Crime

Police Beat: A trespasser, a gun-waving man, a brawl among friends

May 26: The trespasser was 27. He wore an orange Seahawks cap and carried a camo-style backpack with a large knife sticking out of the top.

He left a trail of dispatch calls. One came from a frightened woman crying on a porch. Another came from a man who said the trespasser climbed into a fenced backyard and relieved himself behind a shed.

Officers drove to an address in the 2900 block of South 17th Street. They found a fence, found a gate, and found the trespasser standing in the yard looking at his phone. They saw his backpack, and the knife sticking up over the man’s head.

What he was doing in the backyard?

The man said he was lost.

How did he get into the backyard?

The man said he didn’t know.

Did he know who lived here?

The man said he didn’t.

Officers knew the man from prior contacts with his mother. They took the knife, read him his rights and told him he was under arrest. He said he understood. He said he’d been smoking marijuana and had a pipe with him.

The neighbor who called police said he didn’t want the trespasser on his property. Officers booked the trespasser into the Fife City Jail on suspicion of trespassing and informed his mother.

May 25: Rolling along south Proctor Street, the two officers spotted a white Jeep heading their way — and a woman inside, waving them down. They stopped and spoke to her.

At almost the same moment, they noticed a man walking toward the patrol car, waving what looked like a handgun.

The driver in the Jeep looked back and said, “He’s freaking people out and pointing it at people.”

The officers stepped out, on high alert. Both drew their guns, shouting, “Police.” They ordered the man to the ground.

The man threw the gun toward a nearby lawn and raised his hands. Officers cuffed him. They took a look at the gun in the grass. It was a toy: a plastic model with an orange tip.

The man was 24. He had blood all over his hands and a cut on one of them. Officers told the man he was under arrest and read him his rights. He said he understood and agreed to talk. He smelled of liquor.

Why was he walking down the street waving a gun?

“I’m a little drunk, and I’m on DOC (Department of Corrections) supervision,” the man said.

Officers cuffed the man and put him in the patrol car. He said he’d been drinking because he was recently placed on state supervision. Again, he admitted pointing the gun in the air. Officers asked why.

“Because I’m a moron,” the man said.

Officers spoke to another witness who said the man pointed the gun at her. She had driven away to avoid him. Officers booked the man into the Fife City Jail on suspicion of displaying a weapon and a prior arrest warrant out of Steilacoom.

May 24: The two men, friends for 25 years, stood face to face, poised to fight, fists curled. On the ground between them was a hammer.

Officers, who had responded to a call about a fight, separated the men. One was 48, the other 55. Both were stinking drunk.

The older man yelled about the younger man assaulting him. He said his friend came over earlier in the day with a bottle. They split it. After a while they started arguing.

Officers tried to puzzle out the subject of the argument, but the older man struggled to explain it. He said he’d asked the younger man to move his motorcycle and truck.

The younger man had punched him in the face several times, the older man said.

Officers asked about the hammer. The older man said he’d been working on something with the hammer when the fight started.

The younger man, equally tanked, wasn’t saying much. He refused to get into the patrol car. Officers eventually talked him into it.

In the back seat, the man complained that his wrists hurt. He thrashed. Officers told him that if he calmed down, they’d adjust the cuffs. He calmed down briefly. Officers got him out of the car.

“If you take these cuffs off me, I’ll beat your ass,” the man said. “I’ll take you out.”

The man started grunting, as though he was working himself up. Officers told him he was going back into the patrol car. Again, he refused. He planked his body, going stiff and straight as a board. Officers wrangled him into the back seat.

The man kicked his legs and thrashed again, aiming his heels at the windows. Ultimately, it took three officers to wrap him up.

Officers took the man to the Fife City Jail, but the staff said he was too violent for the facility. They took him to the SCORE Jail in Des Moines and booked him on suspicion of misdemeanor assault and obstructing a police officer.

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