Puyallup man beat stranger in the head with bat after accusing victim of selling drugs

A Puyallup man beat a stranger in the head with a baseball bat this week after he accused the person of coming to his apartment complex to sell drugs, according to charging papers.

The 29-year-old pleaded not guilty at arraignment Thursday to second-degree assault and felony harassment. Court Commissioner Craig Adams ordered him released on his own recognizance and to follow any conditions set by Pretrial Services.

Charging papers give this account of what happened:

The suspect came out of an apartment Wednesday and started yelling at three people there — one of whom was a woman who lived at the complex.

She told police in her statement that the suspect told her: “Get inside you tweaker (expletive) little (expletive),” and that the victim and the third person with them told the suspect not to speak to her that way.

Then the suspect threatened to kill them, she said.

The suspect allegedly yelled that they were visiting the apartment to sell drugs, and he grabbed a metal baseball bat and said he had a friend on the way to shoot them.

Then he approached and hit one of the three in the head with the bat. The victim collapsed, and the suspect returned to his apartment.

The victim had a lump on his head, said he was in pain and was taken to a hospital.

He said he’d never met the suspect and that he’d been at the complex to visit the woman.

The suspect came out of the apartment when police arrived.

He was agitated, and police had trouble understanding him.

“Since the 911 call had mentioned a weapon and also a possible firearm, the officer, who was alone at the time, directed the defendant to go back inside his apartment,” the declaration for determination of probable cause says. “The defendant did so with profanities directed at the officer.”

Then the suspect came back out and said he hit the man with the bat in self defense after he was pepper sprayed.

The suspect’s father said the pepper spray the suspect had on his shirt was actually dog repellent, which the suspect had on his bicycle inside the apartment.

“The officers determined the spray was likely self applied by the defendant, after he returned inside his apartment and had contact with the first officer on the scene,” the probable cause statement says.

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.