Crime

Police beat: Swordsman returns, a running man, and no contact on the porch

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

Nov. 2: The dispatch call reported a man brandishing two swords and threatening homeless people. It was 12:22 a.m.

An officer picked up the report and drove to the Tacoma Public Library at 1102 South Tacoma Ave. The man described in the report was unmistakable. He was 55, clad in a blue hospital gown. On the ground nearby was a sword and a black sheath.

The man shot his hands up as the patrol car approached. The officer cuffed him, and spoke to a witness, a homeless man who watched the arrest.

The man said he was sleeping in a tent by the library when the swordsman started shouting at him to come out. The man peeked out of the tent and saw the swordsman waving the blade.

The man said he was scared. The swordsman had shouted, “I’ll kill you!”

The man said he grabbed a pair of tent poles to defend himself, and told the swordsman to stay away.

The swordsman had threatened to call police, the man said, and started taunting other homeless people huddled in the area, trying to pick a fight.

The officer spoke to the swordsman, who said he understood his rights, and wanted an attorney. The officer asked no further questions. She told the swordsman he was under arrest for felony harassment, and added that the sword was illegal.

“I know,” the man said.

The officer recognized the man from a prior contact. He’d threatened people with the sword before. The officer booked him into the Pierce County Jail.

Nov. 2: The house was empty, and the officer knew it — he also knew the two people rummaging through boxes on the front porch weren’t supposed to be there.

The officer parked in front of the house. The people, a man and a woman, walked off the porch and tried to hide behind a parked car. The officer called out to them, and said, “Tacoma Police.”

The man looked nervous. He started walking away. The officer told him to come back.

What was he doing at the house?

The man said he was looking to grab a set of speakers on the porch. The officer asked for identification. The man gave a name.

Did the man have any arrest warrants?

The man flinched and turned away.

“Please don’t run,” the officer said.

The man ran. The officer followed, shouting at him to stop.

The man didn’t. He reached into his pocket and pulled out something shiny and metallic. The officer pulled a stun gun and fired. The man fell on the grass.

The officer closed in, cuffed the man and checked his hand. The shiny object was a key.

A record check revealed the man had given a false name. He was 36, a felon, classified in police records as a career criminal.

Asked why he gave a false name and ran, the man said he panicked. The officer booked him into the Pierce County Jail on suspicion of obstructing a police officer.

Nov. 2: The dueling no-contact orders accomplished exactly what they were intended to prevent: plenty of contact, some of it physical.

An officer responding to a reporting domestic violence incident in the 4600 block of South Park Avenue unraveled the snarl. He found a 31-year-old woman outside the address who told half of a story.

The woman said she had a fight with her boyfriend a week earlier that led to his arrest. Today, she said, she’d gone to the courthouse to file a no-contact order against the boyfriend and his mother.

When she arrived, the mother was there, filling out her own no-contact order against the girlfriend. That started an argument that continued all the way back to the address on Park Avenue, where all three people lived.

The woman said she and the mother were arguing on the porch and the mother went inside and slammed the door. The woman said she hadn’t touched the mother.

The mother told a slightly different story. She was 54, sitting inside the house and crying. She said it was true that both women had been at the courthouse, and fought all the way home. It was true they argued on the porch, she said — but the girlfriend had “violently pushed” her, she said.

Officers spoke to the girlfriend’s mother, who also witnessed the argument. The second mother said her daughter didn’t do anything physical.

The boyfriend said he’d seen the incident, and added that his ex-girlfriend pushed his mother hard enough to knock her down.

A third witness, a neighbor who lived next door, said he saw the argument and saw the girlfriend push the mother.

The neighbor’s account settled it for the officer, who booked the girlfriend into the Pierce County Jail on suspicion of misdemeanor domestic violence.

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