How to tell if you’re in an abusive relationship
A homeless man armed with a machete is accused of severely beating his girlfriend in Tacoma and attacking another man with a metal baseball bat after he tried to intervene.
Pierce County prosecutors on Thursday charged the 49-year-old with first-degree assault, second-degree assault, two counts of felony harassment, two counts of tampering with a witness and first-degree unlawful possession of a firearm.
Charging papers give this account:
On Aug. 18, several people called 911 to report that a man was chasing someone with a machete.
Officers arrived on scene and found the suspect’s ex-girlfriend suffering from a broken nose and two black eyes.
She told police she’d dated the suspect for a year but recently broke up with him when he started beating her.
That day, he’d come looking for her and found her in a tent with a few other homeless people.
She tried to run, but he caught her and punched her in the face and body until a man intervened and she was able to break free.
Police were unable to locate the suspect.
On Aug. 24, the suspect allegedly tracked down the man who stopped him from beating his ex-girlfriend and attacked him with a metal baseball bat.
The victim was found lying in the road near South G and South 14th streets.
Witnesses told police the suspect struck the victim at least 10 times with a metal baseball bat.
The victim was taken to a nearby hospital and listed in critical condition. He suffered bleeding in the brain, a fractured knee and a fractured arm.
Officers located the suspect Sept. 2 sitting in a parked car.
Although he provided an inaccurate name, police were able to verify his identity using a former booking photo.
He was taken into custody and two handguns were allegedly found in his car.
The defendant has prior convictions for assault, conspiracy, second-degree escape, riot with a deadly weapon enhancement and unlawful possession of a controlled substance.