Man accused of trying to stab a stranger and chasing him around a Tacoma library

A man accused of trying to stab a stranger and chasing him around a Tacoma library branch Friday has been charged.

Pierce County prosecutors charged the 29-year-old with second-degree assault Monday.

Superior Court Commissioner Craig Adams ordered him held without bail while he undergoes an evaluation to determine his competency to stand trial.

Charging papers give this account of what happened:

Police responded to the library branch at 765 S. 84th St. after a report that a man had chased someone through the library with a knife or a broken scissor blade.

The victim told officers he had been at the library with his wife and did not know the suspect.

As he left the bathroom, the suspect asked for his name. The victim said he walked away, at which point the suspect pulled out part of a pair of scissors and tried to stab him.

“The victim’s wife was interviewed, and she said she was in the library looking at books, then she heard her husband yelling,” the declaration for determination of probable cause says. “She said she walked toward her husband and saw a man with what looked like a knife chasing him. She said the assailant dropped the weapon at one point but picked it up again before fleeing out the door of the library.”

Officers found a man nearby who matched the description of the suspect. He fled, and police chased and detained him.

They found scissors in a back pocket of his jeans and a pairing knife and half a pair of scissors in a front pocket of his coat.

“Library personnel were interviewed and stated they saw the defendant, who is a regular patron of the library, pull a knife on the victim and chase him around inside the library before fleeing,” 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.