Crime

Police beat: Neck tattoos, a Four Loko missile and a mysteriously damaged ignition interlock

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

Dec. 19: Pop quiz — you’ve got a set of neck tattoos, and two active warrants for your arrest. What do you do?

A) Keep a low profile.

B) Walk down the middle of the street and force a police car to swerve to avoid hitting you.

The Tacoma man chose option B. Two officers spotted him at 9:05 p.m., walking down the middle of South Tacoma Way near South Wilkeson Street. After the swerve, they flicked on the emergency lights, flagged the man down and asked for identification.

The man, 26, said he didn’t have any. Asked for his name, he gave an answer that didn’t sound right. Asked for the last four digits of his Social Security number, he said he couldn’t remember them.

One officer told the man that sounded like a lie. The man insisted the name he gave was accurate, but a quick records check returned no hits. Officers cuffed the man, and ran a deeper check.

They found a similar name and a mugshot that looked like the man. The neck tattoos matched. The man had two warrants: one out of Lakewood for a domestic violence assault, the other from the state Department of Corrections for escaping community custody.

Officers booked the man into the Pierce County Jail on the two warrants and suspicion of making a false statement to an officer.

Dec. 17: The woman’s weapon of choice was a full can of Four Loko, aimed at the head of her imagined romantic rival.

The liquid missile brought sheriff’s deputies to the 400 block of Field Road East in Spanaway, where they spoke to the woman’s intended target, a neighbor.

The neighbor said she’d been sleeping when she heard banging on the door. The woman yelled that the neighbor slept with her husband. The neighbor said she didn’t. The woman threw the Four Loko can and missed, then charged.

The neighbor said the woman hit her several times and bit her in the leg during the fight that followed. A group of men pulled the women apart, and the neighbor’s daughter called 911.

Deputies looked the neighbor over and saw multiple scrapes and a bite on her leg. They spoke to the daughter, who repeated the story, and said the woman had caused trouble in the past.

They spoke to two more witnesses: a pair of men who said both combatants were hostile, but the woman started it by throwing the can.

Deputies spoke to the woman, 32, who appeared to be drunk. She had minor scrapes on her face and blood on her ear. She slurred her words and had a hard time focusing on questions. She admitted throwing the can, and repeated the accusation that the neighbor slept with her husband.

She said the neighbor charged her and threw her down after the can was thrown. She admitted biting the neighbor, and said it was self-defense. She said that if she had to go to jail, she wanted to go back and beat up the neighbor some more so the trip would be worth it.

Deputies told the woman she was under arrest. They cuffed her and placed her in a patrol car after a short struggle. She was booked into the Pierce County Jail on suspicion of misdemeanor assault.

Dec. 17: For some reason, the ignition interlock device on the Jeep Wrangler was torn apart, and the man couldn’t explain why.

The man, 45, sat in the front seat of the Jeep, pleading ignorance to sheriff’s deputies. The deputies, who had driven to the neighborhood near Bonney Lake in response to a reported disturbance, were skeptical.

The Jeep was blocking a driveway, sitting at an odd angle. The initial report said the man had been walking around the car and yelling. A neighborhood security officer backed up the story.

The deputy looked at the dashboard. The ignition interlock, designed to prevent drinking and driving, had been pulled away from the dashboard.

Did the man know about the interlock device?

Yes, he said. The scent of burnt marijuana wafted on his breath.

Was he intoxicated?

No, the man said.

Did the dashboard always look like this, with the wires pulled apart?

The man said he was trying to figure that out. He said he wasn’t trying to drive.

He said he’d been to a party. He said he drank a Jagerbomb, a beer and a couple of shots. He said he’d smoked a joint. He said he didn’t remember much after the party.

He said he didn’t try to start the car.

Why were the keys in the ignition? Did he tamper with the interlock?

The man said he couldn’t remember. He’d blacked out after the party.

Did he normally black out at parties?

No, the man said.

Did he know tampering with the interlock was a crime?

Yes, the man said.

Why could he remember some things, but nothing about the Jeep?

“Guess,” the man said.

Deputies told the man he was under arrest, cuffed him and booked him into the Pierce County Jail on suspicion of tampering with the interlock. The Jeep was towed.

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