Man choked Tacoma officer after nightclub assault, police say

The News Tribune – by Kenny Ocker

A Lakewood man put a choke hold on a Tacoma police officer responding to a dispute at a nightclub early Sunday, Pierce County prosecutors say.

The 31-year-old was arraigned Monday afternoon in Pierce County Superior Court on one count of second-degree assault, two counts of third-degree assault, one count of fourth-degree assault and one count of unlawful possession of a controlled substance. His bail was set at $100,000.  

According to charging documents:

Two Tacoma police officers were in the parking lot of a nightclub in the 8400 block of South Hosmer Street about 1:30 a.m. Sunday when they watched the man punch a woman in the face. They got out of their patrol car, told the man to stop and attempted to detain him.

The officers grabbed the man’s arms, but he tensed up, stepped backward and tried to flee. He disregarded the officers’ commands to stop resisting arrest, so the officers took him to the ground.

The man started swinging at the officers, then wrapped his arm around one officer’s neck and began to choke him. That officer later said he feared he was going to die.

The other officer hit the man multiple times to little effect, then applied a neck hold to him. That caused the man to release the other officer’s head.

The man again started fighting with officers, but backup from Tacoma, Lakewood, the Pierce County Sheriff’s Department and the Washington State Patrol arrived, combining to subdue the man and handcuff him.

Officers found a small amount of cocaine on the man’s person after he was arrested, court records show.

The woman who had been hit in the parking lot stayed at the scene and at one point tried to help the man in fighting the officers. She is scheduled to be arraigned Thursday in Tacoma Municipal Court on charges of obstructing police and resisting arrest.

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