Bonney Lake Police were forced to taser an out-of-control suspect who charged at and spit on officers during an incident at Jet Dry Car Wash April 28.
The incident began in Sumner, where a driver called the police to report a potentially drunk driver who was weaving around the road and apparently slapping himself as he drove. The driver also spit at the reporting party’s vehicle.
The vehicle and suspect left Sumner city limits before police could make contact, but Bonney Lake officers soon received a call that the suspect vehicle was now at the car wash and the driver was out of his car, throwing items around the car wash and banging on the office door in an attempt to get at an employee, who locked himself in the equipment room for safety.
When police arrived, the suspect and vehicle were in the car wash being washed.
As the vehicle exited the car wash, officers pulled in front of and behind the vehicle with their lights activated. As one officer approached the passenger side of the vehicle he could hear the driver screaming at the top of his lungs and waiving his arms around. Police also observed a baseball bat on the floor of the vehicle. The driver refused to calm down despite being asked several times.
The driver then reached for the waistband of his pants, causing the officer to draw his gun and point it at the driver, ordering him to show his hands. The driver refused, continuing to scream.
A second officer approaching the driver side of the vehicle did the same. The driver briefly placed his hands out of the window and the second officer told him to keep them where he could see them
Suddenly, the driver flung open his car door and lunged toward the officer on that side of the car. According to the police report he was screaming at the officer, but was incomprehensible.
The driver placed his hands on his head, but would not stop and would not turn around.
The first officer came around the car and attempted to place the man’s hands behind his back in order to put handcuffs on him, causing the subject to resist and fight further. The officer took the suspect to the ground and the pair continued to struggle, ripping part of the officer’s equipment belt and tearing one of his fingernails near the center of the nail.
Following the struggle, the second officer deployed his taser. The first attempt was unsuccessful when the prongs failed to stick into the thrashing suspect. A contact taser was used and the suspect was cuffed.
Police ordered a priority response from East Pierce Fire and Rescue for the suspect, who continued flopping around and making “weird noises,” according to the report.
The suspect calmed a bit and police helped him to a sitting position, at which time he immediately began screaming again, cursing at the officers and hurling epithets.
Then he spit at one of the officers, striking him in the face and on his uniform.
To prevent him from continuing to spit, the officers again pushed the suspect to the ground, face down and held him there until the fire department arrived. During treatment for his injuries – all of which were minor scrapes and bruises suffered in the scuffle – the suspect was strapped to a stretcher for his safety and that of the officers and firefighters.
During a search, police located $1,340 in cash on the suspect and another $480 in cash in the center console of the vehicle.
The suspect denied using any alcohol or drugs and a preliminary breath test showed a level of only 0.005, but officers believed him to be under the influence of an unknown drug, due to his erratic behavior.
The injured officer was also treated at the scene and released.
The suspect was transported to Good Samaritan Hospital and once cleared was transported to Pierce County Jail where he was booked on charges of malicious mischief, disorderly conduct, resisting arrest and third-degree assault.