Crime

Police Beat: Freedom refused, a pick-up ploy and a stun gun

Feb. 2: Officers tried mightily not to arrest the Tacoma man.

They gave him a ride home, handed him off to his wife, and ignored his threats and slurs. All he had to do was get out of a patrol car. He wouldn’t.

The dispatch call came in as a reported disturbance at a restaurant in the 3700 block of South G Street. The owner said a customer was refusing to pay his bill and intimidating customers.

Multiple officers responded. The first one arrived in time to see the 50-year-old man spit at another man and square up for a fight. The officer broke it up and told the man to put his hands behind his back.

The man refused. The officer repeated the command.

“Oh, you are all by yourself,” the man said, and took off his jacket.

The officer called for backup and repeated the order.

“Shoot me,” the man said.

More officers arrived. They cuffed the man and put him in a patrol car. He accused them of racial profiling.

Officers spoke to the restaurant owner and customers. The owner said the man ordered $60 worth of food and drinks and refused to pay. Customers had said they were calling police. The man had replied that he would shoot any officers who showed up.

The manager said he just wanted the bill paid and the man banned from the place.

Officers called the man’s wife. She came to the restaurant and paid the bill. One officer spoke to the man and explained that she was going to give him a ride home.

The man replied with a stream of slurs. He called the officers racists, among other things. He asked the officer if she’d been raped, her report states.

Officers drove the man home to an address in the 3700 block of South J Street. They opened the car door, tried to uncuff the man and told him he was free to go.

The man refused to be uncuffed and refused to get out of the car. He told the officers to shoot him. He told them to take him to jail. Three officers argued with him for nine minutes, according to the police report.

Officers drove the man to the Fife City Jail and booked him on suspicion of obstructing a law enforcement officer. At the jail, the man said he didn’t threaten anyone and that he was being arrested only because of his race.

Feb. 3: The pick-up ploy was an old one — chat up a woman at the bar, follow her as she leaves, and tell her she’s too drunk to drive.

It didn’t work.

Officers responded to the dispatch call, a reported disturbance, and drove to a parking lot in the 7900 block of South Hosmer Street.

They saw a scuffle between a 22-year-old woman and a 35-year-old man. Officers separated the pair and sorted out the dispute.

The woman said she’d been having drinks with a friend at the bar when the man approached them. The woman didn’t know him. They had talked, but she wasn’t interested.

A little later, she and her friend left the bar and walked to their cars. The man followed the 22-year-old. He caught her at the driver’s door and tried to pull her arm. She fought and told him to get away. The man didn’t. The woman took a swing at him. The man shoved her into a planting strip.

Two witnesses backed the woman’s account. Officers spoke to the man.

“I’m being arrested for stopping her from driving drunk and saving lives?” the man asked.

Officers tried to search the man. He struggled. They took him down. He refused to answer any questions. They booked him into the Fife City Jail on suspicion of misdemeanor assault.

Feb. 3: The dispatch call was the sort that tends to draw attention — a student with a weapon on a school campus.

Classes were over for the day at Foss High School. Most of the students were gone, but a few were hanging around in the cafeteria. The weapon was reported to be a stun gun. Witnesses had seen it and reported it.

Officers spoke to a 16-year-old boy and his girlfriend, also 16. As one officer approached the girlfriend, the boy stepped in front of him. A second officer told the boy he was going to be searched.

The boy had no weapon. Officers walked him to the dean’s office. The dean was looking at surveillance footage, shot earlier in the cafeteria. In the video, the boy and his girlfriend were sitting at the table with other students. The boy had a small object in his hand. Another student ran from him.

Witnesses told officers they heard what sounded like a stun-gun spark as the boy chased the running student away.

Officers asked the boy about that. He said he didn’t know what they were talking about. He said he had a phone app that made the noise.

Officers looked again at the footage. It showed the boy handing the object to his girlfriend. Officers asked the boy what it was.

The boy changed his story. He looked at the officer’s thigh, and a holstered stun gun.

“One of those,” the boy said.

“A Taser?” the officer said.

“Yeah,” the boy replied.

Officers later went to the girlfriend’s house and recovered the stun gun. They told her it was an illegal weapon in city limits and on school grounds. They booked the boy into Remann Hall on suspicion of possessing a dangerous weapon on school property.

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