Crime

Man pleads guilty to assaulting Tacoma-area roommate

A man accused of firing his gun near his Tacoma-area roommate and pepper spraying the man pleaded guilty to two assault charges Monday.

Henry Bartels, 56, pleaded guilty to second-degree assault and fourth-degree assault.

Initially he faced charges of attempted first-degree murder, first-degree assault and fourth-degree assault.

According to charging papers:

The shooting happened March 25 in the 9600 block of C Street East, where Bartels lived part-time with his husband, as well as a renter. Bartels also has a home in Seattle.

As the renter walked out back to do laundry, Bartels pepper sprayed him, then got his husband’s gun from inside the house and fired a shot.

Bartels told investigators he was scared of the renter. The pepper spray was a warning, he said, and the gunshot meant to scare the roommate.

The roommate told investigators he’d lived at the house for almost a year and that Bartels never liked him.

After the shooting, Bartels made his $350,000 bail and was released. He was not allowed to contact his husband, who was a witness to the incident, or the renter.

Because of Bartels’ plea, the husband no longer is a witness in the case and the two can see each other again, though not at the home where the incident happened.

Sentencing is set for later this year.

Alexis Krell: 253-597-8268, @amkrell

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