Police Beat: A birthday punch, broken windows and a gorgeous view

Editor’s note: Compiled from reports to Tacoma police.

Aug. 11: The woman’s birthday present was a punch in the face from her ex.

An officer responding to a reported domestic violence assault looked her over. The woman was 24. Her face was bleeding. A friend consoled her.

The woman explained. She and her ex-girlfriend, who was still her roommate, had been celebrating her birthday and drinking.

As they drank, the ex, who was 23, started talking about other relationships with other women. The 24-year-old began to get annoyed. She said her ex was using the other women and breaking their hearts.

That started the argument, which turned into a shoving match, then a full-on fight, the 24-year-old said. The ex unleashed a flurry of blows and caught the woman in the face and head. The ex kicked a hole in the wall of the apartment and fled. The 24-year-old went to her friend’s apartment.

The complex was in the 5600 block of North 37th Street. The officer checked out the unit where the two women lived. The door was open. He knocked.

The ex was inside, along with a man in uniform: her sergeant, who had been called to the scene in keeping with Army protocol.

The ex had spatters of blood on her shirt, but no apparent injuries. She said her girlfriend assaulted her first, and said she fought back to defend herself. She said the girlfriend had kicked the hole in the wall.

The officer was a combat instructor and an occasional participant in mixed martial arts bouts, according to his report. The blood spatter and the injuries he’d seen on the girlfriend didn’t match the story he was hearing from the ex.

The officer decided the ex was the aggressor in the fight. He cuffed her and arrested her. She didn’t resist. He booked her into the Fife City Jail on suspicion of misdemeanor assault.

Aug. 14: Sometimes the problem with breakups is money. That’s why windows get broken and people get arrested.

The call started as a report of vandalism. Officers drove to parking lot in the 5000 block of South 56th Street. Witnesses said the man “who broke the windows of his ex’s car” had run away, and the car with his new girlfriend inside was just pulling out of a nearby gas station.

Officers stopped the car, a 1997 Toyota Camry. The driver was a 27-year-old woman. Her son, 9, sat in the back seat. Next to him was a metal pipe.

The woman said she didn’t know what was going on.

Officers spoke to the ex-girlfriend, who was 22, still in the parking lot. They looked at her car, a 1996 Honda Accord. Both passenger windows were shattered.

The woman said she’d broken up with her boyfriend recently and that they were arguing about unpaid rent. She said she saw her ex and his new girlfriend drive into the parking lot. The new girlfriend broke one window on the Accord, and the boyfriend broke the other, the 22-year-old said.

Two bystanders backed up the account. They said they saw the man break the window with a pipe and toss it into his girlfriend’s Camry.

Officers found the boyfriend at an apartment complex nearby. He was 29. Small cuts on one of his hands were bleeding.

He admitted breaking the windows of his ex-girlfriend’s car. He said he’d broken both of them. He said his ex-girlfriend had skipped out on unpaid rent at their old apartment. She’d promised to pay, but hadn’t.

The man said he learned that his ex was getting her nails done at a salon near the parking lot. That made him angry, he explained.

“If she’s not going to pay the rent, she’s going to pay for some windows,” he said.

Officers arrested the man and booked him in the Fife City Jail on suspicion of vandalism and destruction of property. They gave his girlfriend a criminal citation and released her.

Aug. 14: The view was gorgeous, but the two men weren’t looking at the cityscape. One was 19. The other was 38.

They were parked in a red 1996 Volvo sedan, at the intersection of East 32nd and F streets. The spot overlooks the city. It’s a magnet.

An officer on routine patrol pulled up behind the car. He turned on his emergency lights, stepped out of his car and walked over.

The front seats were down. So were the two men. So were their pants.

The officer banged on the side of the car and said, “Police!”

The two men startled and pulled up their pants. The 19-year-old driver started the engine and rolled his window down.

The officer explained that the two men appeared to be having sex in public. Residents in the nearby houses could see them.

The 38-year-old started to reach under the seat. The officer told him to stop. The 19-year-old laughed and said, “He can do whatever he wants.”

The 19-year-old refused to provide ID. He said he didn’t have to do anything the officer told him to do.

The officer said the man could be arrested for obstructing a police officer. The 19-year-old said he had no ID.

“I’m not telling you anything,” he said.

The officer told the man he was under arrest, and needed to get out of the car. The 19-year-old refused. He said he was just visiting with his friend.

What was the friend’s name?

“I forgot,” the 19-year-old said.

The officer told him to get out of the car. The man grabbed the steering wheel. The officer said he was prepared to give the man a stun-gun shot. The man got out of the car.

The officer cuffed him and put him in his patrol car. The man got angry and said the officer couldn’t arrest him. The officer searched him and found a wallet with a state identification card.

The older man wasn’t so angry. He gave his name. He gave the name of the 19-year-old and spelled it.

The officer, noting the age difference, asked the older man if he’d paid for sex. The man said no. He said he didn’t know they were doing anything illegal. He thought it was OK if they were in the car.

The officer released the older man at the scene. He took the 19-year-old to the Fife City Jail and booked him on suspicion of indecent exposure and obstructing a police officer.

At the jail, the man refused to answer questions, apart from a last remark to the officer:

“You’re gonna get in so much trouble.”