Crime

Police beat: The wrong name, a knife in church and a baseball bat

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

Aug. 24: Sometimes, the truth will set you free. The only thing that sent the man to jail was lying.

The dispatch call started as a report of a man with a gun threatening a woman in a motel room. Officers drove to an address in the 1800 block of South 76th Street.

The caller had described her attacker as a white man in his early 20s wearing a Mariners jersey.

Officers spotted the man standing in the parking lot outside the hotel. An officer spoke to him, frisked him, found no weapon, and told him he’d been accused of having one.

The man looked shocked. He said he didn’t have a gun and denied ever having one. He said he was mad because his friend, the woman in the motel room, wouldn’t let him in to get his things.

The officer asked for the man’s name. The man gave a name and a date of birth in 1989, and said he had a driver’s license, but he wasn’t carrying it.

The man didn’t look 27 to the officer’s eye, but he let it go and talked to the woman in the motel room.

She said she barely knew the man. She had shared the room with him the previous night, and they split the cost. She said she paid for another night, but the man didn’t, and that’s why he couldn’t stay there. She said nothing in the room belonged to the man.

The officer looked around, and saw no clothing or other items that conflicted with the woman’s story.

The woman added that the man had banged on the door and talked about guns.

Officers checked records on the man and the woman. Her information checked out, but the man’s didn’t; there were no records under the name he’d given.

Officers checked records on the man and the woman. Her information checked out, but the man’s didn’t; there were no records under the name he’d given.

The first officer spoke to the man again, and asked for his name again. The man repeated himself. The officer asked if he was sure. The man said he was.

The officer told the man the state had no record of a driver’s license under that name. The man said the officer had spelled the first name wrong. The officer checked under the new spelling and found nothing.

At that point, the officer cuffed the man and accused him of lying. The man said he was telling the truth. He gave a slightly different spelling of his first name. The officer tried it and found nothing.

Did the man want to come clean?

The man insisted he was telling the truth and gave the name again. He added a new detail. His driver’s license was issued in Oregon. The officer checked, and found nothing. He told the man he was under arrest for obstructing a police officer.

At the Pierce County Jail, the man’s fingerprints revealed his identity. He was 23, from Renton.

Aug. 21: The churchgoer broke an unwritten rule: Don’t threaten the deacon with a knife.

The dispatch call reported a scuffle and church staff holding a man on the ground. Officers drove to an address in the 1200 block of South I Street and found five church staff members surrounding a 27-year-old man who sat on the ground. One staffer, the security director, handed the officers a folding knife and said it had been taken from the man a few minutes earlier.

The director said the man was a regular who attended services but often seemed to be high on something. Today had been the same; the man came, and staffers fed him breakfast before allowing him into the sanctuary.

The director said the man was a regular who attended services but often seemed to be high on something. Today had been the same; the man came, and staffers fed him breakfast before allowing him into the sanctuary.

The man didn’t like the ushers escorting him to his seat and started yelling at them, the director said. Told to sit down and be quiet, the man wouldn’t.

The director called for the deacon, who sat next to the man and tried to talk to him.

“Stay away, or I will kill you,” the man said, holding the folded knife in one hand.

The director and the deacon dragged the man out of the pew, aided by other staffers. After being taken outside, the man shouted more threats.

Officers spoke to the man, who rambled. He said church staffers took the knife out of his pocket. He claimed that he had said he “could kill them,” not that he would. He said he was a Golden Gloves winner and his hands were registered weapons.

Officers booked the man into the Pierce County Jail on suspicion of intimidation and threats with a weapon, and told the man he was banned from church grounds.

Aug. 19: The man said he’d done nothing to the woman, and tried to avoid her; he left out the part about hitting her car with a baseball bat.

The initial dispatch call reported a fight in the street. Officers drove to the intersection of South 54th Street and South Tacoma Way. They spotted a man, 53, standing just east of the intersection.

The man was sweating and breathing heavily. He said he didn’t need medical aid. He said he’d been stranded all day in his broken-down car, which was parked nearby. He said his ex-fiance had driven by earlier with her adult son, who tried to pick a fight.

The two had struggled, the man said, but the woman drove away. There was a no-contact order between them, he said, so he tried to avoid her.

What had caused the rift between them? The man said he cheated a couple of times, which ruined the relationship.

What had caused the rift between them? The man said he cheated a couple of times, which ruined the relationship.

A few moments later, the woman, 51, appeared in her car, a 2015 Hyundai Sonata. She told a different story.

The man had been harassing her on Facebook, she said. He’d posted a nude picture of her. Her co-workers and boss had seen it.

The man had violated the no-contact order repeatedly, the woman said, and kept harassing her, though she hadn’t reported it.

She backed up the story of the fight between the man and her son, and added detail. As she started to drive away, the man hit her car with an aluminum baseball bat.

She showed the officer a dent on one of the rear panels, and shoe prints on the passenger door where the man had kicked it. She showed a long scratch on the other side of the car and said it came from the man’s keys.

Officers cuffed the man and booked him into the Pierce County Jail on suspicion of malicious mischief and domestic violence.

  Comments