Community Police & Fire

Gig Harbor Police blotter: Road rage leads to fight

Posted on May 12th, 2022 By:

A road rage incident on Highway 16 escalated into a fight near the intersection of Sentinel Drive and Sentinel Loop in Gig Harbor on April 30.

According to accounts from both people involved, the incident began with a disagreement over driving etiquette. The two drivers accused each other of driving too slowly in the fast lane, and cutting each other off.

Around 5 p.m., both cars exited the highway at Burham Drive. The second car, a Fiat driven by a Port Ludlow man, appeared to be following the first, a Nissan driven by a Gig Harbor resident.

A Gig Harbor man who was a passenger in the Nissan told the driver to pull off in a public place. He was concerned that the Fiat might follow them to their home.

Both vehicles parked on Sentinel, and both men got out of their cars. The Gig Harbor man told police that he tried to talk to the Port Ludlow man, who continued past him to get at the driver of the Nissan.

The Gig Harbor man was concerned because his wife and children were in the Nissan. When the Port Ludlow man got too close to the driver’s side door of the car, the Gig Harbor man shoved him.

The Port Ludlow man lifted up his shirt to show a knife stored in a sheath on his waistband. The Gig Harbor man initially thought it was a gun. He took the older Port Ludlow man to the ground and removed the knife from the sheath until police arrived.

The Port Ludlow man later admitted to police that he had made a “poor decision” to follow the Nissan off the freeway, but said he wanted to know why the other driver had cut him off.

A report of the incident was forwarded to the Pierce County Prosecutor’s Office for review of possible charges of fourth degree assault and displaying a weapon against the Port Ludlow man.

Nobody was injured.

Stolen vehicles recovered; one owner didn’t want his back

Gig Harbor Police recovered at least three stolen vehicles in recent days:

• An officer noticed a 1990s Honda Civic parked at a gas pump, with nobody pumping gas, at about 4:30 a.m. on May 8 at a gas station on Point Fosdick Drive.

The officer observed that the license plate on the sedan was a type typically associated with a truck, not a car. A records check showed that the plate had been reported stolen from a Dodge Ram pickup elsewhere in Pierce County.

A check of the Civic’s VIN number revealed the name of its registered owner. When contacted, the owner said he had the vehicle taken to a tow lot months ago and surmised it must’ve been stolen from there. He declined to participate in prosecution of the suspects because he was planning to scrap the vehicle anyway.

Two suspects were cited for possession of stole property. A report was forwarded to prosecutors for possible charges on possession of burglary tools.

• An officer took notice of a Honda Civic with no rear license plate or temporary permit parked in the Olympic Village complex on May 7. A check of the VIN number showed the car to have been stolen in Tacoma.

A man and a woman who had been in the car were arrested for outstanding arrest warrants. A domestic violence protection order also was in place between them. Officers found multiple stolen drivers licenses, social security cards and debit cards among their possessions. When they were booked into the Pierce County Jail, officers also found oxycontin and fentanyl.

• While patrolling the Target parking lot on May 6, an officer noticed a man walking away from a red Ford F-350 with no front plate. The officer checked the rear plate, which records showed should be on a Ford F-150.

The officer noted that F-350s are “commonly stolen due to lack of security features.” The vehicle was impounded until it could be returned to its rightful owner.

Several Gig Harbor officers searched the area for the man seen walking away from the truck. They were unable to locate him.

Unsuccessful vehicle thefts

Fortunately, not all would-be car thieves know what they’re doing.

Officers responded to at least two reports on May 4 of unsuccessful attempts to take a car.

One was at the Milgard Medical Pavilion on Canterwood, where a car owner reported someone had broken her drivers door lock and damaged her ignition and steering column. Officers suspect that it might have been related to another stolen vehicle and another recovered stolen vehicle in the same parking lot.

A similar incident was reported at an apartment complex on Olympus Way. The door lock on a work van parked there overnight was “punched” and the ignition was damaged, but apparently whoever did that couldn’t figure out how to get the van started.