Editor’s note: Compiled from reports to Tacoma Police.
April 18: Nothing says class like tossing a crude line to a younger woman at a bus shelter.
The two officers were parked in a patrol car in the 9000 block of Pacific Avenue. It was 8:50 a.m.
They spotted a 50-year-old man with an eye patch, riding a bicycle and smoking a cigarette. He rode past a bus shelter, and noticed a woman sitting on a bench, waiting. She was 23, neatly dressed, with blond hair and blue eyes.
The cyclist wheeled around and pedaled up to the woman. The officers watched. The man with the eye patch said something.
The woman’s face "displayed a look of revulsion," the police report states. She shook her head and said something back. The cyclist rode away. The woman watched and shook her head again.
The officers didn’t like the scene — was it aggressive panhandling? Something else? They got out of the car. One officer spoke to the woman. The other flagged down the cyclist.
Was he panhandling? No, the cyclist said.
“I asked her if she was working.”
Did that mean he wanted to pay her for sex?
“Yeah, she looked good,” the cyclist said. “But when she said she wasn’t a prostitute, I felt bad.”
The woman told the other officer what the man had said. She didn’t want any further involvement.
The officers cited the man for unlawful bus conduct and trespassing, and told him he was banned from Pierce transit property for a year.
April 18: The punch in the face was payback, the man said — the other guy put his hand in the wrong place.
The two police officers were working security at the Tacoma Dome during a motocross show. Their radios crackled with an alert: a fight outside the building, near the ticket windows.
They found a 22-year-old man with a cut over his eye. Blood ran down the side of his face.
Dome staffers and witnesses pointed to a 43-year-old man across the street. That was the guy who threw the punch, they said.
The younger man said he’d been walking with friends when the older man yelled, rushed up and accused him of touching his wife’s behind.
The younger man said he hadn’t touched anyone. The older man hurled the accusation again and followed up with a shove. The younger man shoved him back. The older man threw a punch.
The younger man said he didn’t need medical aid. He didn’t want to press charges. He figured the older guy was drunk.
The older man, speaking to the other officer, admitted throwing the punch, but he insisted the younger man touched his wife’s body.
“I probably shouldn’t have hit him,” the man said.
Officers cited the older man for criminal assault and released him at the scene.
April 19: The shoplifter couldn’t catch a break, even after a narrow escape and a muddled description. Her problem: too many witnesses.
A security officer and a store manager spotted her in the aisle of a grocery store in the 1100 block of South M Street. She was 39, thin, with a pink shirt, knee-high black suede boots and a high ponytail. She carried an oversized purse.
She walked down the aisles with an older man, who selected items and tossed some of them into a shopping basket, some into the purse: chicken thighs, frozen shrimp and a greeting card.
The security officer moved toward the couple, along with the manager. The woman and the man ran out the door, sprinting between a Tacoma Fire Department engine and an ambulance; the firefighters were responding to an unrelated incident, but they called police.
The security officer and the manager were still chasing the shoplifters. They lost track of the man, but caught up to the woman. The officer and the woman struggled with the shopping basket. The chicken thighs and shrimp spilled out. The woman grabbed one of the packages and ran, out of sight.
Police officers answered the dispatch call and gathered information. The security officer said he could identify the woman if he saw her again. He gave the description: boots, ponytail, thin build. Officers relayed the details over radio.
An answer came back. Another officer was contacting a woman with a similar description, about six blocks away. She’d been walking with a man, but they had separated.
The officer rolled up slowly in his patrol car. The woman quickened her pace. The officer switched on his lights. The woman kept walking.
The officer stepped out of his car and told the woman to stop. She kept walking. The officer ran up and took her arm.
The woman gave a name that didn’t match anything in police records. She said she had no mailing address.
Officers brought the woman back to the scene. They put her in a patrol car. The door banged her knee. She demanded medical aid. Firefighters responded — the same firefighters who had called police initially. Three of them recognized the woman instantly.
“We were the guys who called it in,” they said.
In the patrol car, the woman gave in.
“There’s nothing wrong with me,” she said. “Just take me to jail.”
The woman had a prior arrest warrant, still active. Her purse was full of syringes and drug paraphernalia. Officers booked her into the Pierce County Jail on the warrant and suspicion of misdemeanor theft.