Editor’s note: Compiled from reports to Tacoma police and the Pierce County Sheriff’s Department.
July 31: Generally speaking, fire extinguishers are designed to extinguish fires. The Tacoma man chose a different purpose.
The dispatch call reported vandalism at an apartment complex. Two Tacoma officers drove to the 700 block of Commerce Street to track down the trouble.
They spoke to a security guard, who told a story: He’d responded to a blaring fire alarm on the basement floor. Reaching the hallway, he saw a spent fire extinguisher on the ground, its chemical contents spattered all over the walls, floors and smoke detectors on the ceiling. The guard suspected the chemicals set off the alerts.
After calling Tacoma firefighters for assistance and clearing the alarm, the guard took a look at surveillance video. The footage showed a man, a first-floor resident, breaking the glass of a fire extinguisher cabinet, walking downstairs and spraying it all over.
The guard said the man was partially nude. The man might be on the 10th floor, he said.
Officers took a look. They found the man, 50, wearing nothing but a bedsheet. They cuffed him.
Advised of his rights, the man said he understood them, and declined to say more. He was booked into the Pierce County Jail on suspicion of malicious mischief.
July 31: Hitting a motorcyclist with your car while drunk is bad enough. Threatening to shoot him unless he lies to the cops is something else.
The sheriff’s deputy responded to a reported collision near the intersection of Spanaway Loop Road South and 145th Street South. He spotted a group of vehicles, and a man, 40, confronting other drivers.
One witness tried to tell the deputy what happened. The man started yelling that the witness was lying.
The man slurred his words. He was unsteady. As he walked toward his white Toyota Camry, he stumbled twice. Asked for his license and registration, he pulled a sheaf of papers from the glove box and waved them.
The deputy noticed a crushed can of alcohol-infused soda in the Camry’s cup holder. He asked the man what happened.
The man said he was driving along when a motorcycle abruptly pulled in front of him, too close for him to stop. As the deputy listened, the man grew tense, raising his voice and lurching forward.
With help from another deputy who had arrived on the scene, the man was cuffed. He admitted he’d been drinking, but not too much. He agreed to a preliminary breath test. The reading was .076, just under the legal limit of .08.
The deputy spoke to the motorcycle driver, who said he’d been driving along and preparing to change lanes. He signaled, he said, moved left, and continued in the lane for a few seconds until the Camry hit him from behind.
The impact knocked him off the bike, he said, and he slid across the pavement into the grass on the shoulder. The man had bumps and bruises. An emergency medical team looked him over, but he wasn’t seriously injured.
The motorcycle driver said the man in the Camry approached him after the collision, threatened to shoot him if he didn’t lie to police, and tried to start a fight.
The deputy spoke to two other drivers at the scene who told similar stories. The Camry driver was cited for reckless driving. His car was towed.
July 29: If you’re building a backyard deck, it’s well known that hardware stores carry the necessary lumber and plywood to finish the project.
The two Pierce County men decided that ripping off a contractor was a better idea.
The dispatch call reported a break-in on a secured business lot. A sheriff’s deputy drove to the 4200 block of Waller Road East and spoke to a witness who said he’d seen two men sneak through a cut in the fence. The witness had called 911. One of the men heard him confronted him, and ran.
The deputy soon found the hole. It appeared to be freshly cut. The fence was 8 feet high, topped with barbed wire and marked by “No Trespassing” signs.
A police dog arrived along with other deputies. Before the dog could find the suspects, another deputy spotted them trying to sneak back through the hole. Soon, they were cuffed.
Asked what was going on, one of the men said he and two friends had broken in to grab lumber for a backyard deck.
The second man he and his friends were looking for gas. They would have taken it had they found any, he said.
Deputies continued the search, but found no sign of the third man. The other two men were booked into the Pierce County Jail on suspicion of second-degree burglary.