Crime

Police beat: Biker on a speed binge, tow company dilemma and Truman syndrome

Editor’s note: Compiled from reports to Tacoma police and the Pierce County Sheriff’s Office.

May 27-30: The math isn’t difficult. Flaunt your zoomy motorcycle once to dodge the cops, maybe you get lucky. Try it twice in four days, and the odds drop like a rock.

8:44 p.m. Friday — The sheriff’s deputy spotted the 2005 Yamaha and its 19-year-old rider near the 10500 block of Sunrise Boulevard. The rider popped a wheelie as the deputy watched, whizzed into oncoming traffic at 70 mph, and forced two cars to change lanes to avoid a collision.

The deputy tried to follow. The rider throttled up to 110 mph and pulled away, ignoring the patrol car and the flickering emergency lights and siren. The deputy gave up the chase and noted the license plate.

10:06 p.m. Monday — The same deputy patrolled with a partner near the 8200 block of 176th Street East. The radio barked. The guy on the Yamaha was back. He’d pulled another stunt, passed a patrol car, zipped around slower traffic and hit speeds of 100 mph.

The radio barked. The guy on the Yamaha was back. He’d pulled another stunt, passed a patrol car, zipped around slower traffic and hit speeds of 100.

This time, the deputy was ready. He and his partner drove straight to a Graham address tied to the bike, in the 15200 block of 204th Street East.

The rider was in the driveway, standing astride the bike and talking on a phone, still wearing his helmet. He saw the patrol car and tried to stuff the phone in his pocket as one of the deputies wrestled him off the bike and cuffed him.

The rider asked what was going on.

The deputies told him he was under arrest on suspicion of reckless driving and eluding.

The driver said he didn’t do it. He said he’d just gotten the bike. Other people drove it.

Who? The driver wouldn’t say.

In the patrol car, the man said he should have kept on going; the deputies wouldn’t have caught him.

One asked if he knew he had passed a cop earlier. Yes, the man said.

Why?

“Holding up traffic,” the man replied.

Deputies booked the man into the Pierce County Jail. On Friday, county prosecutors charged him with one count of felony eluding and two counts of reckless driving.

May 29: The man’s car was impounded, and he had no money to get it out. His solution: rocks.

Officers responded to a report of vandalism at a towing business in the 6500 block of McKinley Avenue East. Someone had tossed a rock through a window and fled — a middle-aged man wearing dark pants, a dark jacket and a white baseball cap.

As officers arrived, dispatch reports said the man had returned and was walking near the business.

The man’s car was impounded, and he had no money to get it out. His solution: rocks.

A worker explained that she had seen the man earlier as she worked at her desk. She saw the man throw a rock at a window, but it bounced off. The man threw another rock at a garage window. This time, the window shattered and the man ran.

Officers swiftly found the man, 43. His name matched records tied to the impounded vehicle. He said he understood his rights. He didn’t want to answer questions. Officers booked him into the Pierce County Jail on suspicion of malicious mischief.

May 30: The delusion doesn’t count on the official mental-illness list, but it’s sometimes called Truman Syndrome, named for a 1998 film starring Jim Carrey. Those who experience it believe they’re starring in a reality show, recorded by hidden cameras.

The dispatch call came from a restaurant in the 2300 block of North 30th Street, reporting unknown trouble. A 911 caller said a man was “making havoc.”

Other calls followed. The man was threatening suicide and possibly other people. He was headed for the restaurant, the caller said.

Officers arrived and found the man, 28, standing outside the business. Tables and chairs had been knocked over. The man rushed toward the patrol car, waving his arms. He turned, fell to his knees and put his hands behind his back.

“Let’s go,” the man said.

The man told the roommate he was hearing voices. He said they talked to him through the radio, even when the radio was off.

The officer, wary of the odd behavior, cuffed the man and stood him up. What was going on?

The man said he didn’t know, but he wanted to go somewhere. Abruptly, he flailed and jumped. The officers wrestled him down.

The man said he’d had too much to drink. He berated himself. Stowed in the patrol car, he shouted at the officers.

Another officer spoke to the man’s roommate, who had called 911 earlier.

The roommate said the man was homeless. She had allowed him to stay at her place about a month earlier, but in the past few weeks, something had happened.

The man told the roommate he was hearing voices. He said they talked to him through the radio, even when the radio was off.

He had described a reality TV series, following his life, filming him constantly. When the roommate tried to talk him out of it, the man would agree, then bring it up again.

Today, the voices had grown louder, the roommate said. The man had complained that if the voices didn’t stop, he might have to kill himself or someone else.

The man had a prior arrest warrant tied to a charge of malicious mischief. Officers booked him into the Pierce County Jail.

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