Police Blotter Jan. 02, 2013
POLICE RESPOND TO PROTEST
Police were called to Tacoma Mall on Dec. 26 to handle a demonstration near the food court. Demonstrators rallied in support of First Nations people who are lobbying Canada’s government to improve living conditions of natives in that country and defeat legislation that would allow natives to sell reservation plots to non-natives. Security guards asked the demonstrators to leave, but they refused. Police officers arrived and ordered the group, which was estimated to be between 80 and 100 people, to leave. The demonstrators complied. They were banned from the mall for one day.
CHRISTMAS JAIL ALTERCATION
A Tacoma woman has been charged with custodial assault related to an incident in Pierce County Jail on Dec. 25. Audreyanna Newell is in jail on a charge of theft of a motor vehicle. A female corrections officer asked Newell to return to her cell. Newell raised her fists and threw a punch. The officer grabbed her. Newell grabbed the officer’s shirt. The officer kicked Newell. Other officers responded. As Newell spit at them, one used a taser to subdue her. Newell pleaded not guilty. A judge scheduled a competency hearing for her on Jan. 4.
CAR SET ON FIRE
A woman discovered her car on fire on Dec. 25. The incident occurred in the 500 block of South 70th Street. Police officers and firefighters responded and the flames were extinguished. The woman told police her ex-husband had vandalized her car in the past. The fire is being investigated as a possible case of domestic violence arson.
DEPUTIES TASER MOTORIST
Sheriff’s deputies used a taser on a man on Dec. 25. The suspect fled from a crash in the 1900 block of Westridge Avenue West after he was involved in another accident in the 1900 block of South Mildred Street. He resisted, which led the deputies to use the taser. Another person involved in the second crash suffered head injuries and was taken to a hospital. The suspect was arrested for investigation of vehicular assault and driving under the influence.
NORTH END CHURCH VANDALIZED
Six windows were broken at a church on Dec. 24. The incident occurred at Holy Cross Catholic Church, located in the 5500 block of North 44th Street. A member of the congregation attended a Christmas Eve mass and noticed the damage in a building adjacent to the church used for social functions. Windows on the building have been broken several times this year. Possible hate-related paperwork was left at the scene. The church has a court order against a person suspected of vandalizing the building in the past. The suspect was seen in the area, but officers did not locate the individual. The incident is being investigated as a hate crime.
SHOOTING SUSPECT EXTRADITED
A teenager wanted in a gang shooting in Tacoma has been extradited to Pierce County from Mexico. Naitaalii Toleafoa, 18, has been a fugitive since May 2010, when gang leader Juan Zuniga was killed in a West End home. Prosecutors claim Toleafoa and Juan Ortiz killed Zuniga over dissatisfaction over his leadership of the gang. Another man was paralyzed from being shot at the scene. Toleafoa made a court appearance on Dec. 24. A future hearing will be held to determine if he will be tried as a juvenile or an adult. Ortiz remains at large.
SHOTS FIRED ON EAST SIDE
Shots were fired in the 3400 block of Portland Avenue on Dec. 23. A man fired several rounds into the ground and ran away. No one was injured. Officers did not locate the suspect.
GOT THE TIME?
A vehicle was shot during what appears to have been an attempted carjacking on Dec. 22. The victim pulled into his driveway in the 4300 block of East ‘G’ Street and got out of his vehicle. Another vehicle pulled up next to him and the driver of that vehicle asked what time it was. The suspect then punched the victim, who got in his vehicle and honked the horn. The suspect fired several shots at the victim’s car. The victim was not injured and the suspect fled.
OFFICER SHOOTS WOMAN
An officer fatally shot a young woman on Dec. 22. A woman called police to report her daughter fired several shots inside a house in the 3500 block of South Fawcett Avenue. Sophia Strickland, 22, refused to communicate with officers. She walked down a set of stairs with a handgun pointed at an officer, who shot her.
SUSPECT FLEES POLICE
Officers contacted several people in the 7600 block of Pacific Avenue on Dec. 21. One had a warrant for arrest on an assault charge. The suspect fled. A K-9 unit was unable to locate the suspect.
MAN ROBS BUSINESS
A business in the 2700 block of North Pearl Street was robbed on Dec. 21. A man entered with a handgun. He robbed the business and fled on foot.
A man is accused of threatening to blow up the Department of Corrections office in the 10100 block of South Tacoma Way. On Dec. 21 employees called police about an object in the lobby. It was determined to be a fake bomb. Two others were found buried outside. During the investigation, Emil Herman Haag told employees he planted the devices. According to court documents, he threatened to bring dynamite to Lakewood Municipal Court and blow it up. Haag had previously been under Department of Corrections supervision. The day before he was kicked out of the office. Haag was charged with intimidation or harassment with an explosive. He pleaded not guilty. His bail was set at $250,000.
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