Auburn man accused of ‘vicious' baseball bat attack on neighbors

A 45-year-old Auburn man has been charged in what prosecutors said was a vicious attack with a baseball bat on his neighbors.

The victims, a man and a woman who live in an apartment with the woman’s adult son, live next door to the suspect, 45-year-old Tolo Tauti.

Police said there had been some friction between the woman’s family and Tauti, who believes they are responsible for breaking a window on his vehicle. Tauti’s family denies any involvement.

According to court files, on the night of July 13, the victims pulled up in the apartment complex parking lot in the 2200 block of I ST NE, with the man driving. Tauti and his car were about 15 feet away, according to the victims.

Charging documents said Tauti walked up to the victims’ car carrying a baseball bat, and without warning, broke the windshield, driver's window and rear window. The impact was strong enough to not only shatter the glass but to send pieces out of the car, police noted.

Police said Tauti then swung the bat at the driver as he sat in the car, striking him least one time on his left arm. It was later determined that his arm was broken from the blow.

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The woman, who was in the front passenger seat, began to get out of the car, but Tauti came around and began swinging the bat at her, hitting her in the upper body and causing her to fall to the ground. As she lay on the ground, Tauti struck her repeatedly with the bat on her upper body, face and head, police said.

Charging documents say Tauti is 45, 5-feet 11-inches tall and weighs 276 pounds. In comparison, the woman attacked by Tauti is 55, 5-feet 3-inches tall and weighs 145 pounds.

Authorities said the woman was bleeding and screaming, and when her son heard what was happening, he grabbed his own bat and confronted Tauti.

Police said victim’s son hit Tauti with his own bat, then threw it at Tauti as Tauti tried to hit strike him. The son then left the fight and went inside the apartment to call 911.

The woman managed to get up and make her way out to the street. The male victim remained in the vehicle.

According to Auburn police, at about the same time, Tauti was seen getting a small black box out of his girlfriend’s car that contained a .45 caliber handgun. As Tauti was carrying the box, he was confronted by his girlfriend, who is the reported owner of the pistol, police said.

She tried to convince Tauti, who is a felon and not allowed to have a handgun, not to use the gun.  Police said Tauti eventually dropped the gun case and his girlfriend kicked it under a nearby vehicle.

The victims were taken to the hospital to be treated for their injuries.  Injuries the woman sustained from the attack included a broken arm, facial bone fractures and the loss of several teeth, according to prosecutors.

Tauti was also treated and later booked into the King County Jail.

Tauti, who has a felony conviction for possession of stolen property, was charged with two counts of second-degree assault and second-degree possession of a firearm.