Crime

Police Beat: A cursing stranger, a car-sitter, and a made man in overalls

Dec. 25: The man carried no identification, so the convenience store clerk refused to sell him a pack of Swisher Sweets.

The man cursed. The clerk told him to leave. The man refused. The clerk called the cops.

Two officers drove to the 5600 block of South Birmingham Street and found the man outside the store. One officer spoke to the clerk, who said he’d told the man to leave several times.

The other officer spoke to the man, who was 24.

“They wanted you to leave,” the officer said. “You should have left.”

“I don’t have to leave,” the man said.

“Yes, you do,” the officer said.

The man cursed and said he wasn’t leaving.

The officer cuffed him and told him he was under arrest.

“No, I’m not,” the man said, and tried to pull away.

By now, the second officer was back. Both edged the man to the patrol car. They opened the door.

The man tensed his body and straightened himself. An officer told him to get in the back seat. He wouldn’t. The two officers took him down. They tried to horse him into the car. He was half-in, half-out. The officers called for backup.

Another officer arrived with leg restraints. Soon, the man was in the car, bound. He swore and refused to identify himself.

On the way to the Fife City Jail, the man slipped out of the leg restraints. He head-butted the partition.

One officer told the man his movements were being recorded in the car. The man swore and said he didn’t care. He reeled off a list of threats aimed at the wives and children of both officers, the report states.

At the jail, he yelled at the dispatcher. Two corrections officers from Fife took charge of the man, who refused to leave the patrol car. They pulled him out.

He refused to identify himself. According to the police report, he stared at the Tacoma officers and said, “You are going to be a dying breed.”

The Fife officers took the man to the SCORE jail in Des Moines, where he was identified and booked on suspicion of criminal trespassing and resisting arrest.

Dec. 25: Call him the car-sitter. He didn’t steal. He didn’t tamper. He opened an unlocked car door and sat in the back seat, waiting for orders.

The dispatch call described the car-sitter as a man in his 50s, 6 feet tall, medium build, black baseball cap, blue fleece jacket, blue jeans. Officers drove to the 1700 block of South 45th Street and found him standing in the middle of the road by a red truck. Its doors were locked. Three bystanders had seen the man trying to open them.

Officers cuffed the man. He identified himself. He was 52, a Tacoma resident. He agreed to answer questions. He said he’d been visiting a friend when “Sgt. Mike” told him to walk around the corner to a white car, sit inside and wait.

The car-sitter said he followed orders: He found a car on the side of the road, opened it and sat in the back seat. Someone confronted him, he said, so he got out.

“Sgt. Mike” told him to go to another car — the red truck — and wait for instructions.

Did he own the vehicles? The man said no.

One officer asked how “Sgt. Mike” was communicating. The man said he could just hear him.

The car-sitter denied any mental health issues. He said he hadn’t been drinking.

Officers spoke to witnesses. Three of them said they’d seen the man trying to open the red truck. They confronted him. They said they heard him say something about a police sergeant.

Officers ran a records check. The man had an active arrest warrant tied to an earlier DUI offense.

Witnesses said the man hadn’t stolen anything. Officers booked him into the Fife City Jail on the warrant and suspicion of criminal trespassing.

Dec. 22: The Mafia don wore Carhartt overalls.

He drew police attention at 4:15 a.m. The dispatch call described him as a suspicious person making threats.

Officers drove to a house in the 400 block of East 25th Street and approached on foot. One officer noticed the glow of a laptop computer on the side of the house. A young man stepped out. He was 26, clad in a dark hoodie and tan overalls.

“Do you know who I am?” he said, with one hand in his pocket. “Do you know what I’m doing here?”

The officer ordered him to show his hands. The man complied. The officer cuffed him and told him he was under arrest.

The man said he was “the don of an Italian Mafia family.”

The officer checked the laptop. It was plugged into an exterior outlet on the exterior side of the house, sitting next to a backpack and a pack of cigarettes. No sign of a break-in.

Inside the house, witnesses said they’d seen the man outside. One witness said the man had threatened her father as he left for work; Dad had circled back after driving away, called the house and told his daughter to call police.

Officers spoke to the man, who said he was “the don of the Rosselli Italian Mafia family,” the report states. The man said he owned all the homes on the Hilltop. He was using the power outlet because the city had cut power at his home next door.

He had every right to use the power outlet, he said; electricity was free. He denied confronting the neighbor.

The don had no ID, but he gave his name. Officers ran a records check. The don had a prior misdemeanor arrest warrant. Officers booked him into the Fife City Jail.

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