April 11: John Doe figured his anonymous pose would save him. He was wrong.
The dispatch call started with a report of shots fired at Swan Creek Park at East 56th Street in Tacoma. It was 5 p.m.
Officers drove to the park and found a man and a boy walking a dog and a goat. The man said he’d heard the shots and tracked them to an area nearby.
Officers walked along a path in the park and spotted three men walking toward them. One man was 32. One was 22. One, a juvenile, was 17. The 22-year-old carried a pistol holstered on his hip.
Officers told the men to show their hands. Two of them complied immediately. The third, the oldest, hesitated.
Officers told the men to drop to their knees. They told the man with the gun to get on the ground. He did. The oldest man argued a little, but eventually kneeled.
The 22-year-old was carrying a 9 mm handgun. It was unregistered.
Officers asked the men for their names and addresses. None of them carried identification. The oldest man gave a name and birthdate that didn’t match any records. They asked again. The man gave a slightly different name. He said he’d been born on a military base and never obtained identification since coming to the United States.
The 22-year-old told them he had ID at his apartment, not far away. Officers took them to the complex. The 22-year-old said the older man lived below his unit.
The older man said he didn’t have keys to his apartment. He took a phone out of his pocket, dialed a number and spoke to a woman. He told her that police could hold him for only 30 days if they couldn’t verify his identity.
Officers cuffed the older man and put him in the back seat of a patrol car. They released the other two men. The 22-year-old said the older man had a street name that might be part of his real name, but he wasn’t sure.
Officers took the older man to the Fife City Jail and booked him on suspicion of obstructing a police officer. They still hadn’t verified his identity. He was booked as “John Doe.”
On the way to the jail, the man called the woman again and told her not to say his name or anything else. Again, he said officers could hold him for only 30 days if they couldn’t identify him.
During booking, the man pulled keys out of his pocket — the keys to his apartment, which he claimed earlier he didn’t have.
It took two days, but officers finally identified the man. He had a list of misdemeanor warrants in and around Pierce County, enough to continue detaining him.
April 13: A basic rule governs domestic violence calls to police: Officers aren’t tools to help partners scare each other.
The Tacoma man found that out after he called police and reported that his girlfriend had punched him in the face and ripped out his ear gauges.
Officers drove to an apartment complex in the 1800 block of South 82nd Street. The man was standing outside. He was 21. He had scratches on his neck and wore a ripped T-shirt.
He said his girlfriend and their 1-year-old daughter were inside the apartment. He said he and his girlfriend had been dating for about seven years. He said they’d been fighting about money earlier. He’d called her a few names, and she’d told him to leave.
The man said he agreed to go, but picked up the baby to take her with him. His girlfriend wouldn’t allow that, he said. She scratched him, shoved him, pushed him away from the door, and finally punched him in the face.
Inside the apartment, the girlfriend told a slightly different story. She admitted hitting her boyfriend and said he yelled at her that he was calling police. She said she nudged him. She said they’d been arguing about stupid things.
Officers asked the man to fill out a domestic violence form. He asked what would happen to his girlfriend. He said he didn’t want to press charges, he only wanted to scare her.
Officers explained that it didn’t work that way. The man refused to sign any more forms and said he didn’t want to file a protection order.
Officers arrested the girlfriend and booked her into the Fife City Jail on suspicion of misdemeanor assault. Before leaving, they made sure the man was taking care of the child in the apartment.
April 15: The transient didn’t care for the restaurant customers. He walked to a table where a family was eating and threw their pizza on the floor.
Asked to leave, he came back a few minutes later and slammed a ketchup bottle on the floor, breaking it. A restaurant employee grabbed the man, wrestled him out the door and sat on him while others called police.
Officers answered the dispatch call and drove to the 1900 block of Pacific Avenue. They found the transient, still being held by the employee, who got up and handed him off to officers.
The transient, now cuffed, was 38 and belligerent. He called the officers rapists.
“Look at the tapes, you Nazi pigs,” he said.
A manager at the restaurant explained that the man had crept in through the back door. He’d flipped over a table before throwing the pizza and the ketchup bottle. Employees told him to leave, but he wouldn’t. He spat at the manager.
Other witnesses described the scuffle, giving similar details. Officers booked the man into the Fife City Jail on suspicion of misdemeanor assault.