with the liquor.

While one deputy left briefly to deal with another call, the other spoke to the 24-year-old, who started jawing. Watching the first deputy leave, the man said with profane emphasis that he couldn’t wait to find him out of uniform.

The second deputy asked the man to repeat the statement. The man did.

That could be harassment, the deputy said, as he placed the man in a patrol car.

“Where do you live?” the man asked. “Are you married?”

The deputy said the man didn’t need to know those answers.

“No wonder bad things happen to you guys,” the man replied.

He was booked into the Pierce County Jail on the warrant, as well as suspicion of theft and felony harassment.

Dec. 3: It’s a simple fact that hotels charge higher rates on weekends, but the guest was no fan of such traditions.

The dispatch call reported irate hotel guests armed with a knife and a gun. Tacoma officers drove to the 8700 block of South Hosmer Street and spoke to a woman at the front desk and two security officers.

The employees said a guest in Room 101 had asked to stay another night, and gotten upset when he heard about the higher weekend rate.

A little later, the front-desk worker checked security video, and noticed a group of people milling around the door to the room. One of the security officers told the group they had to leave; visitors weren’t allowed after hours. The group got surly.

Moments after that, the man from Room 101 came to the front desk yelling about money and demanding his deposit back. He openly fiddled with a folded knife and told a friend standing nearby to, “go get the gun.”

The staffers said they also heard the man say something like, “We ain’t scared, and we’ll rob your place down.”

Officers found the man and his friends at a restaurant nearby, though they didn’t find a gun. The man, 29, admitted arguing at the front desk, but he said he thought the security guard was reaching for a gun, which was why he pulled out the folding knife. He was booked into the Pierce County Jail on suspicion of unlawful use of a weapon.