Crime

He made Tacoma Power employees reconnect his power at gunpoint, charges say. SWAT followed

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Tacoma Power employees were met with a .44 magnum revolver recently when they visited an Elk Plain property, according to charging papers.

A 61-year-old allegedly had the employees reconnect his power — and check their work — at gunpoint Friday.

He pleaded not guilty at arraignment Monday to two counts of second-degree assault.

Charging papers give this account of what happened:

The company shut off power to the man’s property after he didn’t pay the bill.

An alarm went off on the meter Friday, which let Tacoma Power employees know someone had tried to reconnect it.

The company sent two workers to the property.

They knocked on the door, got no response, then started walking to the meter.

That’s when the man showed up and pointed a revolver at them.

“Turn the power back on you (expletive) Russians!” he allegedly said.

The man waved the gun and fired a shot at the ground, several feet from one of the workers.

The utility workers did as they were told, then the man instructed them “to make sure it was secure,” the declaration for determination of probable cause says.

Once they had, the man put away the gun.

They started to leave and he shouted: “Don’t come back you (expletive) Russians!”

SWAT arrived and took him into custody.

Before SWAT got there they learned he had “a possible history of mental instability,” the probable cause statement says.

They took his revolver and found ammunition for it in his pocket.

He had more ammunition in his home.

Investigators noted the building was spray painted with racial slurs and other statements.

The Pierce County Sheriff’s Department said in a statement: “After a 5+ hour standoff with the armed suspect, our SWAT team was able to skillfully and safely take the suspect into custody without further incident.”

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