Crime

Police Beat: A 911 hangup, a sorrowful driver and a raging teen

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

May 21: The call was a 911 hangup — but before the connection broke, a dispatcher heard a woman’s voice saying she’d been assaulted.

Officers drove to a homeless shelter in the 1400 block of South Yakima Avenue — on the way, they heard dispatchers saying shelter staffers reported a fight outside the facility between an older man and a younger woman. The earlier assault was being described as a possible rape.

Officers arrived and found the man standing outside the facility and yelling. He was 64. He said he wanted to file a complaint because he was being barred from the place.

Shelter staffers came outside; the man started yelling at them. He said he wanted the woman removed from his room.

Where was the woman? The man said she’d left, and waved toward the street. He was still yelling; officers cuffed him.

A witness, one of the shelter staffers, said he saw the man and the woman fighting. The woman was trying to get away, the staffer said. The man had pushed the staffer to try to get to the woman, who had left.

Another officer found the woman and brought her back to the shelter. She was 43. She gave a statement. She said she’d been staying in the man’s room for a few nights. She was sleeping, woke up and felt his hand in her pants.

She punched him, she said, and ran out of the room to tell the staff. The man followed. She tried to get away. Staffers separated them, and she ran.

Officers read the man his rights. He wouldn’t answer questions. They booked him into into the Fife City Jail on suspicion of misdemeanor assault and indecent liberties.

May 21: The woman was so sorry, she said. She was 19. It was all her fault, she said. She asked to be arrested.

Her car, a 1994 Ford Taurus, was facing the wrong way in the 6000 block of North Highlands Parkway. A nearby wrought-iron fence that skirted an assisted living facility was bent and twisted.

A bottle of Captain Morgan rum sat on the front passenger seat. A pair of flip-flops laid on the front floor. A child’s car seat and clothing sat in the back seat.

Witnesses had told the officer the driver was a young woman who was weaving in and out of traffic. She’d turned the wrong way into oncoming traffic, banged into the fence and fled on foot.

As the officer talked to witnesses, the young woman appeared. She wore no shoes. She said she was the driver. Periodically she cried. She said it was all her fault and she’d been drinking. She told the officer this wasn’t who she really was; she wasn’t a bad person.

The officer told the woman she was under arrest for drunken driving. She said her family would disown her. She feared losing her job. She said she’d been at Titlow Beach earlier with friends, and was on her way home.

Asked to take a breath-alcohol test, she asked about the difference between taking it and refusing. If she refused, she would lose her license for a year. If she took the test and failed, she would lose her license for 90 days. She took the test and failed, with readings of 0.14 and 0.13, above the legal driving limit of 0.08.

The officer let the woman call her family. She was booked into the Fife jail on suspicion of drunken driving.

May 19: The 15-year-old girl didn’t want to follow her parents’ rules, nor did she care for the restrictions at the group home.

Stuck without choices, surrounded by police officers, group home staff members and her parents, she flew into a kicking rage.

Officers had responded to the group home in the 5900 block of North 26th Street after hearing reports that the teen refused to leave with her parents. Group home staffers said the teen refused to follow the rules that applied to all residents.

The teen’s mother and stepfather said their daughter had been running away from home and hanging around with bad people. She’d been kicked out of school for disrespecting teachers and coming to class drunk. The parents said they tried the group home as a last resort.

The teen said she wanted to live with relatives in Mississippi, but her parents wouldn’t allow it. After sorting out the debate among the parties, the teen finally agreed to go home with her parents — but that was when the trouble started.

She got into her mother’s car and started screaming at her parents, calling them names and telling them she hated them. Her mother told her to give up her cellphones; the teen had two of them.

The girl screamed again, turning up the volume. She tried to walk away, and put the phone to her ear. Officers followed and brought her back. The girl said one of the phones was a gift from her grandmother in Mississippi.

Officers told the mother she could take the phone. She tried. The teen pushed her and took a swing at her. Officers corralled her. She kicked at them. They cuffed her. She screamed at them. They put her in a patrol car.

In the back seat, she kicked at the doors and windows and cursed, nonstop. Officers tied up her legs.

The parents told officers this was how the child acted all the time. They wanted someone else to see it.

Officers took the teen to Remann Hall and tried to have her booked on suspicion of misdemeanor assault. She failed booking and had to be escorted in by multiple security guards.

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