Crime

Police beat: A man on a roof, a garage assault and a moody driver

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

Dec. 16: The dispatch call reported a man on a roof, waving a rifle.

Officers drove to an address in the 8600 block of Sixth Avenue — an apartment over a tavern. They saw a man standing behind a rooftop balcony railing. He had no shoes. It looked like he was about to climb or jump. He tied a blanket to the railing and clambered over.

The railing didn’t look stable. An officer shouted at the man to climb back up. The man paused, thought it over and agreed.

From the balcony, the man asked the officer to break the windows of a nearby van so the man could get his keys.

The officer noticed a rifle on the ground: a Ruger 10/22 Hornet with auto-loading action. He scooped it up and stored it in a patrol car before talking to the man again.

The man said that was his rifle.

Did he have any more weapons? No, he said. He refused to come downstairs.

The man was 52. He said he suffered from schizophrenia. He hadn’t taken his meds in four or five days, and he’d been on a meth binge. He was hallucinating “bad,” he said.

The man was 52. He said he suffered from schizophrenia. He hadn’t taken his meds in four or five days, and he’d been on a meth binge. He was hallucinating “bad,” he said.

Still, he wouldn’t come down. One officer climbed up the side of the building to keep watch. Two more kept trying to talk him down.

The man wouldn’t listen. He walked back and forth along the rooftop edge and muttered.

Tacoma firefighters arrived and brought a ladder. The man started to use it, then backed off.

Negotiations lasted more than an hour before officers closed in on him. The man fought, to no avail. Officers restrained him. Firefighters put him on a backboard and stowed him in an ambulance.

Officers found another rifle and three knives in the apartment. The man was taken to St. Joseph Medical Center for a mental health evaluation.

Dec. 15: It looked like a simple domestic assault, but the story behind it hinted at something worse.

Officers drove to an address in the 4300 block of South Pine Street in response to a scuffle. They found a woman, 27, with scratches and a bloody face.

The woman said the apartment owner called her to the garage to pick up some belongings. Inside, the woman found herself surrounded: The apartment owner, a 34-year-old woman, and another man, 43, confronted her.

The woman tried to leave, she said. The apartment owner stopped her, pulled her back, scratched her, slapped her face and kicked her, she said.

The woman struggled, escaped, and called 911. Then she rang a friend, a 52-year-old man who came to her aid.

Officers spoke to the apartment owner. She wouldn’t give her home address. She said she called the woman to the apartment to get her things and leave.

Sorting out the background, officers learned the apartment owner ran a massage business. The younger woman was an employee. She lived at the apartment. She said hadn’t been paid in six months. She said she was only allowed to take tip money.

Sorting out the background, officers learned the apartment owner ran a massage business. The younger woman was an employee. She lived at the apartment. She said she hadn’t been paid in six months. She said she was only allowed to take tip money.

The woman’s friend, the 52-year-old man, added that the woman had been taken to Detroit before coming to work in Tacoma. The friend suspected some sort of human trafficking was going on.

Officers assessed the situation and made a judgment call. The young woman had visible injuries, and the apartment owner’s story wasn’t adding up. Officers booked the apartment owner into the Pierce County Jail on suspicion of misdemeanor assault.

Dec. 11: It’s a standard tip for drivers with suspended licenses — don’t speed.

The Tacoma man knew the tip. He ignored it. At 1:57 a.m., he drove a 1984 Chevrolet Blazer down Pacific Avenue at 60 mph, passing a patrol car going the opposite direction.

The officer pulled a U-turn and followed. The Blazer slowed down and turned into a parking lot. The officer caught up, parked and walked over.

The driver was 25. A woman sat in the passenger seat.

Why was the man going so fast?

The man said he wasn’t. Only 35, he said — right at the speed limit.

Asked for his license and registration, the man said he didn’t have it. He produced a state identification card. The officer ran a background check; the man’s license was suspended. The woman had a clean driving record.

Asked for his license and registration, the man said he didn’t have it. He produced a state identification card. The officer ran a background check; the man’s license was suspended. The woman had a clean driving record.

Back at the Blazer, the officer asked why the man would risk driving when his passenger was legal.

The man said the woman had been driving, but the car started shaking and he took over.

The man slurred his words. Had he been drinking? Four beers, he said.

The officer cuffed the man and told him he was under arrest. The man wouldn’t take field sobriety tests. He started revising his story: the woman had jumped in his car. She’d been driving. They switched places.

The officer wasn’t buying it.

The man shifted between apologizing and arguing. He said he worked at the tire shop that supplied Tacoma police cars.

During booking at the county jail, he called the officer names. He accused the officer of stealing his money. He tried to shake the officer’s hand. The officer refused. The man was booked for driving with a suspended license.

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