Crime

He used a bat to attack a Lake Tapps homeowner who uses a wheelchair, charges say

A man accused of a break-in that turned fatal at the Lake Tapps-area home where he used to live was charged Wednesday.

Bradley Eugene Bouton Jr., 35, pleaded not guilty at arraignment to first-degree burglary and two counts of second-degree assault.

Court Commissioner Meagan Foley set bail at $250,000.

Charging papers and the Pierce County Sheriff’s Department give this account:

Bouton moved out of the home in the 5300 block of 218th Avenue East several months ago.

“The home has multiple residents who move in and out frequently,” the declaration for determination for probable cause reads.

He returned with his stepbrother about 12:30 a.m. Saturday, and they attacked someone outside the home with baseball bats.

Then they went inside and used the bats to attack the homeowner, who uses a wheelchair. Bouton hit the homeowner in the head with a bat, the homeowner told investigators.

Then Bouton and his stepbrother proceeded upstairs, where a man and his pregnant girlfriend were living.

The man shot at them, aiming at their feet. When the stepbrother continued toward him, the man shot him in the chest.

The stepbrother died from the injury. He was identified by the Pierce County Medical Examiner’s Office as 40-year-old Rush Haggerty of Seattle.

Bouton was shot in the foot and fled.

He went to a Seattle area hospital for treatment, where detectives arrived and spoke with him.

He said he’d gone to the home to get some of his belongings.

The homeowner told investigators he didn’t know the reason for the attack.

“The state reserves the right to add an aggravator due to the vulnerability of the homeowner,” the charging papers say.

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Alexis Krell covers local, state and federal court cases that affect Pierce County. She started covering courts in 2016. Before that she wrote about crime and breaking news for almost four years as The News Tribune’s night reporter.
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