He tried to run down 3 people outside a Tacoma elementary school, records show

A man with a history of mental illness tried to run down three people near a Tacoma elementary school as children were arriving for class.

The incident took place Feb. 1 near Browns Point Elementary, and Pierce County prosecutors filed charges Wednesday.

The 54-year-old is set to be arraigned April 4 on two counts of second-degree assault, felony harassment, harassment and third-degree malicious mischief.

Police said they are familiar with the man from previous incidents and “that his behavior seems to be escalating,” according to charging papers.

Documents give this account:

A federal officer was walking his son to school when the man drove by in a truck and yelled out the window that he wanted to shoot the officer.

The father asked another family to escort his son to school, then took a picture of the truck’s license plate. As he was doing so, the driver allegedly put the truck in reverse to stop him. The driver then sped away.

Moments later, the driver returned and allegedly drove directly at the officer, not stopping for him or the stop sign.

Nearby, a woman driving her son to school approached the driver of a truck who was parked in the middle of the road. She asked the driver to move, and he asked her to “take pictures/videos of him threatening her,” records show.

The driver threatened to crash her and her car, and then backed up until he hit her vehicle, where her son and dog both waited.

Witnesses reported that the driver appeared to be trying to pin the woman against her car.

Later, a retired school principal was out for a walk and crossing the street when the same driver allegedly drove straight at him. The principal jumped in the hedges and the truck missed him by about a foot, records show.

Officers arrested the driver near the school. He was involuntarily committed at a local hospital.

Stacia Glenn; 253-597-8653