Special Reports

David Brame's father contends incidents distorted by Crystal

Eugene Brame says he's tired of reading lies about his son, the late Tacoma Police Chief David Brame, in the newspaper.

"Everyone that's involved, and I'm talking about both the families, we all know what the real cause of this problem was," Brame said Monday. "And it was not David.

"The final outcome was something that he did that we do not uphold or defend, but there was a reason for it. There's always a motive."

David Brame fatally shot his wife, Crystal, and then himself, April 26.

Her declarations in their divorce case say he abused and threatened her for years; David Brame's declarations countered that he was the abused rather than the abuser.

Last week, a court-appointed guardian recommended that Eugene and Beverly Brame not yet see their grandchildren because they fear their grandmother.

"That's all things that Crystal has built up and made false allegations," Eugene Brame said.

The elder Brame, who also was a Tacoma police officer, said Crystal Brame became obsessed with small incidents and convinced her children they should be afraid.

He said the only time his wife disciplined their grandson, 5-year-old David Jr., was in March 2002.

"We were baby-sitting the children and little David was playing and roughhousing, and he hit Bev in the breast that had been operated on for a cancer operation," he said.

"She swatted him on the hind end, through the padded clothing, gently - that's all it amounted to."

David's 8-year-old sister, Haley, told Crystal Brame that their grandmother had spanked him, and that ended up in the court file, he said.

He said an incident Crystal Brame described in court papers as him pointing a gun at her and saying "accidents happen" was him trying to warn her of the dangers of firearms.

"He said, 'Now you have to be very careful with these because accidents can happen,'" the elder Brame said. "We weren't there when the incident occurred, but they (Crystal and David Brame) had talked about it.

"It seems like when anything is said to Crystal she would store that back in her memory box and then, at a later date, she would change that around in her mind, and she would be the victim. She was always the victim of something."

Crystal Brame's family declined to comment on Eugene Brame's statements.

Eugene Brame said his son filed a report in 1996 with Gig Harbor police after Crystal Brame scratched him, but nothing came of it. He also said Crystal Brame's parents didn't listen to their son-in-law when he told them she was abusive.

David Brame found himself in the same kind of domestic violence situation he had always tried to protect against in his police work, the elder Brame said.

"Nothing in David's favor has ever come out in this entire matter," he said. "David was the most loving and gentle young man that the world would ever want to know. And he's not the man who's being portrayed. I know that I'm his father, but it's the absolute truth."